Sweeping north from the Apennines to the fertile Po valley, Emilia Romagna is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy. Colourful, noble and friendly land, Emilia Romagna offers a large variety of landscapes and local riches. In particular, over 50.000 hectares are dedicated to vines which are 33% DOC or DOCG recognized.
Emilia-Romagna's viticultural heritage dates back as far as the seventh century B.C., ranking it among the older of Italy's wine regions. Vines were introduced here by the Etruscans and later adopted by the Romans, who used the Via Aemilia road (after which the region is named) to transport wine between its cities. The beverage of Bacchus still plays a fundamental role in the culture of the region. Actually, Emilia Romagna is fourth among Italy’s 20 regions for wine production with 33% of their wines being DOC or DOCG recognized.
The region is divided in two distinct geographical and cultural areas: Emilia, in the western part, and Romagna, in the eastern part. Emilia is the indisputable homeland of the many “Lambrusco”, sparkling red wines - or like they are used to call them, sharp and alive. In Romagna the production is mainly about dry and sweet wines, both white, mainly produced with Albana, Pignoletto, Trebbiano Romagnolo and Pagadebit (Bombino Bianco) grapes, as well as red, mainly produced with Sangiovese grapes. Among the most common “international” varieties in Emilia-Romagna are mentioned: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Sangiovese di Romagna
As it is commonly known, the name Sangiovese derives from “Sangue di Giove” (blood of Jupiter), and many believe the definition derives from monte Giove (Jupiter mountain), near Santarcangelo di Romagna where the grape was clearly cultivated. The results obtained with Sangiovese in the land of Romagna are extremely interesting: from light wines to wines with a good body, with a dry but strong taste. Sangiovese di Romagna produced in the best hills of the denomination having an alcohol by volume not lesser than 12%, can make use of the “superiore” indication, whereas in case it was aged for a period not lesser than two years, it can use in the label the “riserva” indication.
The “appassimento” method
Appassimento is the process of natural partial dehydration of grapes to produce a greater concentration of colours, aromas and flavours in the wine. Since partially dried grapes also have a higher concentration of sugars, this system is often used to make sweet or very concentrated wines.