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The vineyards of Piemonte in the shadow of the Alps.Italy provides much that is excellent and different in a world dominated by about half a dozen varietals. It is a fascinating repository of ancient, varied and delicious grape varieties, together with passionate and dynamic winemakers and we support this vital difference by refusing to list any ubiquitous international pure varietals. There are pitfalls: all around the world there are growers who overvalue the quality of their wine, none in greater concentration than in northern Italy. Apart from California, obviously. It isn't just that our particular market doesn't require grand wines - actually it does sometimes; it's the way such growers seem to price according to how important they perceive themselves to be rather than what their wine is worth. It doesn't work for us.

Happily Italy is speckled with bright lights, even in districts where the former burglary prevails, and there are examples here from Piedmont down to Sicily. It's difficult to single out particular performers as, inevitably, we heartily recommend all of them. The Italian section has blossomed over the last couple of years and provides some of the best value in the list at one end and hedonistic treats at the other. You will just have to try them all!

Please note that other Italian wines are frequent guests on our "just visiting" shelves; please click below to check the current full range.

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