Emilia Romagna is the Region where top Italian products and names are born. Starting from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Parma Ham finished with Ferrari and Lamborghini and anything else you wish for. The region offers a sensual blend of both natural and cultural wonders: Marvelous renaissances monuments, UNESCO heritage sites, seaside rivieras, national parks and of course superstar gastronomy together with its vibrant wines.
58 000 hectares are under vine in Emilia-Romagna, almost half of them in the plain. Not quite 5 million hectoliters of wine are produced. One of the most famous grape varieties of the region is the Lambrusco, which is mainly sweet and sparkling developed around Modena.
Two-thirds are in the large alluvial soil, but the best areas are in the hills on the southern border at the foot of the Apennines. The area of Emilia is mainly known for frizzante and spumante, the pearling or sparkling red and rosé wines from different Lambrusco varieties, which are largely produced as tasty and young to drink mass wines.
Lambrusco is the most renowned wine from Emilia-Romagna. Name of Lambrusco covers red sparkling wines as well as around 60 grape varieties that wine is made from. However, the most common grapes varieties are Lambrusco Salamino and Lambrusco Grasparossa.
A Lil’ History: The history of winegrowing in Emilia-Romagna goes back to the Etruscan era as finds at Faenza confirm. In the Middle Ages, a number of vines such as Lambrusco, Sangiovese or Pignatello were already of national importance. International varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have also been present in the region since the 19th century.
Explore Emilia-Romagna wine region and its wines, which can do much more than the reputation that Lambrusco has given them from days gone by.
Discover the secrets of Lambrusco
Visit Roncolo 1888 Venturini Baldini Winery founded in 1976 and discover the secrets of Lambrusco winemaking. Besides, you will also have the chance to learn more about Balsamic vinegar production since the estate has historic vinegar factory.
The wine region of Emilia-Romagna also finds success in producing red wines from Sangiovese grape variety. Sangiovese is the most wide-spread Italian grape variety producing wonderful wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti and Montepulciano. In Emilia-Romagna wine region red wines from Sangiovese express the style in Sangiovese di Romagna DOC with red-violet colour, berry aromas and silky tannins.
Among the red wines, you can also find the Barbera that can deliver appealing and straight red wines there.
In addition to Sangiovese and Lambrusco, Pinot Noir plays an important role among the red grape varieties in Emilia-Romagna. In the meantime, growers also have international varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in their portfolio.
Appellations: The nine IGT (or IGP) areas of the region are Bianco di Castelfranco Emilia, Emilia or dell’ Emilia, Forlì, Fortana del Taro, Ravenna, Rubicone, Sillaro or Bianco del Sillaro, Terre di Veleja, and Val Tidone. Italy’s first white wine classified as DOCG was the Albana di Romagna. The 20 DOC / DOCG zones account for around 25% of production.
White Wines of Emilia-Romagna Wine Region
White wines in Emilia-Romagna are mostly made from the Trebbiano, which you can taste during a visit in Folicello Societa Agricola, and Malvasia varieties, which are usually light, subtly fruity and fresh wines that should be drunk young.
Italy’s first white wine classified as DOCG (Albana di Romagna) even comes from local winemakers. This white wine is from the Albana grape and also offered in a sweet variety of rosined grapes. Tenuta Neri Giovanni e Valeria produces wine with this fabulous grape variety.
Grape varieties: The most widespread red grape varieties are Barbera, Sangiovese, Lambrusco and Cabernet Sauvignon. As for white grapes, Malvasia, Albana, Trebbiano occupy main vineyards as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from international varietals.
Wineries You Can Visit
There is a lot to explore in this exclusive corner of Italy. Discover all the wineries in Emilia-Romagna that will introduce you to the local wines, grape varieties, and tell you story how they make it.
Top 3 Cities to Visit if You are in Emilia – Romagna
Modena – Home to Most Iconic Brand Names
Modena is located about 40 kilometres northwest of Bologna and is in dispute with the capital for a cause. Both cities claim to have invented the tortellini. In fact: in both cities, they taste delicious! In addition, the treasure of Modena is also a culinary highlight: a very long matured grape vinegar, which is an indispensable part of high-quality gastronomy today. Be sure to taste!
But there is also a lot to discover culturally, Modena as a city embraces art, music and culture. The Palazzo Ducale is a gigantic palace that served as the residence of the Este family. Until today, the Accademia Militare is housed there and the garden can be visited.
Don’t miss stunning Piazza Grande and Romanesque Cathedral of San Geminiano with its bell tower Ghirlandina, which is the landmark of Modena.
Tip: What about an aperitivoin front of the Palazzo? So you can enjoy a glass of wine and admire the architecture.
Although there are many people on bicycles, Modena is home to two major car brands: Ferrari and Lamborghini. In the Enzo Ferrari Museum, you can experience fast luxury cars once very close and listen to how it all started.
Parma – Scent of Parmigano Reggiano and Prosciutto
The old town of Parma is quite compact, so everything can be explored on foot.
The car-free Cathedral Square with the Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the octagonal baptistery made of pink marble forms a unique architectural ambience and is rightly the pride of the city. Here you should begin a walk to explore the city.
The Piazza Della Pace is lined with the massive Pillota Palace, built in the late 16th century. Today, there are museums, a library and the art gallery of the University of Parma.
Right next door is Piazza Ghiaia, where the market has been located since the 12th century. Perfect for buying Parmesan and Parma ham. Market days are Wednesday and Saturday.
