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The canton of Ticino (also known as Tessin), in southern Switzerland, is predominantly Italian speaking. This canton of high unemployment and mountains is known for its red wines made from Merlot grapes, first introduced to the region in 1897. Ticino's hot summers are not well-suited to white-wine production, and only 3 % of the vineyard area is planted in white-win, varieties (Chasselas, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc). Some growers, however, produce white and rose wine from Merlot Pinot Noir.

Merlot del Ticino is us a soft, easy-drinking although some examples are aged in new oak casks for more complex result, Cabernet Sauvignon has be introduced to replicate a Bordeaux-style assemblage with Merlot. The official '"ViTi" badge used to guarantee quality, but some respected producers now disregard he I tasting; according to the magazine Alles Uber Wein: great days of the ViTi badge are well and truly past. Created 1949 to protect the quality Ticino wines, it now stands for controlled mediocrity."

The best wines are produced by merchants or small estate-bottlers rather cooperatives. Good producers include Delea, Tamborini, Valsangiacomo fu Vittore and Vinattieri Ticinesi.

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