7 Italian Winemakers You Need To Know

Explore / Grower Stories

7 Italian Winemakers You Need to Know

Contents

Steve Farrow Steve Farrow

From the Piedmont region in the north right down to the isle of Sicily in the south, the growers we work with have fascinating stories to tell.

If you're looking to learn a little more about which Italian winemakers to look out for, these seven estates are a brilliant place to start:

Hofstätter Vineyard

1. Hofstätter

Based in Italy's northern Alto Adige region, this estate has passed through four generations since it was established by Josef Hofstätter in 1907. Today it is run by a team of local people, and they've mastered grape varieties you might associate with other world wine regions, even if they are native to this area: fine gewürztraminer (which originated in Tramin, the village where Hofstätter is based), delicate and fresh pinot bianco and arguably Italy's finest, most fragrant and seductive pinot noir.

Try: Hofstätter wines


Alpha Zeta wine

2. Alpha Zeta

If you're looking for textbook examples of round, fruity pinot grigio and cherry-scented corvina from hillside vineyards around Verona, you'll find it in Alpha Zeta, however the man bringing the Veneto region's wines to life is in fact New Zealander Matt Thomson. He works with a select handful of growers to find the best grapes for his wines, and the results are so impressive we chose him to produce our Society's Pinot Grigio.

Try: Alpha Zeta wines


Italian Vineyard

3. Agricole Vallone

Run by the Vallone sisters, this large, multi-tasking agricultural enterprise, which farms 170 hectares of vines amongst other crops like artichokes and olive trees, is based in the idyllic Salento peninsula in Puglia on Italy's heel. The estate has made a name for itself thanks to its flagship wine, Graticcaia, an exquisite fine red wine made from negroamaro grapes dried on mats (graticci) in the autumn sunshine, producing a powerful, concentrated wine with excellent ageing potential. Vallone is also responsible for two Italian member favourites, Brindisi Rosso and its pink sister wine Brindisi Rosato.

Try: Vallone wines


GD Vajra

4. GD Vajra

This family-run estate in Barolo, north-west Italy, was founded by Guiseppe Domenico Vajra in 1972 and is now run by his son Aldo alongside his wife Milena and three children. All five are deeply passionate about winemaking, as proven by the animated, enlightening conversations we have with them every time we visit, so it's no wonder their wines have such wonderful bouquet, precision and balance, with a Burgundian intensity that makes them stand out from the rest of the region.

Try: GD Vajra wines


Alovini Vineyard

5. Alovini

Oronzo Alò is a hugely talented winemaker and his estate is the place to find some of the best examples of the red aglianico grape, which thrives best in southern Italy, particularly in the mountainous vineyards of Campania and Alovini's home, Basilicata, a region often described as the 'arch in Italy's heel'. As well as aglianico, which was one of our Wine Champions in 2017, he produces delicious, fresh whites using local grapes like greco, malvasia and fiano.

Try: Alovini wines


Principe Pallavicini stainless steel tanks

6. Principe Pallavicini

This famous estate was founded by the Pallavicinis, one of Italy's oldest noble families, whose winemaking history dates back almost 500 years. Based at Frascati in the Lazio region just south of Rome, the volcanic soils are ideal for growing white grapes, imparting high acidity and mineral character. Until fairly recently, Frascati wines weren't really known for much other than bland wines for tourists to sip in restaurants but Pallavicini has proved this region is capable of much, much more. Winemakers Carlo Ferrini and Carlo Roveda really know what they're doing, bringing the best out of Italian white grapes like greco, trebbiano and the local malvasia di Lazio.

Try: Pallavicini wines


Cantine Nicosia

7. Nicosia

The Nicosia family has been in the wine trade for over 100 years and their fantastic estate in Sicily is now run by fourth generation Carmelo and his sons Francesco and Graziano. They champion Sicilian grape varieties and the island's winemaking traditions, expertly creating wines that showcase Sicily's true potential. On the volcanic, mineral soils of Mount Etna they grow nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio for red and catarratto and carricante for white, producing rich, elegant wines, as well as planting frappato and nero d'Avola in the Vittoria region, where these grapes thrive. Their Fondo Filara range is a perfect place to start if you want a taste of Sicily.

Try: Nicosia wines

Want to learn more about Italian wine?

Read our Italian wine guide >

Read more stories about our growers in Travels in Wine >

Society Promise
Members before profit
Awards

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.

Close

4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies:

4.4.4.1. Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended.

4.4.4.2. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit.

4.4.4.3. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic.

4.4.4.4. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.