Italian Indigenous Varieties: Colombana Nera from Emilia-Romagna & Tuscany


Colombana Nera is a red grape variety grown in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, primarily although it is also permitted in the Denominazione Controllata (D.O.C.) wine from Colli di Luni in Southern Liguria. It is a vigorous variety when it grows unchecked. It has a thick skin but produces a light colored wine oddly enough. It was also used as a table grape. Rather than being associated with San Colombano al Lambro, the only D.O.C. wine in Milan, it is instead said to grow around the Abbazia di San Colombano in the town of Bobbio.


The Abbey is a a monastery that was founded by the Irish Saint Columbanus in 614. It is said to have an exceptional library. A dear friend got married in the Abbey in 2011 so I am lucky enough to know it well although I can’t claim to have tried this grape variety. Maybe on my next trip to Bobbio, a beautiful little town and to Piacenza.


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