Emilia-Romagna is a rich, fertile region of northern Italy, and one of the country's most prolific wine regions with more than 58,000 hectares.
Emilia-Romagna's viticultural heritage dates back as far as the seventh century BC, 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 vine varieties used here for many centuries were of the Vitis labrusca species rather than the Vitis vinifera used around the world today. Emilia-Romagna's famous Lambrusco varieties are derived from the Vitis labrusca species.
Today, about 15 percent of wine produced in Emilia-Romagna falls under the region's 20 or so DOC titles, and only a tiny fraction under its two DOCGs. This is much higher than Italy's prolific southern regions such as Puglia and Sicily, where that figure is closer to four percent.
Emilia-Romagna's wine production is divided evenly between whites and reds, the dominant vine varieties being Malvasia and Lambrusco, Trebbiano, Barbera, Bonarda and of course Sangiovese. A large percentage of these grapes are used to produce sparkling wines, either frizzante or spumante, of which the most notable are from the five Lambrusco DOCs of Salamino di Santa Croce, di Sorbara, Grasparossa di Castelvetra, Modena and Reggiano. Despite its wide portfolio of well-known Italian and international varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanco and Cabernet Sauvignon are used both in varietal wines and blends), Emilia-Romagna’s uniqueness comes from its rare local DOC wines. (© Wine-Searcher)