Take a tour of Italy without leaving home

(BPT) - Dreaming of an Italian vacation? You can experience the country's stunning, ancient and romantic regions without even leaving home. The wines of Italy embody the heart and soul of the country itself, being a part of the land, the air and the water of the regions in which they're grown.

Letting the vineyards be your guide, you'll travel from the Tuscan coast to the Adriatic's long, sandy beaches, to the black and rich slopes of an active volcano. You'll marvel at Sicily's crystal blue waters and be awed by Campania's storied past. You can even learn about some dedicated winemakers along the way.

Invite your friends for a backyard wine tasting on a balmy evening, open up these Italian whites, and enjoy their not-commonly-known varieties accompanied by light, Italian fare. Buon viaggio!

Ca'Marcanda Vistamare: The playful name of this wine, which means "sea view," was inspired by the Tyrrhenian sea breeze, the sun and the cheerful, lighthearted outlook of the Tuscan coast. Coastal innkeepers would use "vistamare" to entice hotel guests, even if their rooms only offered a limited view of the Mediterranean. The vineyards used for Vistamare actually enjoy a panoramic view of the Tuscan horizon, and their grapes are gently touched by the salt air and brilliant colors of the Tuscan sea.

Vistamare is fresh and light on the palate, with notes of bergamot, pear and nectarine. Then it shifts toward a more mineral and spicy character, with notes of flint, rosemary and saffron. The wine gets riper in the finish with hints of mango.

Terlato Vineyards Colli Orientali del Friuli Friulano: Travel to Northern Italy's Friuli region, where mountains overlook the Adriatic Sea, its coastline dotted with lagoons and long sandy beaches. Friulano is the predominant wine here because of the ideal growing conditions for this indigenous varietal. This Friulano comes from very old vines located on Estate vineyards at 1,050 feet above sea level, with cool nights and warm days, ideal for producing wines with excellent acidity and elegance.

Attention to detail gives the wine floral aromas with distinct pear and almond notes, and a creamy, full-bodied texture.

Anselmi San Vincenzo: Grown in the Monteforte area within the Veneto region of Northern Italy, San Vincenzo vines are planted on 110 acres of volcanic tuff and limestone. Veneto is encircled by Lake Garda, the Dolomite Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Imagine floating down the Grand Canal in Venice, and seeing Juliet's balcony in Verona before finding a cafe where you can sip this delicious wine of the region.

San Vincenzo is medium bodied and fruit forward, with a clean, dry finish and scents of minerals, lemon, lime and melon.

Alta Mora Etna Bianco: Travel south to Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, where these grapes are grown and harvested on the slopes of the active volcano, Mount Etna. The soil is black, fertile and dynamic, and the name Alta Mora translates to “tall, black,” representing the great heights of the vineyards on the mountain and the dark, black volcanic soil.

This wine is a slight nod to Sauvignon Blanc in style. It's fresh and fruity, with great minerality, and a classic match for seafood dishes. It's easy to imagine sipping it while gazing out onto the Mediterranean's crystal blue waters.

Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina: This vineyard is in Sorbo Serpico, a tiny village in Campania’s Irpinia region, near Mount Vesuvius. The area, with its numerous castles and fortresses, has ancient roots, and has been a transit land between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas. Named after the method of vine cultivation in Sannio at the end of the Roman Era called Falangs (“poles”), this Falanghina is ideal as an aperitif. It can also accompany various types of appetizers, plates of simple fish and vegetables as well as fresh cheeses.

Floral notes like white blossoms and delicate apple and pear float through the air as you sip this medium intensity wine, which is crisp with hints of spice, light almond and a slightly bitter orange peel character.

Let these wines bring the beauty of Italy to your table tonight. Cincin!

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