Wines of Emilia Romagna and Umbria, Italy
The farthest North in Central Italy finds Emilia Romagna. Bordering Lombardy to the north and Tuscany to the south, Emilia Romagna is the food capital of Italy blessed with moderate climate and topography. The soil is fertile thanks to the 7 rivers that snake through the region enriching the lands with natural minerals and nutrients.
Emilia Romagna is rather known for its foods, world renowned delicacies such as Balsamic Vinegar, Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese and the irresistible Prosciutoo di Parma; when it comes wines, unfortunately nothing is found to be of significance.
Albana di Romagna is a widely accessible white wine in East of Emilia, a very simple wine with little personality other than high acidity, a good touch when pairing with food. For red wine, Sangiovese di Romagna is quite popular, made with clone of Sangiovese grape. Even when made by the best producers, the wine is just decent; nowhere near the quality of those from Tuscany or Brunello.
Closer to Piedmont, on the westside of Emilia finds home of Italy’s beloved Lambrusco. A very refreshing wine and easy to dink, Lambrusco is zippy, high in acidity making it ideal for food. It is a red wine that bubbles. Although it is nowhere near the bubble count of Champagne’s, Lambrusco however has enough body and structure even for meaty pasta dishes. The locals like them red; generally white and Rose Lambrusco are made for the export markets.
Surrounding the medieval town of Orvieto, a white wine is perhaps Umbria’s most celebrated wine. Orvieto is made primarily with Trebbiano grape along with Malvasia, Verdello and few other native grapes resulting in a elegant wine, with pleasant acidity laid backbone for beautiful notes of floral, apricot and peach.
There are two rather different styles of red wine in Umbira, Torgiano Rosso Riserva and Sagrantino di Montefalco. Torgiano is a more traditional wine, similar to those of Chianti, made from Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Trebbiano. On the other hand, Sagrantino di Montefalco is strong, bold and very structured.