Category Archives: emilia romagna

Italian Indigenous Varieties: Malvasia Rosa from Piacenza

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This is my 16th and last post in the series on Malvasie. It has been very interesting to see just how many variations there are of this grape from the Malvasia family. This week’s variety is Malvasia Rosa which is a mutation of Malvasia di Candia which I wrote about here. This Malvasia can be found in the province of Piacenza in Val Nure. This wine makes a rose that is fruity and can be made into a sparkling wine, either spumante or frizzante.

This winery. Azienda Vitivinicola Mossi from 1558 which had until 2014 14 generations owning the property. They sold it to a young couple who are continuing the traditions of the Mossi family and are one of three wineries producing wines from this variety. That makes it quite that noteworthy and one that I would love to taste. Maybe the next time I am in that area. Another producer is Azienda Vitivinicola Montesissa. They also make a passito using this grape. What a pleasure these weeks of Malvasia have been. I had no idea it was such an interesting variety.

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Malvasia di Candia Aromatica Bianca (Emilia)

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This Malvasia di Candia Aromatica Bianca hails mainly from Emilia Romagna and can be found in the DOCs Colli Piacentini, Colli di Scandiano e Canossa, Monterosso Val d’Arda, Trebbiano Val Trebbia. It also grows in Lazio and can be used in the DOCs Cerveteri, Circeo, Cori, Genazzano, Montecoprati Colonna and my favorite, Zagarolo. A


I recently had the pleasure of tasting wines from the Colli Piacentini at Slow Wine’s New York event last month. The winery is called La Tosa They make a wine called “Terrafiabe” COLLI PIACENTINI D.O.C. VALNURES. It’s a sparkling white which uses 40% Malvasia di Candia aromatic, 40% Otrugo, and 20% Trebbiano. They think of the Malvasia as bringing significant aromatics to the blend.

Emilia-Romagna has a number of DOC wines, although few that are very well known. I spent a considerable amount of time tasting wines from the Colli Piacentini while staying with friends in Bobbio, a wonderful town in the northern part of the region.


Parma is another city that I love and I have tasted numerous wines from the Colli di Parma DOC, as noted in yesterday’s repost of an article I wrote two years ago about these wines. Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa DOC are wines I know less well while the Colli Bolognesi are favorites from my graduate school year in Bologna. Reno DOC, Bosco Eliseo DOC, Colli d’Imola DOC, Colli di Rimini DOC, Colli di Romagna Centrale DOC are all wines that are seldom seen in the States. I’ve tried some of them during the years I frequented the Lidi Ferraresi with my exes. Yes plural. Both of my long term Italian partners had families in different parts of Romagna. Thus, it is an area that was and remains close to my heart.

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Malvasia Bianca di Candia (Lazio)


This week’s variety is another Malvasia. It is called Malvasia Bianca di Candia. It’s grows primarily in Lazio but also in Emilia Romagna, Le Marche, Umbria, Tuscany and Liguria. It is also sometimes called Malvasia Rossa because of the color the buds take on. However it must be distinguished from Malvasia di Candia. It likes to grow on hills but can also manage clay and dry soils. It prefers a warm climate. It makes a less aromatic wine than the other Malvasia di Candia. This one makes wines that are straw yellow in color, a tad sality or sapid, with a bitter note on the finish. It is usually blended with other grapes because it tends to oxidize. It is found in wines from Colli di Parma DOC, and often in Cerveteri, Circeo, Colli Lanuvini, Cori, Frascati, Genazzano, Montecomprati Colonna, Gardiolo, and Zagarolo.


I found this producer, Azienda Viticola Di Marzio who is focused on Malvasia di Candia and Trebbiano Toscano not far from Rome. Apparently they are organic. They write on their website that this variety grows well in dry soils without too much calcareous material. They are located in the town of Lanuvino which is a vulcano.

Fountain in Piazza Navona - Rome

It looks like a winery that I would like to visit the next time I am in Rome. Infact the whole area seems interesting. I have a dear friend who lives in Zagarolo so I have spent a lot of time there but never in the other areas of the Castelli Romani. I look forward to my next trip and to visiting this winery. Not enough is written about wines from Lazio in my view.

