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Italy

Italy is one of the oldest wine-growing countries, the beginnings go back at least to before 1,000 BC. It was at this time that the Etruscans appeared in central Italy, settling areas in the four regions of today's Abruzzo, Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria. The origins of Italian wine culture lie above all in the Greek colonisation, which brought Greek wine culture to the peninsula, beginning in the 10th century BC on the island of Sicily as well as Campania and Calabria. The Greeks brought many of their grape varieties with them and named the ideal land for viticulture Oinotria (land of vines raised on stakes). The Phoenicians (Punic), who later became the great enemy, also had an influence at this time, establishing bases in Sicily and the Mediterranean. From the 6th century B.C. onwards, a lively trade began with the Celts in Gaul (France), who imported considerable quantities of wine from Upper and Central Italy.

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