Photo: Giacomo Carena

ITALY HAS WINE TOWNS IN EACH of its 20 regions, making it exceedingly difficult to choose where to start with a glass. Each area comes with various kinds of grapes and vines that can significantly alter the taste of the wine. Indulging does not end with the wine, though.

Every wine region cultivates culinary dishes to pair perfectly with its wine of choice. A visit to Montefalco basically requires a portion of the local strangozzi pasta and don’t forget your polenta if you head north to Fruli and Veneto.

Journey around Italy here with a handful of Italian wine hubs that feature hilltop Renaissance towns overlooking kilometers of vineyards, more often than not blue skies, and bottles upon bottles of some of the best wine in the world. If you don’t know your glera from your Vino Nobile, you’re about to!

Here are Italy’s best wine towns, courtesy of Matador’s new travelstoke app.

Montefalco

 MontefalcoMontefalco, ItalyMontefalco is a lesser known wine town outside of Italy but brings the heat with locals. Famous for its Sagrantino wine, it is home to the most expensive wine I’ve ever seen in person in Italy. Don’t worry, you can still get a glass for under €5. But watch out as it’s stronger than your usual red wine! I recommend grabbing a table at Enoteca Federico II right on the piazza. #wine #umbria

Valle d’Aosta

 Valle d’AostaCourmayeur, ItalyNestled along the border of Italy and France, Valle d’Aosta is just what you would imagine when it comes to wine – the perfect mix of both. A maze of vineyards lies in the foothills of Mont Blanc. Plenty of pinot noir grapes here with the red wines being extra rustic-tasting. #wine #pinotnoir

Franciacorta

 FranciacortaBrescia, ItalyLet Brescia be your starting point as you embark on the Franciacorta wine road, which resembles Veneto’s prosecco trail and Umbria’s Sagrantino road in that there are very few tourists and lush undeveloped hills. Ca’ del Bosco Winery in the region is a must-visit to try the renowned sparkling wine, that serves as one of Italy’s answers to champagne along with prosecco. One of the most famous wine regions in Italy! #wine #champagne #italy

Modena

 ModenaModena, ItalyThe region of Emilia-Romagna is a foodie’s paradise and this includes the lambrusco wines of Modena! Start here on your local wine tour and then move on to Rubbiara where you can eat at a restaurant that serves up the best balsamic vinaigrette for the likes of Anthony Bourdain along with us common folk. Do not leave without trying a range of lambrusco wines here!

Valdobbiadene

 ValdobbiadeneValdobbiadene, ItalyValdobbiadene is, without question, the most famous prosecco region in the world and therefore, the motherland of prosecco. If it’s not DOCG-labeled here, don’t bother drinking it (not even DOC). Tour the countless prosecco wineries scattered among five hillside towns known for the Italian bubbly. In my opinion, this place outdoes Tuscany and has far fewer tourists! #wine #prosecco

San Gimignano

 San GimignanoSan Gimignano, ItalyAh, my favourite pastime, #winetasting and getting to know a new bottle of #wine.

Cormons

 CormonsCormons, ItalyCormons might be the best little wine town you’ve never heard of. Tucked into the hills of the Gorizia part of the Friuli-Venezia region, Cormons hosts the fantastic Venica winery and correspondingly, a plethora of white wines made from very obscure grapes. Hit up individual wineries via car or indulge in town. If you can plan right, go in mid-September when Udine hosts the Friuli DOC gastronomic festival, the highlight of the wine season there. #wine #italian #friuli

Montepulciano

 MontepulcianoMontepulciano, ItalyNow, Montepulciano certainly deserves to be a crown jewel of Tuscany. Sprawling green hills serve as a luscious backdrop to some of the finest red wines in the world. Go for the Vino Nobile blend, only found here, and made primarily from the Sangiovese grape. Tour the typical Renaissance hill town while you’re at it! #wine

Think we missed a town? Join us on our new travelstoke app and add it yourself! Travelstoke is both a social network for travelers and a crowd-sourced guidebook, and it’s a great way to meet new people and explore the world.

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