Stretched between the course of the Po in the north and the Apennine mountains in the south, this region is considered among the most fertile and productive in Italy, thanks also to the influence of the Adriatic Sea which mitigates the climate in the coastal area.
Emilia-Romagna is a rich, fertile region of northern Italy, and one of the country’s most prolific wine regions, it spans almost the entire width of the northern Italian peninsula, sandwiched between Tuscany to the south, Lombardy and Veneto to the north and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Nine miles of Liguria is all that separates Emilia-Romagna from the Ligurian Sea.
The vine varieties used here for many centuries were of the Vitis labrusca species rather than the Vitis vinifera used around the world today; Emilia-Romagna's famous Lambrusco varieties are derived from the Vitis labrusca species. Emilia-Romagna's wine production is divided evenly between whites and reds, the dominant vine varieties being Malvasia and Lambrusco, Trebbiano, Barbera, Bonarda, and of course Sangiovese. A large percentage of these grapes are used to produce sparkling wines, either frizzante or spumante, of which the most notable are from the five Lambrusco DOCs.
Lambrusco Grasparossa (red-stalked) is one of several Lambrusco grapes and tends to produce the most intense, concentrated, and consistent Lambrusco wine. Grasparossa grapes, which only grow on hillsides, create a creamy and full-bodied style with ripe black cherry and dark plum aromas and flavors.
Emilia and Romagna are actually two different areas that merge to form the Emilia Romagna region, though these two neighbors have very different histories. Emilia was settled by the Barbarians, who had a diet heavy in fatty foods like butter and pork and needed a sparkling wine as a palate cleanser. Romagna, on the other hand, was settled by the Romans who used olive oil as a staple in their diet and needed a very different wine to balance flavors.