No place on Earth has a more ancient and important tradition of winemaking than Italy. Thousands of years before wine became commonplace in France or the Napa Valley, Italians were producing their own unique varieties and making wine an essential part of Italian-and human-culture. Today, Italy’s role in the wine industry is as important as ever. In addition to being one of the world’s largest consumers of wine, Italy is the world’s largest wine producer (surpassing a title previously claimed by France), contains over 1.5 million acres of vineyards growing in a range of climates, and produces just under 5 billion liters of wine each year. But more important than the statistics are the wines themselves, which can tantalize your palate, enchant your senses, and prove that enjoying a glass of wine is just as much an art as it is an activity. Subtle whites like Pinot Grigio; spicy reds like Chianti; effervescent sparkling wines like Prosecco-these and others of Italy’s native sons rank among the most famous, most well-liked, and most well-respected wines in the world.

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