We think any time of year is the season for Italian whites. And we don’t just mean Pinot Grigio, which frequently is the first that comes to mind. That is to say, these four Italian whites are lesser known, yet delicious. They come from the volcanic soils in Sicily, the high-altitude region of Marche, the peculiar soil composed of gritstone in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and finally the low mountain range and lowland crossed by rivers of Veneto. In other words, you might not have heard of all of them, but don’t let that stop you. These are good wines!
Here are four different and tasty Italian whites: Tenuta di Fessina A’Puddara 2018; Gradis’Ciutta Collio Ribolla Gialla 2021; Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio 2022; and Serego Alighieri Possessioni Bianco 2021. Pair them with seafood or spicy food all year, or with your deck in these dwindling days of summer.
Tenuta di Fessina A’Puddara Etna Bianco 2018 ($66)
Tenuta di Fessina A’Puddara Etna Bianco 2018 is a stunner! The winery made this gorgeous wine with 100% Carricante grapes from a 70-year-old vineyard in Biancavilla in Sicily. Small volcanoes, craters and limestone caves characterize the Biancavilla area. As a result of the Mount Etna volcano and the Mediterranean Sea, the Puddara Etna Bianco is mineral-driven, showing crisp acidity, salinity and citrus notes. Moreover, aromas of graphite, orange zest, lemon peel, flowers and ginger lead into silky textures and fresh flavors of apples, melons, flint and salty minerality. Further, we’ve been told that Carricante from Etna is often compared to high-end Chablis. This is the wine that brought Tenuta di Fessina to national and international acclaim from the initial vintage in 2009. Pair it with seafood or savory dishes.
Gradis’Ciutta Collio Ribolla Gialla 2021 ($24)
Gradis’ciutta produced Collio Ribolla Gialla 2021 from 100% Ribolla Gialla grapes, the oldest-known native vine of Collio, one of the wine-growing areas within Friuli-Venezia Giulia. As well, the hillside vineyards have dry stony soils and good exposure to sunlight. Ribolla Gialla is certified organic, with intense aromas of citrus, pears, and apples, with hints of river stone, echoed on the palate along with sea salt. Sip on it as an apéritif or pair it with grilled fish, roasted chicken, asparagus, cheeses or charcuterie. Gradis’ciutta – a family-owned winery located in San Floriano del Collio – and the Princic family have been a wine force in Collio for four generations.
Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2022 ($21)
Umani Ronchi crafted Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2022 using 100% Verdicchio grapes from 30-year-old vineyards. In addition, it was one of the first truly “selected” Verdicchio from the Marche region of Castelli di Jesi, located in central Italy, bordering on the Adriatic Sea. On the nose, aromas of wildflowers, peaches and golden apples mirror the rich, elegant palate, with tangy acidity and threaded with minerality. Pair it with fish dishes, roasted chicken or cheese. We’ve enjoyed every wine we’ve tasted from Umani Ronchi.
Serego Alighieri Possessioni Bianco 2021 ($20)
Serego Alighieri created Possessioni Bianco 2021 by blending 75% Garganega and 25% Sauvignon Blanc. What a nose! Typical of the Sauv Blancs we love, the citrus, particularly grapefruit, shines in both the aromas and on the palate, along with notes of honey, almonds and pears from the Garganega. Consequently, the refreshing acidity, minerality and dry finish make this a wonderful apéritif for a summer evening on the deck. However, it also will pair all year long with antipasti, fish dishes, chicken, pizza, salads, cheese and charcuterie. The historic Serego Alighieri Venetian estate dates back more than 650 years. Possessioni is a testament to the rich history of Italian winemaking, and the house white of the Conti Serego Alighieri.
Summary: Italian Whites
In conclusion, while Italy is known as the home for Pinot Grigio, other white Italian wines are diverse and worth trying. So what are you waiting for?
Thank you, Vineyard Brands, for the samples.
Margot and Dave