Colli Bolognesi Wine Region Guide

Colli Bolognesi: Ancient Roots, Modern Elegance


Last updated: May 25, 2024


There are many parallels between Colli Bolognesi and its opposite number, Colli Piacentini. These appellations in Emilia-Romagna languished in obscurity in the 20th century, only achieving a reasonable degree of international recognition over the past decade or so. Both appellations had to work tremendously hard to achieve the respect they deserve, with a strong emphasis on French grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay – helping to achieve a breakthrough in export markets. Neither can their historical pedigree be questioned: the ancient Etruscans first planted vines in Emilia-Romagna over two Millennia ago, a tradition enthusiastically embraced by the Romans. Yet, reliance on international styles has put off some aspects of the trade, notably trend-conscious sommeliers and younger buyers, from taking Colli Bolognesi more seriously.

This diverse collection of grape varieties and wines deserves full appreciation. Today’s finest northern Italian whites include the best Chardonnays and the indigenous grape Pignoletto. The local expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon differ significantly from the red wines of Bordeaux and even those of Bolgheri further south. Beyond the tried and tested favorites of supermarkets and large retail stores, there is originality to discover here.


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James lawrence

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