When the Greeks brought vines to Italy 1000 BC, they were already being cultivated in the North by the Etruscans. So Italy has a long tradition in viniculture. The Greeks called it "Enutria" - the wine country, because of its excellent suitability for viniculture. The slopes of the Apennines offer excellent conditions for the vine's growth.
The climate is variable - a bit cooler in the foothills of the Alps to hot in Sicily and Calabria.
The red wines are famous. The best of their kind are strong and have variable taste nuances and aging potentials. Since the early 80's the quality of production-technique has been greatly improved. The white wines made today are mostly dry and cultivated reductively. The sparkling wines, the "Asti Spumante" and dessert wines are also very popular.
The wine laws are split into four classes. The highest quality-class being the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), IGT (Indicazioni Geografiche Tipiche) and Vino da Tavola. The table wines are sometimes more expensive than wines of the highest quality class.