Introducing Emilia Romagna Part 4: Colli Bolognesi, Sangiovese di Romagna and Albana di Romagna
Not so different from Lambrusco, we can recall two wines: the Montuni del Reno, montù grapes, produced near Bologna, and the Fontana del Bosco Eliceo, from fortana grapes, produced near Ferrara and Ravenna.
We move near the city of Bologna, called the erudite because of its ancient University, for the denomination of Colli Bolognesi. Among many wines included in this denomination, we would suggest the Colli Bolognesi Pignoletto, a light and fragrant white – guess what, sometimes even fizzy – from pignoletto grapes. Another great wine here is the Colli Bolognesi Cabernet Sauvignon, an impressive version of this international grape.
When we start to find sangiovese, trebbiano and albana grapes in this region’s wines, we know we are in the Romagna side. Talking about wine, this part of the region has nothing to share with Emilia, the other one. We could call it the north part of the central Italy, because it has so many grapes and styles in common with Toscana, Lazio, Umbria, Abruzzo.
The most famous wine here is the Sangiovese di Romagna, that can also be in the Superiore version – means with a bit higher percentage of alcohol – and Riserva in special vintages. This is a full-bodied red with red fruit flavours and an enviable intensity with nothing less the best red wines you could find in Italy. Then there is the Cagnina di Romagna, a rare example of sweet red wine, amazing with the local roasted chestnuts.
The local white is the Trebbiano di Romagna, a classic and a great wine to be matched with the fish recipes of the riviera of Rimini, the east coast famous for its nightlife. There is another wine that is not particularly memorable, but has a funny story: the Pagadebit di Romagna. Obtained from the pagadebit grape, its vine is particularly strong and produce an honest and good wine even in the hardest vintages with a difficult weather. The name “pagadebit” in the local dialect means “it pays the debts” and this wine is called like this because it was the wine that helped the winemakers to pay their debts when the hard vintage had let their other grapes production down.
We close this region with the Albana di Romagna, a real local hero. This is a white with a long tradition, produced in different typologies: the dry, a full-bodied white with acidity and a good complexity, perfect to be matched with the rich and tasty local pasta like tortellini; then two versions of sweet, one a bit more sweet, the other one a proper dessert wine; then the Passito, maybe the most important version of the Albana di Romagna.
Caspar Diederik ©
Giorgio Galeotti ©
Sergio Barbieri ©
Renaud Camus ©