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Emilia-Romagna is the hyphenated name for the two provinces which meet at the capital Bologna in northern Italy. It’s a long, narrow region surrounded by the Marche, Toscano, Liguria, Lombardy and the Veneto. It’s one of Italy’s oldest regions, dating back to the time of the Etruscans in the 7th century BC. Once the Romans settled here, they took things a step further and built the Via Aemilia (hence the name) to transport wine between cities. 

In all, there are 22 DOC titles in Emilia-Romagna, and two DOCG’s: Albana di Romagna (more on that below) and Colli Bolognese Classico Pignoletto. The region, as the hyphenated name suggests, splits into two sections Emilia and Romagna. 
 
The Vitis lambrusca (as opposed to the more common Vitis vinifera) planted here by these ancient cultures are the signature grapes of the Emilia section of the region. Lambrusco is the lightly sparkling red or pink wine produced around Modena and Reggio near the Po river. The four Lambrusco DOCs are Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Lambrusco Salamino di Sante Croce, Lambrusco di Modena and Lambrusco di Sorbara. While the sweeter, “amabile” versions were the norm outside of Italy for a long time, more quality dry Lambruscos have made it to the import market in recent years. Definitely try one with your next takeout pizza. 
 
White wines in Emilia from the slopes of the Appenines to the south are produced from Malvasia, Trebbiano and Ortrugo, and reds with Bonarda and Barbera. Most of these tend to be light and slightly frizzante. In the DOC’s Colli di Parma, Colli Piacentini and Colli Bolognesi, focus shifts toward production of international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. 
 
In Romagna, the Sangiovese is cultivated to be young, bold and fruity, with some productions of Riserva with more depth and complexity. Whites are produced from Trebbiano and Albana, which is the white grape of the DOCG Albana di Romagna, characterized by a finish reminiscent of roasted almonds. Alabana is also produced as spumante and a sweet passito (made from dried grapes) style. 
 
Other examples of wines made from grapes unique to the region: red Canigna di Romagana DOC, Bosco Eliceo DOC made from the Fontana (Brugnolo) grape and the white Pagadebit di Romagna DOC. ~Amanda Schuster
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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