Milano. My home for 10 years, a city I still feel a part of, home to many, many close friends and dozens of work colleagues and acquaintances, site of a myriad of experiences, evenings, days. My second city really. I can’t bear to watch what is happening there now. My way of dealing with this is to write about areas I know. So today’s post is about Milan’s only DOC, San Colombano al Lambro. There are a small number of wineries that are part of the Consortium which was created in 1987 and they are located in the provinces of Milano and Lodi.
The reds which are the ones that I have had are made using the following grape varieties: Croatina (30-50%), Barbera (25-50%), and Uva Rara (Max 15%). Croatina brings spice, color, and structure while Barbera offers color, freshness, and longevity. Uva Rara adds floral notes to the reds. For the whites, a number of grapes have been used in addition to the indigenous variety Verdea. The white or Bianco is also made from Chardonnay with a small percentage of Pinot Nero. These wines can be made in a still or frizzante style. To be called a riserva, the wine spends 24 months aging before release at least one year of which must be in oak. The grapes for production of San Colombano DOC wines must be cultivated exclusively in the Comune of Miradolo Terme and Monteleone in the province of Pavia, Graffignana and Sant’Angelo in the province of Lodi and San Colombano al Lambro in the province of Milano.
I was supposed to be in Milan right now. I was bringing my son for spring break. Instead I am in my home, day 15. Before all of this happened, Milan was having a wonderful moment. It had never been a more exciting place to visit and to hang out in. I missed it greatly. In any event, for now, I am happy to write about this great city and its only DOC denominated wine. This area is quite historic and has always been dedicated to the vine.
In fact, Petrarch mentions it in his works. The soils are from the Miocene era and have alternating sand and limestone soils. Both are quite permeable. The subsoils which are the remains of an ancient sea, are rich in minerals and are exposed to the sun.
I first discovered these wines when I lived there and would go to the food festival around the town of Lodi called the Rassegna della Lodigiana. I loved discovering new areas around Milan, new restaurants and traditional dishes and lo and behold wines.
The soils in this area are quite minerally and have calcareous and sand mixed together. The wines they produce are easy drinking wines that complement the local food perfectly.
There is also an Collina Milanese IGT denomination, although both of these they are hard to find. Do not give up on Milan and when this is over, visit that amazing city, check out it’s vineyards and marvel at how far we have come. I can’t wait to be able to go and see my friends in person and not on zoom. For the moment, #iorestoacasa or #Imstayinghome but one day I will be back.