Among the most famous Italian grape varietals are Sangiovese for the red wines of Tuscany and Nebbiolo for Barolo, where it competes with Barbera as the most popular red wine grape in Piedmont. But there are a host of lesser grape varieties that produce excellent wines. There are probably over 3000 red grape varieties indigenous to Italy with 50 to 60 of these being used in the production of popular wines. In major wine producing areas of Italy, there are now specialised nurseries devoted to salvaging neglected varietals - sometimes discovered as a single remaining vine - and testing them for wine-making value, usually foreseen as contributing to blends. Tuscany and especially Sicily are prominent in this field. Some widely used grape varietals are also going out of fashion, mainly because, although easy to grow and prolific producers, the resulting wines are of indifferent quality. An example is Trebbiano, used to make white wine in Tuscany (and previously a mandatory constituent of Chianti red wines) and in Sicily.
For descriptive lists of Italian wine grape varietals we recommend: