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Pear, Parmigiano, and Pine Nut Salad

Pear, Parmigiano, and Pine Nut Salad

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The Wines of Italy

Italy is without question the world's largest producer—and exporter—of wine. One-quarter of the world's wine is Italian. And we drink a lot of it.

Why does so much wine come from Italy? Well, because it can. Unlike most countries, where grapes can be cultivated only in select regions, vineyards thrive everywhere in Italy.

Growing climates range from the misty foothills of the Alps to the north to the arid island of Sicily in the south. In between lie the well-known winegrowing centers of central Italy. Among those central winegrowing regions are the famed sunny hills of Tuscany, home of Chianti.

So Italians can—and do—cultivate all kinds of grapes including many native varieties like Sangiovese.