Emilia-Romagna Wine Regions Guide

Where Ancient Vines Meet Modern Mastery

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Last updated: May 20, 2024

Introduction

On paper, at least, the hills, plains, and slopes of Emilia-Romagna should be a paradise for the ambitious winegrower. Spanning almost the entire width of the northern Italian peninsula and bordered by Tuscany to the south and Veneto to the north, the region has been in the wine business for over 2600 years; this is the principal home of Lambrusco, Italy’s famous – or is that infamous? – sparkling red wine and many appellations range from the widely recognized to the barely known. In terms of soils and topography, Emilia-Romagna also provides endless opportunities to make appetizing wine: winemakers cultivate a wide variety of grape varieties in the zone, including Sangiovese, Trebbiano di Romagna, and Pigmoletto, in addition to a smattering of international names like Merlot and Chardonnay. All the cards appear, therefore, to be in order.

Yet, despite the challenges, Emilia-Romagna’s wine industry has shown remarkable resilience. In the 1990s, the region had earned a somewhat dreary reputation as a source of very average (sometimes undrinkable) wine. This reputation was not entirely undeserved: many of the region’s co-operatives concentrated heavily on bulk shipping, while lesser clones of Sangiovese did no favors to the area’s international standing.  However, as the global market for plonk continues to shrink in the 21st century, more and more producers are stepping up their game. Today, some of the best Sangiovese reds outside of Tuscany are made in the hills west of Forli, and even Lambrusco is now back in vogue. It’s a testament to the region’s determination and commitment to quality. Rejoice: Emilia-Romagna is now producing some very respectable drops.

Emilia Romagna Wine Regions Map

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James lawrence

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