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Wine Terminology:

Abboccato: Semi-dry. Less sweet than amabile.
Amabile: Semi-sweet, usually in reference to sparkling wine.
Amaro: Bitter.
Annata: A wine's vintage year.
Asciutto: Totally dry.
Azienda agricola, agraria or vitivinicola: A farm or estate which produces all or most of the grapes for wine sold under its labels.
Bianco: White (wine).
Botte: Cask or barrel.
Botticella: Small cask.
Bottiglia: Bottle.
Brut: Dry, usually in reference to sparkling wine.
Cantina: Cellars or winery.
Cantina sociale: Cooperative winery.
Casa vinicola: Wine house or merchant (commerciante) whose bottlings come mainly from purchased grapes or wines.
Cascina: Farmhouse, often used for estate.
Castello: Castle.
Cerasuolo: Cherry-hued rosé (wine).
Chiaretto: Deep rosé (wine).
Classico: The historic core of a DOC wine production zone.
Coltivatore: Cultivator.
Consorzio: Consortium of producers.
Dolce: Sweet.
Enologo: Enologist with a university degree; enotecnico is a wine making technician with a diploma.
Enoteca: Literally, a "wine library," referring to both publicly sponsored displays and privately owned shops.
Ettaro: Hectare (2.471 acres) the standard measure of vineyard surface in Italy.
Etichetta: Label. Ettolitro: Hectoliter, or 100 liters, the standard measure of wine volume in Italy.
Fattoria: Farm or estate.
Fermentazione naturale: Natural fermentation.
Fiasco: Traditional straw-cased bottle typically used by Chianti producers in the 1970s.
Frizzante or frizzantino: semi-sparkling (wine).
Frutta: Fruit.
Frutti di bosco: Literally, fruits of the forest, such as raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.
Gradazione alcoolica (grad. alc.): Alcoholic degree/percentage.
Imbottigliata: Bottled.
Imbottigliato dal produttore all’origin: Bottled by the producer at the source.
Imbottigliato dalla cantina sociale: Bottled by a cooperative winery.
Invecchiato: Aged (wine).
Liquoroso: Strong wine; can be fortified but usually naturally high alcohol level.
Litro: Liter.
Maso: A holding, often referring to a vineyard or estate.
Masseria: Farm or estate.
Metodo classico or tradizionale: Terms for sparkling wine made by the bottle fermentation method, replacing the terms champenois or champenoise, which can no longer be used in Italy.
Millesimato: Vintage dated sparkling wine.
Nero: Black.
Passito: Wine style made from partially dried grapes (to concentrate flavors). Technique typically used to make sweet wines.
Pastoso: Medium dry. Podere: Small wine estate or farm.
Produttore: Producer.
Recioto: Wine made from partly dried grapes in the passito style. Often sweet and strong.
Riserva: Reserve. Indicates a DOC or DOCG wine aged for a specific time period. Implies a wine is of better than average quality, thereby meriting the additional aging.
Rosato: Rosé (wine).
Rosso: Red (wine).
Scelto: Selected. Term used for certain late harvested DOC wines.
Secco: Dry (wine).
Semi-secco: Medium sweet, usually in sparkling wine.
Spumante: Sparkling, for dry or sweet wines.
Stabilimento: Firm.
Superiore: Denotes DOC wine that meets standards above the normal requirements (higher alcohol, longer aging, a special sub-zone), though conditions vary.
Tenimento: Farm.
Tenuta: Farm or estate.
Uva: Grape. Uva passa is a dried grape to be used for wine. Uvetta, uva secca or sultanina are terms for raisin.
Vecchio: Old, to describe aged DOC wines; stravecchio, very old.
Vendemmia: Grape harvest or vintage. Vendemmia tardiva, late harvest—refers to wines from grapes harvested after main harvest date to ripen more fully on the vine.
Vigna or vigneto: Vineyard. Vigna may be used under DOC and DOCG for approved single vineyard wines.
Vignaiolo or viticoltore: grape grower; Vitner.
Villa: Manor.
Vinificazione: Vinification.
Vino: Wine. Vino da arrosto, a robust aged red suited to roast meats.
Vin santo: Wine made from grapes dried on straw mats over the winter to concentrate flavors.
Vite: Vine.
Viticoltura: Vine cultivation, viticulture.
Vitigno: Vine or grape variety; Varietal.
Vivace: Lively; for lightly bubbly wines, but less than frizzante.

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May contain technical inaccuracies and typographical errors. These pages may be updated from time to time.

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