Spanning almost the entire width (some 240km) of the Northern Italian Peninsula, Emilia-Romagna is one of the country’s most prolific wine regions, with over 58,000 hectares under vine and two coasts between which it is sandwiched. Large? Yes. Diverse? Even more so. With a viticultural history dating back to the 7th Century BC, Emilia-Romagna wines enjoy one of the country’s longest, and most varied, histories – its vines having been introduced by the Etruscans and later adopted by the Romans who use the Via Aemilia road to transport wines between its own cities, and between the North and South of the country.

Geographically, Emilia-Romagna is blessed with technicoloured terroirs, from the rolling hills and Apennine Peaks in the West, the lower-lying plains east of Parma and Bologna, and the coastal plains of the Ferrara province to the River Po flowing West to East in the North, designating the region’s northern border and linking the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea.

Viticulturally, Emilia-Romagna wines have a varied ancestry. Historically, the vitis labrusca species dominated (as opposed to the vitis vinifera from which the majority of known grape varieties derive) and it’s from here that the region’s famous Lambrusco varieties were born, producing a deep, cherry red and lightly sparkling wine – a speciality that’s hard to beat when enjoyed alongside the region’s cornucopian cuisine (Aceto aBalsamico, Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma anyone?). Today Emilia-Romagna wines are best known for local varieties, with Bonardo, Barbera and Sangiovese characterising Emilia-Romagnan red wines and Albana, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Famoso the whites (to name a few).

Emilia-Romagna is a melting pot of Etruscan and Roman influence – the first brought butter, the latter olive oil. The resulting wine culture is one of diversity, locality and culinary compliment.

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