Another must-see in Parma is Piazza Garibaldi, the elegant meeting place of the citizens of Parma, with its numerous bars, cafes, and restaurants, set against the backdrop of the former government palace (Palazzo del Governatore).
Piacenza – Hidden Beauty
In the northwest of Emilia-Romagna Piacenza is located. Although the city is the provincial capital and with more than 100,000 inhabitants not that small, almost nobody knows Piacenza. But that should change because the city is really worth seeing.
Here you can admire many beautiful palazzi left in the city from noble wealthy families that lived here in ancient times.
The most important street in the old town is Via XX Settembre. This connects the Piazza del Cavalli with the cathedral and houses many shops and cafes. It’s a pleasure to go through. In any case, one should look up from time to time to avoid missing a lovely balcony and a beautiful facade.
You can also discover one of the largest and most beautiful Romanesque church, The Cattedrale di Piacenza, which is not just a church, but it also has great historical and artistic importance.
Don’t hesitate to explore surroundings of Piacenza, where you discover ancient town and villages.
For Nature Lovers
Versatile landscape of Emilia-Romagna
If you like walking or simply being surrounded by nature, you should definitely visit the south of Emilia-Romagna. Here are the northern foothills of Italy’s longest mountain range, with wooded hills, pretty mountain villages and numerous spas where you can swim in warm thermal water. Discover the top 3 Natural places of Emilia-Romagna.
National Park Foreste Casentinesi – The Green Heart
To the southeast, on the border with Tuscany, lies the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, with the Ridracoli Reservoir, along which beautiful hiking trails stretch. Numerous animals can be found here, including deer, wolves, foxes and various species of birds and amphibians. If you do not like running, you can also sail with an electric boat across the lake or take part in a canoe tour.
Po-Delta Park – The Largest Regional Park in Italy
The Po Delta Park is one of the most important wetlands in Europe, haunted by nature lovers, biologists, and birdwatchers for its unique features: over 52,000 hectares divided between the provinces of Ferrara and Ravenna, with exceptional biodiversity and from the beginning of spring the scene of many environmental-related events, and much more.
The Po Delta Park has granted the status of UNESCOBiosphere Reserve because of the exeptional biodiversity.
Alta Via dei Parchi – A Hike Full of Nature Treasures
Wonderful views welcome hikers and nature lovers on the longest trekking path of the Emilia-Romagna Apennines.
Along this path with its wide panoramas, wild landscapes, and historical trails, one comes to discover the nature and culture of the formerly protected areas.
The trail stretches for about 500 km on the mountains of the Apennines between Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Tuscany, and includes most of the treasures of these places, from the ice zones and the lakes surrounded by the green prairies to the vast forests and the wild clear river, from the volcanic rocks to the cliffs of gypsum.
The road starts in Berceto, in the province of Parma and goes up to the Verna rock in the province of Forlì-Cesena and through the province of Rimini to the mountain Carpegna.
Flavours of Emilia-Romagna Food Heaven
It is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best Italian, cuisine: many of the local foods are known far beyond the country’s borders.
Hardly any Italian region is richer in home-made pasta dishes: there are so many different types of pasta, fillings, and names for the many dishes: Tortelli, tortellini, ravioli cappelletti, Anolini or gnocchi. This list could take a whole page.
Sliced Parma ham
But it’s not only about pasta, but Emilia Romagna is also home to top Italian gastronomical products such as Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto of Parma, Bolognese sauce and many more.
Anyone staying in this region in June should not miss the Festa dei rivoltoni in Granaglione, in the province of Bologna. At this feast, free tortellini and ravioli with ricotta and parsley filling are sprinkled with butter or minced meat sauce and grated parmesan.
Tortellini al Brodo – Tortellini in a Broth
Tortellini al Brodo is part of the traditional cuisine of northern Italy. This was already 1550 part of the menu for the inauguration of the Tribune of the Senate in Bologna. And did you know it? The tortellini was served exclusively in soup until World War II. How did it come to that special form?
The history of Bologna begins with a cook in love. He was spying on a beautiful Marquise who had taken a room in the inn. Through the keyhole, he caught a glimpse of her belly button. He could not get it out of his mind and when he made the pasta for dinner, his hands formed small belly buttons out of dough.
These navels are filled in Emilia-Romagna with a mixture of veal, mortadella, ham, and Parmesan and then cooked in a broth, which is then eaten as a soup.
Brodetto – A Dish from the Adriatic Coast
The Brodetto is thick fish soup and is poured in this variant for serving over slices of bread placed in the soup plates.
The Brodetto was born out of necessity when Adriatic fishermen were trying to use the catch, which was hard to sell due to its low quality or too small dimensions. As always, every town on the coast has its own little variation, but it does not fundamentally change the basic recipe, which is characterized by using different qualities of naturally fresh fish, which vary according to the season. The broth consists of tomatoes, vinegar, onions and spices.
Zuppa Inglese – the Italian Biscuit Dessert
The basis of the Zuppa Inglese is – similar to the Tiramisu – sponge biscuits, which are drizzled with liqueur, classically Alchermes, but also rum, sambuca or dessert wines such as Marsala. In contrast to its espresso-containing Venetian counterpart, the Zuppa is prepared with candied fruits such as melons, quinces or apricots. The dessert is often prepared in variants with chocolate cream, more rarely with coffee or cinnamon.
Calabria is a jewel on the toe of Italy. Calabria has a large number of wineries that offer wine tasting and tour. Visit our website to book beautiful wine-filled experiences and learn more about the wine region.