Emilia-Romagna is a region with a very simple and homogeneous geography: for all its width, in fact, the upper half is plain, the lower half is Appennine. Used to observe the big regions of northern Italy, this may seem special because all its rivers flow from south to north. This natural “countertendency” is the starting point to analyze its oenological vocation which, almost to paraphrase the orography of its territory, is also in countertendency with respect to the nearby realities. Its wines, especially the reds, differ (and are noted) for their freshness, the sparkling and the low propensity to the smoothness of aging. No structure, no muscles, no firmness.
The climate is mostly continental, with cold winters and hot summers, and acquires Mediterranean features as you approach the coast. While in the plains the seasons are characterized by a strong humidity (which in winter becomes fog), the Adriatic side, thanks to the favorable sea breezes, enjoys milder temperatures.
The viticulture develops in a long band that starts from Piacenza hills, on the border with the area of Oltrepò Pavese in Lombardy, and arrives up to the border with Marche, tracing the famous Via Aemilia. Almost to further emphasize its whimsiness compared to other regional traditions, for a large part it is developed in the plains, even enhancing an extreme situation in the province of Ferrara, where the vines grow directly in the salt sand.
Among the black berry varieties, Sangiovese and the numerous Lambrusco family (the most cultivated are Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Grasparossa and Lambrusco di Borsara), whose productions are also known outside the region, are the most cultivated. Among the white grapes, the most used vine is the Trebbiano Romagnolo.
Native and local varieties
- 2% Merlot ♦
- 2% Cabernet Sauvignon ♦
- 1% Chardonnay ♦
- 1% Sauvignon ♦
- 1% Pinot bianco ♦
- population: 4.450.798 (2018)
- area: 22.452 km²
- mountains 25% / hills 27% / plains 48%
- 2017: 49.880 hectares (+1%)
- 2016: 49.627 hectares (-2%)
- 2015: 50.518 hectares
- 2017: 5.457.014 hectoliters - 109,4 hectoliters/hectare (-24%)
- 2016: 7.164.589 hectoliters - 144,4 hectoliters/hectare (+5%)
- 2015: 6.840.784 hectoliters - 135,4 hectoliters/hectare
- DOCG and DOC wines 25% / IGT wines 42% / generic wines 33%
- red wines 49% / white wines 51%
Source: Istat 2018
On the basis of the individual territorial vocations it is possible to divide the Emilia-Romagna region into five areas, almost with geometrical precision.
The first, in the most western area, corresponds to the provinces of Piacenza and Parma. Here you can feel the nearness of the nearby Oltrepò Pavese, both in the use of “not much” Emilian vines - such as Barbera and Bonarda - and in the way of making wine. An example is Gutturnio DOC, a red wine with muscular connotations. Another important local denomination is Ortrugo dei Colli Piacentini DOC, which enhances a white wine based on the vine of the same name.
Traveling along the ancient Via Aemilia towards the east, in the provinces of Reggio nell'Emilia and Modena, the wine changes its appearance, acquiring the freshness and the vivacity that delineate the characteristics of a good part of the regional wine production. Lambrusco grapes are valued in the homonymous names - Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC, Lambrusco Grasparossa DOC and Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce DOC - but also in the macro-denomination Reggiano DOC.
In the province of Bologna there is another change of landscape: for the red wines, the main protagonists are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, present in the denomination Colli di Bologna DOC and, for the whites, a native vine called Pignoletto emerges, also giving the name to two designations: Pignoletto DOC and Colli Bolognesi Pignoletto DOCG.
Further to the east, in Romagna, the main grapes are Albana, Trebbiano Romagnolo and Sangiovese. In the first case, it is valued in the Romagna Albana DOCG denomination, otherwise there are other denominations among which we mention the Romagna DOC.
Finally, it should not be forgotten the designation Bosco Eliceo DOC, north of Ravenna, whose particularity is that develops on a moist, sandy and salty soil, giving us wines with a strong personality.
- Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto ♦
- Romagna Albana ♦
- Bosco Eliceo ♦♦
- Colli bolognesi ♦♦
- Colli d'Imola ♦♦
- Colli di Faenza ♦♦♦
- Colli di Parma ♦♦
- Colli di Rimini ♦♦
- Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa ♦♦♦
- Colli Piacentini ♦♦
- Colli Romagna Centrale ♦♦
- Gutturnio ♦
- Lambrusco di Sorbara ♦♦
- Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro ♦♦
- Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce ♦♦
- Modena / Di Modena ♦♦♦
- Ortrugo dei Colli Piacentini ♦
- Pignoletto ♦
- Reggiano ♦♦♦
- Reno ♦
- Romagna ♦♦
- Bianco di Castelfranco Emilia ♦
- Emilia / Dell'Emilia ♦♦♦
- Forlì ♦♦♦
- Fortana del Taro ♦
- Ravenna ♦♦♦
- Rubicone ♦♦♦
- Sillaro / Bianco del Sillaro ♦
- Terre di Veleja ♦♦♦
- Val Tidone ♦♦