The varied geography of Emilia-Romagna lends itself to diverse growing regions. In moving across the region from west to east, the Apennine Mountains give way to the flat plains of the Po River Valley before finally reaching the coastal plains in the area closest to the Adriatic Sea. Vineyard cultivation and winemaking has been present in this area from the 7th century BCE when Etruscans arrived here. This tradition of winemaking was continued by the Romans. Today, the most popular grape varietals grown in Emilia-Romagna are Trebbiano, Sangiovese, Lambrusco, Barbera and Ancellotta. Within Emilia-Romagna, there are only two DOCG zones. These are Albana di Romagna, which produces a white wine from the Albana grape, and Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto DOCG, which produces a white wine from the Pignoletto grape. There are a total of 20 DOC zones which produce about 15% of Emilia-Romagna’s wines.
An Overview of Grape Varietals Grown in Emilia-Romagna
Trebbiano accounts for the most planted grape in Emilia-Romagna . However, it is not the most well known as it is generally viewed as an undistinguished white grape. Trebbiano wine is a dry white wine that tends to be fruity but needs to be consumed quite young as it does not age well. Within Emilia-Romagna, it is grown at the foothills of the Apennine Mountains.
While Sangiovese is generally associated with Tuscany, it is also quite commonly found in neighboring Emilia-Romagna. This red grape is commonly found in both red blends as well as pure Sangiovese wines. Sangiovese generally has medium to high tannins and high acidity and is marked by berry notes and a slight spiciness. It ages well in oak barrels and can be drunk young or aged.
Lambrusco is perhaps the most well-known wine coming from Emilia-Romagna. Several different types of Lambrusco are grown in Emilia-Romagna, with the light red sparkling wine of the same name being the most common wine made with this grape. Lambrusco wine is meant to be consumed while it is young and is also traditionally served chilled.
Our Wine Recommendations:
Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Grappolo d'Oro - 2018
This fresh and fruity, dry Lambrusco is from one of the oldest wineries in Emilia-Romagna. It is full-bodied with a gentle fizz and cherry and plum notes along with a slight herbiness.
Nespolino Sangiovese - 2019
This is a ripe, medium-bodied Sangiovese with strong cherry and plum notes. It also has intense acidity, making it a perfect match for the traditional heavier pasta dishes coming from the Emilia-Romagna region.
Nespoli da Maggio Chardonnay - 2019
While Chardonnay is not one of the most common varietals grown in Emilia-Romagna, we did want to highlight this wine. It is incredibly balanced with apricot and floral notes being balanced out by a citrusy characteristic.
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