travel and food finds in and around Bologna
The Emilia-Romagna region has a growing relevance in the world of Italian wines. It produces 15% of Italian wine and has seen a steady increase in exports, with the biggest markets represented by Germany, the United States, England, Switzerland, and increasingly Russia, China and Brasil.
To understand how the production of wine has evolved here, you need to understand how Emilia and Romagna, which together form the region, experienced two different conquest histories. Emilia was settled by Barbarian populations, whose diet relied heavily on butter and pork meat; these leave a sensation of fatness in the mouth, which can be balanced out by a sparkling wine; in fact, Emilia is a big producer and exporter of sparkling wines. Romagna, on the other hand, was colonized by the Romans, who used olive oil, which leaves an oily, not fatty, sensation in the mouth, needing wine with a certain structure to restore balance of flavors in the mouth. This also explains why food and wine pairing is so important!
PRIMARY TYPES OF WINES
Below is a list of the main wines by geographic area, but be aware that there are many variations on the same vine and smaller productions as well.
1. Colli Piacentini: the hills and valleys around Piacenza, in the north-western tip of the region. The two most important wines produced here are:
2. Colli di Parma: proceeding south along the Via Emilia, the old Roman road that cuts the region diagonally, we encounter the enchanting hills around Parma, between the Enza and Stirano rivers. The main wines around here are:
3. Parma, Reggio Emilia and Modena: further south along the via Emilia, we find the lands of:
4. Colli Bolognesi: the hills around Bologna, in the central part of the region.
5. Romagna: this is the area occupying the south-eastern portion, characterized by hills where some of the most famous wines of the region are produced, including:
(Source: Vini dell’Emilia-Romagna by Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna)
Want to learn more? Visit Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna. This association has been promoting the wines of Emilia-Romagna since 1978 and has a beautiful, well-stocked wine cellar in the basement of a 13th-century fortress (Rocca Sforzesca) in the village of Dozza, 35 minutes from Bologna.
What’s your favorite Emilia-Romagna wine?