Emilia Romagna is a region that is made for winemaking. With a combination of its ancient history and modern innovation, Emilia-Romagnan wines have fostered their own distinct identity recognizable by people around the world.
The region’s landscape allows it to have a diverse wine portfolio, from the lively sparkling and still wines of the plains to the more complex and full bodied wines of the hills and mountains of the region. All of these wineries and winemakers have a passion and commitment to producing world class wines, their work is supported by Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna which for the last 40 years has been the agency dedicated to the promotion of these wines on an international level.
Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna is focused on innovative marketing and communication activities in order to promote the territories, identities and personalities that have always made Emilia Romagna great.
Pierluigi Sciolette and Ambrogio Manzi, respectively President and Director of Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna, confirm that “all wine producers of Emilia Romagna are extremely committed to raising the quality of their wines. To give credit to these efforts we have decided to raise the bar in our promotional activities to ‘regenerate’ our region”.
The evolution in Emilia Romagna’s wine-growing activities has seen a shift towards a culture of natural and healthy living and has been embracing ideals such as of sustainability, ethics and respect for the environment. “On this front, we are the first in Italy to prioritize the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the vineyards in order to promote enotourism activities aimed at Italian tourists and foreigners looking to support socially responsible wineries”.
Emilia Romagna is home to a variety of renowned wine denominations in each of its 6 wine-producing provinces, some highlights include Albana and Sangiovese in Romagna, Pignoletto in Bologna, Fortana in Ferrara, Lambrusco in Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma, Malvasia in Parma and Piacenza, and Gutturnio in Piacenza.
In addition to participating in the major international wine fairs, the Enoteca Regionale is implementing innovative projects dedicated to the world of wine called “Emilia Romagna a tutto campo“. The initiative created in collaboration with the world’s top sommelier, Luca Gardini was conceived in the “In Cantina” format and includes a restaurant, wine shop, food and wine store dedicated exclusively to regional food and wine, a pilot project has already been implemented in Frankfurt. The Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna headquarters, located in the village of Rocca Sforzesca di Dozza is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The headquarters hosts a permanent exhibition of about 1,000 wines from Emilia Romagna and offers tasting and training courses , as well as direct sale of wines to the public on their website www.enotecaemiliaromagna.it
To discuss Enoteca Regionale’s activities in more detail, we spoke to their director, Ambrogio Manzi.
With more than 1000 wines made in the region, which indigenous vines of the region do you think are most appreciated in the world today? Can you describe them?
Surely, in my opinion it has to be the Pignoletto wine which, can be produced as a still or sparkling wine. The wine has a greenish yellow to straw yellow colour and has a fruity and floral taste. As a sparking wine it is excellent to pair with an aperitif or with appetizers with fish or meat and as a still wine it is great for pasta dishes or with aged cheeses and desserts
Based on your experience, which “Made Emilia Romagna” wine will have the biggest impact on the North American market?
In general, It would definitely be Lambrusco. Lambrusco is already known as among the best-selling wines in the world, but with a focus to make the wine less sweet it will now have a stronger appeal to international customers. In particular, Lambrusco di Sorbara with its rosy colour and fresh, lively taste will be very popular and is great when combined with an aperitif or a rich appetizer and main course. However, Lambrusco comes in many forms and the other varietals will also have strong appeal.
Also, our red wines from Romagna DOC such as the Sangiovese or Gutturnio dei Colli Piacentini are very popular, we have particularly seen that Sangiovese di Romagna red wine is selling very well in Canada especially in Quebec and Ontario.
The wines of Emilia Romagna are excellent accompaniments for food. Can you tell us a bit about the most unusual associations between wines from your region and dishes from other countries that you have experienced?
Since our region produces white, red and rosé wines that are still, sparkling, sweet and dry, we have a varied selection of wines that can be accompanied by many different types of food.
For richer foods, we tend to combine them with acidic wines such as Lambrusco. With spicy dishes, we try to make combinations by choosing strong fragrant wines such as Pignoletto, Albana di Romagna DOCG or Malvasia from the hills of Parma. In other cases, we try to combine food with sweet, softer wines to counteract the spicy food, some of these wines include Gutturnio, Sangiovese or Burson.