The Passion of the Greats – What Makes Italian Wines the Best?

At Xtrawine, we’re not shy about sharing our opinion that Italian wines are the best in the world. We simply love everything about this great industry and the many wonderful producers in our country.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we don’t respect the many other nations that contribute to the global wine industry. In fact, we believe that every country that makes wine offers up an array of vintages that are worth your time and attention…

We just believe that Italy does it better.

So, what makes Italian wines so much better (in our eyes) than wines from any other country in the world?

We can think of a few reasons for you to sink your teeth into.

Reason #1 – The Sheer Variety

In terms of different types of wine, Italy produces more than any other nation. Every region in the country, be it major or minor, has a host of different vintages to its name.

You could buy 10 different wines from 10 different regions and end up with products that are so different from one another that you wouldn’t even guess that they came from the same country.

This variety is what makes sites like ours so successful. A quick browse will show you that there are nearly 2000 wines on our website.

That tells you everything that you need to know about what Italy has to offer when it comes to variety.

However…we’ve also covered this point before in a few articles. So, let’s move onto something else.

Reason #2 – The Love of Tradition

There is perhaps no other country’s wine industry that is as steeped in tradition as that of Italy. Almost every winemaker in the country has a deep respect for the work of those who came before. And if you head to any Italian wine company’s website, you will see that they’re always quick to discuss how long they’ve existed and the work of the people who made the company what it is today.

Tradition plays such a huge role in the Italian wine industry that we have an entire organisation dedicated to it being upheld.

The DOC regulates where wines can come from and how they’re made. While quality is certainly a factor in terms of the organisation’s existence, you can’t ignore the fact that the desire to uphold tradition plays a large part in the DOC’s job as well.

You also need only look at what happens when somebody in the industry tries to break from tradition.

We’ve spoken before about the emergence of the Super Tuscans in the 1970s. A group of producers wanted to change the way that Chianti is made.

And it caused uproar.

Traditionalists decried the new movement just as loudly as the innovators supported it.

Eventually, the DOC had to create the Chianti Classico appellation just to calm things down.

And that brings us to a sub-point here.

Tradition is indeed very important in the Italian wine industry.

But don’t for a second think that this means that the industry is bereft of innovation. There are many Italian winemakers who love nothing more than to buck a few trends in their efforts to create something new and appealing.

However, even that desire has a traditional slant to it. After all, these innovators and groundbreakers are simply following in the footsteps of the great innovators of years gone by.

Thus, they are still traditionalists. And they still operate with old-school values in mind. They simply choose a different way to honour the traditions of an industry that has existed for centuries.

Reason #3 – The Territory

We’ve already discussed how different regions produce entirely different wines. This happens both because of the differing climates available to producers and the various soil types that you’ll find in Italy.

Where one region may predominantly have volcanic soil, another may have clay or some other composition. Even when producers grow the same grapes, these different soil types can completely change the way that a wine tastes.

However, when we talk about territory in the Italian wine industry, we’re not simply discussing variety.

We also need to focus on the sheer love and passion that Italian wine producers have for their land.

You could argue that nobody loves anything quite so much as a winemaker loves the land from which their grapes come.

And in recent years, we’ve seen this love expressed in more technical terms. An increasing number of Italian winemakers have adopted organic and biodynamic growing practices. While these are certainly nice marketing labels to throw onto a bottle, the reason for these changes really comes down to the land.

Such natural farming methods help to protect the land and strengthen the crops that grow from it. Today’s Italian winemakers want to ensure that their land can produce just as much and just as strongly in the future as it does now.

Reason #4 – The Pure Passion

We’ve touched on it at various points in this article. However, the sheer passion that Italian winemakers exhibit for their products really deserves its own mention.

Now, we believe that all winemakers need to have a deep love for what they do. After all, it’s no easy task to take the product from the vine to the bottle. It requires great dedication, both physically in terms of the time spent in the vineyards and mentally in term of the great amount of learning that goes into the production of the wine.

But we would argue that Italians just about have the edge when it comes to passion.

After all, they’re known as a passionate people. There’s a fire burning insider every Italian winemaker to create the best possible product.

And that’s why so many wines that emerge from the country are so great.

The Final Word

Those are the four reasons why we believe Italy’s wines are the best in the world.

Now, it’s time for you to sample the proof. Check out the huge array of Italian wines that we have on offer to find out just what makes them so special.



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