Emilia-Romagna, located in northern Italy, is the only Italian winemaking region with both an east and west coast. Emilia-Romagna is nearly 150 miles wide, stretching across almost the entire expanse of the northern Italian peninsula. To the south is Tuscany, to the north are Lombardy and Veneto, and to the east is the Adriatic Sea. The capital of the region is Bologna and other cities within Emilia-Romagna include Modena, Parma and Ferrara.
Despite its size, Emilia-Romagna only has 2 DOCG zones: Albana di Romagna and Colli Bolognese Classico Pignoletto. Overall, 15% of the region’s wines come from more than 20 different DOC zones, each of them marked by a different type of terroir. The River Po flows from west to east, and key geographical and topographical features include rolling hills, coastal plains and the Apennines.
The most popular grape varietals from Emilia-Romagna include Malvasia, Lambrusco, Trebbiano, Barbera, Bonarda and Sangiovese. There are 5 different Lambrusco DOC zones (including Modena and Reggiano), and Lambrusco – often used to make relatively cheap, sweet and fruity wines (both regular and sparkling) – is perhaps one of the most famous wines from this region. Lambrusco pairs especially well with the cheeses of the region. Wine production in Emilia-Romagna is split nearly in half between white wines and red wines.
Winemaking in Emilia-Romagna extends back to the 7th century B.C., when Etruscan traders arrived. They were followed by the Romans, who named the region for the road (“Via Aemilia”) they constructed to link it to the cities in the southern part of Italy.