Last weekend we hosted some guests for dinner. We wanted to pimp up the dinner with some Italian wines to make the gathering more memorable.
As I was planning which wines should we buy, I used Vivino (the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app) to find some good ones.
To my great surprise in almost every category, I stumbled into Italian wines (e.g. Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso from Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona; 60 Sessantanni Old Vines Primitivo di Manduria 2015 from Cantine San Marzano; Fantini Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 2015 from Abruzzo etc.).
After the successful dinner I told to my wife, why don’t we visit the best Italian wine regions where we can play golf as well.
Since last month when I showed her how we can combine golf with other activities that are more important to her, she accepted my idea.
Italian wines & wine tourism & golf tourism
To understand why it is a great idea to combine wine and golf tourism industry in Italy here are some interesting statistics.
The 15th edition of the Wine Tourism Report (co-written by the University of Salerno and the Cittá del Vino (cities of wine) found that
- 14 million people, totaling 2.5 billion euros turnover for the entire industry,
- an average of 85 euros spent per day, increasing to 160 euros for overnight stays.
Wine tourists account for
- 26.9% of the turnover of wineries and
- 36% of restaurateurs, hoteliers and producers of typical products.
If it is still not enough for you then this will be really impressive. The rumors say that over 2000 different Italian grapes exist. Now, it is up to you to decide whether it is an urban legend or not.
How many Italian golf clubs are trying to gain from the popularity of Italian wines and in general from the wine tourism?
Since you are not a time millionaire and it is really difficult to visit every famous Italian winery and wine region, I collected for you the best places where you can combine golf with wine experience.
TOP5 Italian wine regions & their golf clubs
Tuscany: (~17% DOC production)
Tuscany is home to Italy’s most scenic vineyards and probably the most famous Italian wine region as well. The county’s best-known wine is Chianti.
D.O.C. means “controlled designation of origin” and is a quality assurance label for Italian wine and cheese.
Here are some noteworthy golf clubs:
- Cosmopolitan Golf & Country Club – 18 holes;
- Royal Golf La Bagnaia – 18 holes;
- Toscana Resort Castelfalfi – 18 holes.
After deciding where to play golf, try to find a time when to visit and taste probably the best wines of Tuscany at these leading wineries of the region:
- Frescobaldi Toscana with a 700+ year experience;
- Marchesi Antinori Winery – since 1385 with a historic link with the Chianti Classico territory.
When we are talking about the wines of this region it is worth highlighting and tasting 3 wines:
- Franciacorta (sparkling wine),
- Lambrusco (sparkling wine), and
In addition to wines and golf, you will be very close to 4 lakes: Como, Iseo, Maggiore, and Garda. Just to give you an example. The Franciacorta Golf Club is very close to the Lake Iseo.
If you get there, then don’t miss to visit:
- the Berlucchi Winery;
- the Barone Pizzini Winery;
- the Ca’del Bosco Winery.
Around the Lake Garda, I recommend two golf clubs as starting points for your wine discovery trip:
- Arzaga Resort Golf Club: Jack Nicklaus designed, an 18-hole, par-72, parkland championship course (6,410 meters/7,010 yards) + a Gary Player-designed 9-hole golf course.
- Garda Golf & Country Club: 27-holes. The golf courses were designed by British architects Cotton, Pennick, Steel & Partners.
Lake Garda is home to some of Italy’s classic wines: red wines from Bardolino (is the area’s most famous red wine), Rosatos from Chiaretto and white wines from Lugana and Custoza.
Have you heard of the wines of the Perla del Garda Winery? If not, then check them out during your stay!
Piedmont: (~11% DOC production)
The country’s most renowned red wines: Barolo and Barbaresco. Nestled within the Po River Valley, the region is flanked by the frosty Alps up north and is in close proximity to the balmy Mediterranean.
If you get there, then check out the golf offers of these golf clubs:
- Royal Park Golf & Country Club I Roveri (a member of World of Leading Golf): 36 holes!!
- Fronde Golf Club – 18 holes.
- Torino La Mandria Golf Club – 18 holes.
It might sound surprising but one of Sir Nick Faldo’s wines the Faldo Barolo DOCG 2008 is from the Piedmont region. His other wine, the Faldo Valpolicella Ripasso 2014 is from the Veneto wine region.
Veneto: (~18% DOC production)
Northeastern Veneto is among Italy’s most productive wine regions. It is best known for producing its sparkling Prosecco wine. Prosecco is mad primarily from Glera grapes.
The region’s noteworthy golf clubs are:
- Verona Golf Club – 18 holes. If you are in Verona then don’t miss to taste the Tommasi Amarone wines.
- Golf Club Padova – 27 holes.
- Golf della Montecchia – 27 holes.
Emilia Romagna: (~9% DOC production)
Emilia Romagna region spans nearly all of central Italy from the east to the west coast and is one of the country’s oldest wine producing areas.
It produces the renowned Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine that’s made with a grape of the same name that was first cultivated by the ancient Etruscans.
The region’s noteworthy golf clubs are:
- Modena Golf & Country Club – 18 holes,
- Fonti Golf Club – 18 holes,
- Golf Club Bologna – 18 holes.
If you need more information on how to combine your golf holiday with wine discovery in Italy then check out Italy4golf.com.
This article is brought to you by Italy4golf.com.