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Southern Italy: The 12 native grapes to know about

Native grapes tell the story of the land upon which they’re cultivated, and of the people who grow them. Susan Hulme MW presents the south of Italy and its scenic islands through a dozen varieties originating in its hills, coasts, volcanoes and valleys.

Italy’s incredible wealth of native grape varieties endows it with a special place in the wine world.

It is teeming with local individuality, and nowhere does this express itself more forcefully than in its rarer, less well-known indigenous grape varieties and the wines made from them.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for wines from Susan’s must-try southern Italian grapes


Italy has about 2,000 native grape varieties, with some 350 of these documented and authorised by the Italian government. For the adventurous wine drinker, Italy offers a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

The 12 grape varieties that follow come from the south of Italy and from the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.


Offbeat south: Hulme’s 15 wines to try


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