The region’s most important wine is probably the white Albana. Initially a controversial wine, it was the first DOCG in Italy. It can produce curious white wines with plenty of mineral character. With age they can take on extra nutty flavours. It’s not always easy to produce good Albana and there are plenty of poor examples floating around.
The other wine of importance for the region is Lambrusco and its various interpretations. Internationally Lambrusco is misunderstood. It is often dismissed as a cheap fizzy red. In Italy however there is a growing movement of very serious producers crafting Lambrusco as a serious food wine.
One of the oldest DOCs in Emilia Romagna, the hills around Bologna, or the Colli Bolognesi are home to range of different wine styles. Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon are behind the majority of red wines in the area while Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco are common white wines.
Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa DOC is home to a wide range of grape varieties. While Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were popular there is growing interest in local grapes such as Marzemino and the various Lambrusco varieties.
Colli Piacentini DOC produces a large amount of wine from an extensive list of grape varieties that are typical to the wider Emilia Romagna region. Chardonnay is important here, but local grapes such as Ortrugo and Croatina are gaining in popularity.
Ortrugo dei Colli Piacentini DOC, produced from the white Ortrugo variety in the dry and infertile hills of Piacenza is one of Italy’s most curious wines. Although overlooked for many years in favour of the more aromatic Mavasia varieties, Ortrugo is making a bit of a comeback.
The white wines of Pignoletto are produced with the Pignoletto grape, also known as Grechetto di Todi in Umbria. It often appears as a still wine, although plenty of producers make both frizzante and spumante versions. Some producers use the sub zones of Colli d’Iola, Modena and Reno on the labels.