If the many landmarks of Italy and Milan are for sure the main reason people travel to the Peninsula each year, the food options of Italy and its culinary culture attract each year millions of tourists. From north to south and the islands Italy offers a very rich and diverse food experience which depends on ingredients locally available. This diversity expresses itself also through the many varieties of wines available throughout the Italian territory. If Tuscany is known the world over to be the homeland of Italian wines, the regions around Milan have nothing to envy to the rest of the italian territory.
Pavia county and the “Oltrepo”
There is a wine region 30 miles south of Milan called Oltrepo which literally translates into “beyond the Po” ( with the Po being the longest river in Italy). Beyond the Po there are indeed plenty of wineries and vineyards that produces some of the most popular wines in Italy. Among the wines produced in this region there are: Sangue di Giuda dell’Oltrepo Pavese DOC; Casteggio DOC; Pinot Nero DOC; Pinot Grigio; Buttafuoco DOC and Bonarda.
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The lake Garda and the Brescia county
About 50 miles east of Milan, in the surroundings of the city of Brescia, there is one of the most popular wine regions of Italy: the Franciacorta.
The Franciacorta territory includes 19 municipalities south of Lake d’Iseo and surrounded by the river Oglio and the Alps. It is an area known to be at the centre of wine production since the medievel age. It was the many monastic settlements that starting from 8th and 9th centuries that were responsible of the lands reclamations and their transformation into fertile areas. But is was only in the early 50s of the 20th century that the Franciacorta started to become the popular wine region that we know nowadays.
Other wines available around the lake d’Iseo are the Valcalepio DOC and the Terre dei Colleoni DOC, while if we move south of Brescia and towards the lake Garda the most popular wines would be Cellatica DOC; Sebino IGT; Benaco Bresciano IGT; Botticino DOC; San Martino della Battaglia and Riviera del Garda Classico DOC.
There is a region north of Milan which is well known to be a popular destination for those who love skiing and enjoying the many aspects of the winter season, so popular that even Hollywood celebrities happen to be there every now and then to enjoy its white slopes. It is called Valtellina and among the many opportunities that this region offers, wine tours are surely a not to be missed experience. Wines available in this area are: Alpi Retiche IGT; Valtellina Rosso DOC; Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG; Valtellina Superiore DOCG.