The north-central central region of Lombardy is well known for its winemaking, specifically for its sparkling wine Franciacorta. The region also produces some well known reds made from the Nebbiolo grape, the best of these coming from the Valtellina region (where Nebbiolo is locally referred to as Chiavennasca). In total, Lombardy has 5 DOCG regions and 20 DOC regions. These are grown in a variety of geographical regions within Lombardy, from the Alps and Alpine foothills in the north to the flat Po River Valley in the south of the region.
An Overview of Grape Varietals Grown in Lombardy
Chardonnay is commonly grown in the Franciacorta region where it is often blended with Pinot Bianco in making the famed sparkling white wine with the same name. Still Chardonnay wine is also made in Piedmont but hasn’t reached the recognition of the Franciacorta sparkling yet.
Nebbiolo (or Chiavennasca)
The Nebbiolo grape, while more famous in the neighboring Piedmont region, is quite commonly found in Lombardy, specifically in the Valtellina area of Lombardy. However, in this region, it is referred to as Chiavennasca rather than Nebbiolo. The red wines coming from this area of Lombardy are quite spectacular.
Pinot Noir (or Pinot Nero)
Pinot Noir, or Pinot Nero, are found in the Oltrepò Pavese region within Lombardy. Here, they go into making the DOCG sparkling white wine that is well known from Oltrepò Pavese. But Pinot Noir is not limited to sparkling in this area. It also forms the base for rose and a non-sparkling white wine as being made into the more expected red wine.
Our Wine Recommendations:
Casa La Gatta Valtellina Superiore - 2015
This 100% Nebbiolo wine comes from the Valtellina area of Lombardy. It has intense flavour and smooth tannins. While it can be drunk young, it would benefit from some time in the bottle.
Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvée Prestige - N.V
This producer - Ca’ del Bosco - is quite famous for its Franciacorta wines. This one is marked by fresh citrus, pear and apple notes with a slight hint of toasted almond from the ageing process. This is a really delicious wine and great example of Franciacorta.
Pinot Nero dell'Oltrepo Pavese Frizzante - 2019
This wine is made with 100% Pinot Nero - or Pinot Noir - grapes. It is a slightly off-dry sparkling white which is quite pleasant and affordable. If you’re hesitant in paying for the Franciacorta above, we’d recommend this as a very good sparkling wine.
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