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Italian Wine Terms

Our ever-expanding list of Italian wine terms.

A

Abboccato

Italian wine term to describe an "off-dry" or slightly sweet wine with medium body.

Amabile

Italian wine term to describe a semi-sweet wine.

Azienda Agricola

An Italian wine term for an estate winery (a winery with vineyards).

Azienda Vinicola

Italian wine term for a winery.

C

Cantina

Italian wine term for winery (cellar).

Cascina

A winery farmhouse.

Castello

Italian word for castle (aka Château).

Classico

Typically used to describe the classic or historic boundaries of a wine zone which was later amended. For example, Chianti Classico is within the larger Chianti zone and indicates the original boundaries.

Colli

Italian term for hills. (e.g. Colli Orientali – "eastern hills").

D

Dolce

Italian wine term to describe a rich, sweet wine.

F

Fattoria

Italian term for wine farm.

Frizzante

("frizz-zan-tay") An Italian term for a lightly sparkling wine.

P

Podere

Italian wine term used to describe a rural wine farm.

Poggio

Italian wine term for hill or elevated place.

Produttori

Producers in Italian. Used on wine labels to describe a cooperative wine business.

R

Riserva

An Italian wine term that's typically used to describe a wine that's been aged for longer than the standard denomination. Aging varies from region to region.

S

Secco

Italian word for "dry".

Superiore

Found on Italian wine labels and most commonly associated with a regional classification that typically have more rigorous production quality standards.

T

Tenuta

Italian for "estate".

U

Uvaggio

Italian wine term for wine blend or grape blend.

V

Vecchio

Italian term for "old".

Vigneto

Vineyard.

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