Land of the Vines

Italy has the third largest acreage under vine in the world, with 1.7 million acres (700,000 hectares). Grapevines grow everywhere in Italy, and even the hottest regions can grow either because of elevation of proximity to the ocean. There are also more indigenous grapes from Italy than any other country, representing more than 30% of the worlds total. The reason is that Italy is surrounded by water on three sides and high mountains on the other. These natural barriers impeded travel from other areas, and grape varieties from other countries did not really enter Italy until the late 1800's. Many varieties have adapted to the climate and soils of Italy so much that they fail to produce anything exciting outside of their native land.