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Malbo Gentile (Emilia Romagna)


This week’s indigenous variety is Malbo Gentile, a red grape that is grown in Emilia Romagna. I couldn’t find a lot about the variety except that it grows well in poor soils and can be used both as a monovarietal and in blends. I also discovered a blog by the same name, Malbo Gentile, which seems to be about wine and all things Emilia Romagna. It is also used in many Lambrusco wines. This grape is also used to make vini novelli, vini frizzanti and passito wines such as this one, Colli di Scandiano e Canossa DOP.

Malbec, also grows in Italy, largely in the Central-Northern regions.

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce

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This is the last of the Lambrusco varieties I am going to write about in this indigenous varieties series, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce. There are over 60 varieties of Lambrusco that are known, perhaps even more, but only six or seven of them are considered the more prestigious ones. Salamino, is named for its shape which resembles a small salami. This variety grows around the wonderful city of Modena and specifically the area around the town of Carpi. It is has a lot of color and brings fruity, floral aromas and flavors to the blend. It is also brings moderate alcohol and tannins. There is a consortium for the producers who make Lambrusco around the city of Modena, and also a cooperative, with 250-300 members, that specializes in wines made from Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce.


It has been a fun journey to travel through Emilia and its Lambrusco varieties these past months. I loved going to graduate school in Bologna and I love remembering the time when I lived in that glorious city and was able to drink Lambrusco as often as I wanted to. Luckily, Lambrusco is becoming ever more popular. I am hoping to have a glass today to celebrate the holidays. For natural wine lovers out there, here’s a Lambrusco made from 100% Salamino di Santa Croce from Luciano Saetti which available in the US from Louis Dressner. Next week I will move on to the letter “M”.

I have written about 150 posts in this series. There are almost 50 grape varieties that start with the letter “M” so I think that may take all of 2017. No matter. Every excursion brings me to think about how wonderful and varied Italian varieties are and how each small town has its own traditions and delicacies, not to mention art and all of the other marvels of il Bel Paese.

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Lambrusco Marani

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I have been writing about different clones of Lambrusco all fall. There are many of them in fact, about 60. Among the main ones though, is this week’s variety, Lambrusco Marani. Like many of the others, it produces wines that are ruby red in color with a fruity, vinous aromas and flavors, good acidity and moderate alcohol. This variety can be made into the many varied styles of Lambrusco including dry (secco), amabile (demi-sec) and sweet (dolce) Lambrusco.

It grows around the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, two small jewels that I highly recommend visiting. I had the pleasure of living in Bologna for graduate school and was able not only to drink large quantities of Lambrusco but also to savor day trips throughout this glorious region.

Lambrusco Marani is part of wines that can have an indication as Reggiano Lambrusco DOC. There is is usually blended with a combination of wine made from other clones such as Lambrusco Salamino, Sorbara, Maestri, Montericco and Ancellotta.

Medici Ermete is a producer, imported by Kobrand, that uses this clone in its wines. I have had this wine many years during the Gambero Rosso tasting. I look forward to trying it again this year.

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Indigenous Italian Varieties: Lambrusco Maestri

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This particular variety of Lambrusco hails from the area around Parma, a city I adore. Parma is a beautiful, elegant and I dare say feminine city. I loved the Duomo and the baptistry there done by Antelami. The province of Parma runs from the Po River to the Appennines, separating it from both Lombardy and Tuscany. I loved the paintings in the Duomo as well by
Correggio and Parmigianino. Of course Parma is very famous not only for its Art and music but for its food and wines, the topic of this post. Lambrusco Maestri. It is a hearty and fertile variety that produces wines with full bodied and tannic wines with a depth of color. It is often used to make the sweet and the frizzante versions of Lambrusco. It is considered one of the more prestigious Lambrusco grapes. Maestri has also been grown with success in Argentina and is planted in Australia as well. I would love a glass to celebrate the start of the holiday season today, the first day it is snowing on my blog. Happy December.


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