Italy as a Wine Industry

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Introduction In common with the other major wine-producing nations of the “old world” such as France Germany and Spain, Italy has undergone something of a reality check during the course of the past 20 years. The old certainties that appeared to guarantee a healthy export trade reaching far into the future have been dented somewhat by the appearance of the new kids on the block. “New world” nations such as the United States, Argentina, Chile and, in particular, Australia have helped to concentrate minds and sweep away complacency. This is not to say that the talent within the Italian wine industry was ever in danger of losing any of its power to seduce, simply that the long-standing image of the fiasco of red wine, namely a…show more content…
The Etruscans took the grapevine introduced by the Greeks, cultivated it into highly desirable wines, and considerably improved on winemaking. In Lucio Sorre’s “A Salute to the Etruscan Origins of Truscan Cuisine”, Sorre notes: Incidentally, our sophisticated 20th century enotechnicians boast about their advances in temperature-controlled fermentation. The Etruscans were ages ahead of them, though their techniques obviously differed. After crushing the grapes, the must was poured into clay containers which were buried deep in the ground. Here the temperature was considerably lower. When the fermentation cycle was completed, the wine was then stored in cellars located even deeper in the earth than the fermentation vessels. Roman influence As the Roman Empire expanded, demand for wine increased. (No surprise here: the Greeks were not the only ones with a god of wine!) Wine production kept up with this demand, and wine became an intricate part of Roman society. When we talk about wine from the Roman Empire, we should not mistake it for modern day wine. The wine of the Roman times was very different than our typical Chianti or Barolo: wine was often mixed with water to decrease the wine’s incredibly high alcohol content, and because the Roman palate preferred sweet wines, they often drank sweet whites from a prized region, Falernian, which is near Naples. Today, Italians are “purists” when it comes to wine, but the Romans mixed
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