A Taste of Emilia-Romagna

Free tasting | Saturday, September 14, 2019 | 4-6PM


Let’s take a little road trip in our little Fiat 500 all the way to the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Now, what to know about the Emilia-Romagna? Firstly, it’s impossible to leave a meal in Emilia-Romagna with a growling stomach. It’s legit one of the foodiest foodie cities of the world. Secondly, as we road trip through this region, expect lots of pulling off to the side of road for oohing and ahhing at the endless rolling hills with a perfect light breeze that teases flowers of all colors against clear skies. Oh, Italy, we love you so. 

Emilia-Romagna is THE region of food. The capitol city of Bologa even translates into the eventual result of gorging yourself, or ‘the fat one!’ Parmigiano-Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, and Prosciutto di Parma are all cultural staples here. So, perhaps you understand why locals want something light and fresh to wash all of that rich food down. Enter Lambrusco! 


If you’re making a face at the word Lambrusco and picturing something sickly sweet, well, that isn’t traditional Lambrusco. Picture a wine that is frizzante (slightly sparkling) with acidity and notes that vary from floral to plum. When shopping for Lambrusco, pay attention to the grape; Lambrusco is the name of the grape but confusingly enough there are 13 different grape varietals named Lambrusco! The grapes we’re showcasing for Saturday’s tasting is from one of the most prevalent grapes types called Lambrusco di Sorbara, which is known for its floral and strawberry qualities. But, Lambrusco can also be made into a white sparkling wine! The Lambrusco bianco that we’re serving is made by winemaker Christian Bellei and boasts lemony notes. Buyer’s tip: if you’d like a Lambrusco with more tannin and body, try one from the grape Lambrusco Grasparossa!

So, why do Americans think of Lambrusco as sweet? In 1967, a huge cooperative named Riunite Lambrusco introduced the U.S.A. to their sweet Lambrusco, and by 1976 Riunite became the #1 imported wine brand in the United States. Riunite held this #1 slot for the next 26 years. Crazy, right? However, traditional Lambrusco is savory and dry. 

This region is split into two (geographically and historically speaking - Emilia-Romagna used to be two separate regions) with Emilia growing Lambrusco grapes for sparkling and other international varieties in the west and Romagna growing indigenous grape varieties for still wines in the east. There isn’t a lot of still wine produced in Romagna yet but the ones that are being made, from the producer of La Stoppa for example, are absolutely delicious. A special component of Emilia-Romagna’s landscape is the proximity to the Po River. The Po River makes the region’s soil super fertile, and good wine comes from grapes who had to fight tooth and nail for their nutrients.

Come on by on Saturday to try a line-up of delicious Emilia-Romagna wines. We’ll have some Parm and Prosciutto close by too! Cin cin!

A Taste of Emilia-Romagna Line-up:


2016 La Stoppa Trebbiolo Rosso

Who: Elena Pantaleoni and Giulio Ageno

What: Barbera and Bonarda

Where: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

How: These grapes were harvested by hand and were fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Farming Method: Organic 

Fun Fact: Despite having the same name, these Bonarda grapes are not related to Bonarda grapes grown in Argentina BUT instead to the Italian variety, Croatina!

Tasting Notes: Juicy and spicy with playful cherry and juniper notes. Also, like a Italian dirt road leading to paradiso.


2014 La Stoppa Ageno

Who: Elena Pantaleoni and Giulio Ageno

What: Blend of Malvasia, Ortrugo, and Trebbiano

Where: Emilia-Romagna, Italy  

How: These grapes were fermented with native yeasts in tank and spent 3-6 months macerating on the skins. Then the wine was aged in a combination of barrique and stainless steel for a year, and then was aged in bottle for an additional two years before release. Mamma mia!

Farming Method: Organic  

Fun Fact: The name of this wine, Ageno, comes from the original owner of this estate, Giancarlo Ageno.

Tasting Notes: A full-bodied super orange wine for all you orange wine lovers out there. Smooth, luscious tannins with notes of white blossoms and tangerines. 


NV Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara 

Who: Mauro and Anselmo Chiarli

What: Lambrusco di Sorbara

Where: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

How: Fermented in pressurized tanks with Charmat Method.

Farming Method:Organic

Fun Fact: Cleto Chiarli founded his winery in 1860, after he created a fan base with his homemade Lambrusco served only at his restaurant in Modena, Osteria dell’Artigliere. Also, Chiarli is the oldest producer of wines from the Emilia-Romagna!

Tasting Notes: Utterly charming! This Lambrusco bustles with acidity and strawberry notes. And the cork is weird and fun to pop off at parties or table side. 


2013 Cantina della Volta Bianco Lambrusco

Who: Christian Bellei

What: Lambrusco di Sorbara

Where: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

How: These grapes are hand harvested and once pressed the juice is immediately removed from the skins. The wine is then aged for 34 months on its lees.

Farming Method: Organic

Fun Fact: This is the region of speed and luxury - Lamborghini, Ducati, and Ferrari all have their factories here.

Tasting Notes: Lemon curd and lime with gorgeous acidity. Pair. With. Parm. 


2018 Adesso Cagnina di Romagna 

Who: A cooperative called Le Roche Malatestiane

What: Refosco 

Where: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

How: TBD

Farming Method: TBD

Fun Fact: Adesso means ‘now’ in Italian.

What It Tastes Like: As sweet as a puppy with notes of raspberries and almonds.