Emilia Romagna

Description

Description

Thanks to culinary specialties such as Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena, the Emilia-Romagna region can rightfully lay claim to the status of gastronomic capital of Italy. And yet, despite rarely receiving their due recognition, wines from this region possess a surprising ability to confound sceptics.

Spanning the Italian peninsula from east to west along a natural corridor that extends onto the southern side of the fertile plains of the Po River, Emilia-Romagna, as its name suggests, is divided into two sub-regions that each produce their own distinct wines.

While most Emilian wines are bubbly and effervescent, they are also remarkably diverse. The most interesting among them are produced in the DOC zones of Colli Piacentini, Colli Bolognesi and Colli di Parma, respectively located in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains near the cities of Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia and Bologna (regional capital of Emilia-Romagna, as well as the natural border between the sub-regions).

Well-liked for their simplicity and festive character, Lambrusco sparkling red wines, which are divided into four different DOCs, are the most commonly produced in the Emilian plains. Locals prefer their Lambrusco much dryer and served alongside some of the region’s fine charcuterie.

Other than Lambrusco, which is considered one of the oldest wine grapes in Italy, the region’s main indigenous varieties are Ancellotta, Pignoletto and Malvasia, which usually produce light, aromatic whites. Other grape varieties such as Barbera and Bonarda yield vivid and fragrant reds, akin to those from the neighbouring regions of Oltrepò Pavese, in Lombardy, or Piedmont. Emilian viticulturists tend to be more open to producing international varietals, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet or Merlot, than their Romagnian counterparts, especially if doing so attracts international attention.

Whereas Emilia is synonymous with Lambrusco, Romagna’s best vintages are mostly produced from Sangiovese grapes, which easily rival Tuscan Sangiovese. Romagna and neighbouring Tuscany both claim to have originated this variety, which is among the most widely cultivated in Central Italy. Regardless of where the truth lies, Sangiovese di Romagna DOC (especially the Riserva version, which is highly complex and structured) offers one of the most forceful rebuttals to those who claim Emilia-Romagna is only good for sparkling wine.

Romagna is also known for its dry and still Albana di Romagna, Italy’s first DOCG white wine. The passito version is held in high regard universally. Trebbiano di Romagna and Pagadebit are the other two most common local varieties. They yield fresh and unpretentious wines that blend beautifully with zuppe di pesce (fish soup) made from fish caught off the nearby Adriatic coast.

What to do?

The area offers 15 wine routes to delight the most discerning palates, in addition to other wine-related activities, such as the Emilia-Romagna Wine and Food Festival, which runs each year from September to December, and a multitude of stay-packages near vineyards. Serious foodies will be delighted by the impressive array of osterie, wine bars and restaurants that specialize in local cuisine, some of which, like Osteria Francescana employing Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura) are among the best in the world.

This vibrant food scene also attracts its share of discerning tourists eager to add cooking to their Italian experience. Happy to oblige, several cooking schools in Emilia-Romagna offer lessons in Italian and English, among them the Alma International School of Italian Cuisine, which is headed by world-famous chef Gualtiero Marchesi, one of Emilia-Romagna’s most reputed ambassadors of gastronomy.

Wines

Flagship Wine Grapes

  • Albana

Flagship Wine Appellations

  • Albana di Romagna DOCG

Vitivinicoles activities in the region

Wine and food pairing

Thanks to culinary specialties such as Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena, the Emilia-Romagna region can rightfully lay claim to the status of gastronomic capital of Italy. And yet, despite rarely receiving their due recognition, wines from this region possess a surprising ability to confound sceptics.

Spanning the Italian peninsula from east to west along a natural corridor that extends onto the southern side of the fertile plains of the Po River, Emilia-Romagna, as its name suggests, is divided into two sub-regions that each produce their own distinct wines.

While most Emilian wines are bubbly and effervescent, they are also remarkably diverse. The most interesting among them are produced in the DOC zones of Colli Piacentini, Colli Bolognesi and Colli di Parma, respectively located in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains near the cities of Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia and Bologna (regional capital of Emilia-Romagna, as well as the natural border between the sub-regions).

Well-liked for their simplicity and festive character, Lambrusco sparkling red wines, which are divided into four different DOCs, are the most commonly produced in the Emilian plains. Locals prefer their Lambrusco much dryer and served alongside some of the region’s fine charcuterie.

Other than Lambrusco, which is considered one of the oldest wine grapes in Italy, the region’s main indigenous varieties are Ancellotta, Pignoletto and Malvasia, which usually produce light, aromatic whites. Other grape varieties such as Barbera and Bonarda yield vivid and fragrant reds, akin to those from the neighbouring regions of Oltrepò Pavese, in Lombardy, or Piedmont. Emilian viticulturists tend to be more open to producing international varietals, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet or Merlot, than their Romagnian counterparts, especially if doing so attracts international attention.

Whereas Emilia is synonymous with Lambrusco, Romagna’s best vintages are mostly produced from Sangiovese grapes, which easily rival Tuscan Sangiovese. Romagna and neighbouring Tuscany both claim to have originated this variety, which is among the most widely cultivated in Central Italy. Regardless of where the truth lies, Sangiovese di Romagna DOC (especially the Riserva version, which is highly complex and structured) offers one of the most forceful rebuttals to those who claim Emilia-Romagna is only good for sparkling wine.

Romagna is also known for its dry and still Albana di Romagna, Italy’s first DOCG white wine. The passito version is held in high regard universally. Trebbiano di Romagna and Pagadebit are the other two most common local varieties. They yield fresh and unpretentious wines that blend beautifully with zuppe di pesce (fish soup) made from fish caught off the nearby Adriatic coast.

What to do?

The area offers 15 wine routes to delight the most discerning palates, in addition to other wine-related activities, such as the Emilia-Romagna Wine and Food Festival, which runs each year from September to December, and a multitude of stay-packages near vineyards. Serious foodies will be delighted by the impressive array of osterie, wine bars and restaurants that specialize in local cuisine, some of which, like Osteria Francescana employing Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura) are among the best in the world.

This vibrant food scene also attracts its share of discerning tourists eager to add cooking to their Italian experience. Happy to oblige, several cooking schools in Emilia-Romagna offer lessons in Italian and English, among them the Alma International School of Italian Cuisine, which is headed by world-famous chef Gualtiero Marchesi, one of Emilia-Romagna’s most reputed ambassadors of gastronomy.

Flagship Wine Grapes

  • Albana

Flagship Wine Appellations

  • Albana di Romagna DOCG

Vitivinicoles activities in the region

Wine and food pairing

Vineyards