So you have decided to visit Emilia-Romagna on the Gulf of Venice coast. This region is large enough to border six other Italian regions as well as the tiny country of San Marino. Emilia-Romagna is known for its food, not particularly its wine. Three of the local specialties are the uncooked ham Prosciutto, balsamic vinegar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. But thatís not all; Emilia-Romagna is widely considered to be the capital of Italian gastronomy.
Letís take a quick tour. Rimini is a popular coastal resort town, made famous in Felliniís 1973 movie Amaracord. Bologna, right in the center, is the birthplace of Tortellini and home to one of Europeís oldest Universities. Student or not, check out the wine bars especially the Godot Wine Bar right near the Piazza Santo Stefano. Then head north to Ferrara, also featured in a film, Da Sicaís 1971 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. In addition to the usual complement of castles, churches, palaces, make sure to tour the medieval Via delle Volte and, if youíre into museums, the Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum). End your tour at the Osteria al Brindisi, Europeís oldest wine bar, founded in 1435. Heading northwest youíll come to Modena, home of balsamic vinegar, Ferrari and Maserati sports cars. The old city has a fine Duomo (Cathedral) and what may be the worldís oldest delicatessen, Salumeria Giusti, founded in 1605. Parma still retains a French influence. Itís home to two of the regionís major three culinary treats, Parmesan cheese and Prosciutto ham. Make sure to stop by the Piazza Garibaldi.
Emilia-Romagna is associated with one of Italyís best-known wine scandals. The Albana di Romagna DOCG was the first white wine to be awarded this top of the line wine designation where the G stands for Garantita. In the interest of full disclosure I have never tasted this wine. But this designation is very widely described as controversial at best. The sweet wine is considered better, but it pricey. Among the reds look for Barbarossa-based wines, Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC and Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce DOC. Although most imported Lambrusco is frizzy red, this grape family is vinified in a variety of red, rosť, and white styles. While the Emilia-Romagna food can be great, you may accompany it with wines from other Italian regions.
Common white grape varieties include the local Albana and Pignoletto, the Italian Malvasia and Trebbiano, and the international Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Common red varieties include the local Bonarda, the Italian Barbera and Sangiovese, and the international Cabernet Sauvignon.
Companies selling wine tours of Emilia-Romagna include Select Italy, Emilia Delizia, Bologna Wine Tours, and Wine Tour Italia. Emilia-Romagna wineries that accept visits and provide lodgings (agriturismo) include Azienda Agricola Montevecchio Isolani in Monte San Pietro and Azienda Agricola Gaggioli Ė Vigneto Bagazzana in Zola Predosa.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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Wine tours, wine vacations, wine holidays in Emilia-Romagna, Italy