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The legacy of Italian wines goes back 4,000 years to when the people pressed wild grapes into juice, which would ferment into wine. The land of wine, Oenotria comes from the Greeks who expanded into southern Italy. The Etruscans were of the best winemakers in the hills of central Italy. Throughout the centuries, winemaking has advanced rather quickly.
The advancement of winemaking in the 19th century included new methods of vinification and aging. The use of corks that sealed bottles and flasks allowed for shipping of wines all over the world. Italian wines with names such as Chianti, Barolo and Marsala became well known in Europe as well beyond Europe.
Italy has more types of vines planted than any other country in the world. Even though there have been some down times for wine due to wars and depression, Italy was always still ahead of competing wineries. Cost of wines were forced to be lowered and on top of that had to be sold in containers of peculiar shapes and sizes. Some of these practices were profitable, but did little for the image of Italian wines all over the world.
The tradition of vines allows Italy to produce a greater range of distinctive wines than any other nation. Although Italy is most noted for its reds for aging, they also are a major producer of white wines, ranging in style from light and fruity to oak-aged versions. Italians produce all kinds of wines and certain regions are known for certain kinds including, reds, whites and even bubbly wines. Numerous Italian wines stand with the international elite, but their premium production continues to expand and improve.
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