The wines of Northern Italy include some of the most well known red wines in the country including Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Amarone and Valpolicella.
Arguably, the two most important regions in Northern Italy are Piedmont in the northwest, and Veneto in the northeast. Red wines from these regions range from some of the most expensive and sought after in all of Italy to great value red wines.
Nebbiolo produces some of the most exclusive and expensive red wines in Italy, including Barolo and Barbaresco. However, these sought after wines come with a hefty price tag.
Dolcetto and Barbera from Piedmont offer relative value. Dolcetto is planted on less desirable vineyard sites, and produces fruit-forward, great value wines that are meant to be consumed within 1-2 years of bottling. Barbera is a high yield variety with low tannins and high acidity.
In Veneto, Valpolicella reigns supreme as its own distinct viticultural zone. There are five different tiers within this wine category ranging from inexpensive and light-bodied Valpolicella Classico, to pricey Amarone.
Red wines from Valpolicella are typically based on Corvina, with Rondinella, and Molinara rounding out these blended wines.