Lombardia

Regional detail

Location

Recognised usually as the centre of Finance with its capital Milano, but it also is a powerhouse for wine production, Stretching from the Swiss border in the North to Mantova in the South East.

Climate

Similar to that of Piedmont, continental with cool winters and hot summers. The Alps in the North is also a major topographic influencer, as are the Appennines to the south (indeed this is where the Italian Backbone commences).

Topography

To the North of Milano one suddenly encounters the dramatic Alps where Lombardy's 2 wines of distinction are found: the Nebbiolo based Valtelina and the "Champagne" style Franciacorta (traditional method Spumante). The proximity of the Alps no doubt fundamental to the high quality of these wines. South of Milano a vast floodplain opens out until the very south of Lombardy where the Appennines (Italy's 2nd most important mountain range) start. Here quality winemaking begins with its particua;r idiosynracies and distinctiveness, especially for froathy, red, alcoholic, dry wines, drank with Milanese salame.

Soils

Are very mixed due to the vastly varying topography of the region. To the North the soils are poor, rocks are mixed with glacial deposits due to the vicinity of the Alps. To the south the soils are richer and more alluvial due to the proximity of the Po with its floodplain.

Average annual production

1.181.000 HL
Lombardia Placeholder
Lombardia

Grapes

Barbera

Description

See Piedmont

Principle Wines

Oltrepo' Pavese, Oltrepo' Pavese Rosso
Bonarda

Description

Actually the name given to three different grapes/ appellations in the North of Italy (not including the Argentinean version whose origin has yet to be authoritatively verified) Oltrepo' Pavese and Colli Piacentini Bonarda which is actually croatina. Oltrepo' Pavese Bonarda is actually a DOC. Bonarda Novarese used to soften Spanna and is actually Uva Rara Bonarda Piemontese, an aromatic variety now quite rare.

Principle Wines

Oltrepo' Pavese Rosso, Oltrepo' Pavese Bonarda
bonarda grape
Croatina

Description

What is called "Bonarda" in the Oltrepo' and Colli Piacentini regions, makes deep coloured, plummy wines, sometimes erging on the jammy. Attractively commercial and good value but tend to be one dimensional and unfortunately for export markets, frizzante.

Principle Wines

Bonarda di Oltrepo' Pavese and Colli Piacentini.
Gropello

Description

Giving a wine of considerable character. Grown exclusively on the western shores of Lake Garda. And giving a wine of acidity, middling tannins and a fruity spicey palate.

Principle Wines

Riviera del Garda Bresciano DOC
Marzemino

Description

See Trentino Alto Adige

Principle Wines

See Trentino Alto Adige
Nebbiolo

Description

See Piedmont

Principle Wines

See Piedmont
Riesing Italico

Description

Aka Walschriesling in Austria. Somewhat derided because of its word play with the noble Rheinriesling. Arrived in Italy in the late 19th Century. Can give some good sugar levels and character when grown by the right producer. Otherwise used as a blender.

Principle Wines

Oltrepo' Pavese
Riesing Renana

Description

Aka Rheinriesling. See international
Ughetta

Description

Aka Vespolina in the areas of Oltrepo' and Colli Vicentini
Uva Rara

Description

Attenzione! In Lombardy this is the real name for the Bonarda grape.

Principle Wines

Oltrepo' Pavese blends
Vespolina

Description

Not to be confused with North East Italy's Vespaiolo. This is also called Ughetta in Piemonte.

Principle Wines

GOltrepo' Pavese blends

Major Appellations DOCG/DOC

Franciacorta DOCG

Description

Now synonymous with its high quality traditional method sparkling wines. Aged 25 months; vintage aged 37 months. The DOCG area is found to the east of Milan stretching up to the Lago d'Iseo and down towards Brescia.

Principle Wines

Bianco - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero Rosato - Pinot Nero, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco Crémant - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco
Garda DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Frizzante – Garganega, Chardonnay Bianco Classico – Riesling Renano/ Italico 70%. 30% others Rosso Classico – Gropello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, Barbera Varietal – Barbera, Cabernet, Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cortese, Corvina, Garganega, Marzemino, Groppello, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Riesling, Riesling Italico, Sauvignon, Tocai

Principle Wines

Riesling, Riesling Italico, Gropello, Marzemino, Sangiovese, Barbera, Garganega, Chardonnay
Lambrusco Mantovano DOC

Description

Sparkling red either dry or sweet on a similar line to the Lambrusco from Emilia Romagna. In fact, this DOC borders on the confines of Emilia Romagna

Principle Wines

at least 85% of Lambrusco Viadanese (or Grappello Ruberti) and/or Lambrusco Maestri and/or Lambrusco Marani and/or Lambrusco Salamino,
Lugana DOC

Description

From a relatively small area to the south of Lake Garda. Very similar style to Veneto whites of Garda.

Principle Wines

Trebbiano di Lugana (at least 90%)
Oltrepo Pavese DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Rosso – a blend of above grapes Varietal - Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cortese, Malvasia, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Riesling Italico Riesling Renano, Barbera Bonarda (Actually consists of Croatina up to 100 plus other red varieties of Barbera, Ughetta, Uva rara), Buttafuoco - (a blend of Barbera, Croatina, Uva rara, Ughetta aka Vespolina and Pinot nero), Sangue di Giuda - sweet, red, frizzante Barbera up to 65% Croatina: up to 65%; Uva rara, Ughetta (Vespolina) e Pinot neroSauvignon

Principle Wines

Croatina, Barbera, Ughetta (Vespolina), Uva Rara, Cortese
Sforzato di Valtellina or Sfursat di Valtellina DOCG

Description

An ancient winegrowing area with Etruscan and Roman heritage. An east/ west valley with terraced vineyards making a very particular late harvest wine "forced" or Sforzato (in dialect sfursat)

Principle Wines

Nebbiolo aka Chiavennasca at least 90%. Small portions of other local grapes are permitted such as Brugnola, Rossola, Pignola
Terre di Franciacorta DOC

Description

The same area as Franciacorta but this DOC is dedicated to its still wines – with a much more historical lineage. They are usually blends of international character of both whites and reds.

Principle Wines

Rosso - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Merlot. Bianco - Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot nero
Valtellina Rosso or Rosso di Valtellina DOC

Description

Usually the lesser versions of the Sforzato di Valtellina rather like Nebbiolo d'Alba is to Barolo

Principle Wines

Nebbiolo up to 80%. Small portions of other local grapes are permitted such as Brugnola, Rossola, Pignola
Valtellina Rosso or Rosso di Valtellina DOC

Description

Ageing of at least 24 months (36 for the riserva) qualifies for superiore. There are 6 subzones of: Grumello, Inferno, Maroggia, Sassella, Stagafassli, Valgella.

Principle Wines

Nebbiolo aka Chiavennasca at least 90%. Small portions of other local grapes are permitted such as Brugnola, Rossola, Pignola

Other Appellations DOCG/DOC

Botticino DOC

Principle Wines

Barbera, Schiava Gentile, Marzemino, Sangiovese
Capriano del Colle DOC

Principle Wines

Sangiovese, Marzemino, Barbera, Merlot, Incrocio Terzi No 1
Cellatica DOC

Principle Wines

Schiava Gentile, Barbera, Marzemino, Incrocio Terzi No 1
Garda Colli Mantovani DOC

Principle Wines

Cabernet, Merlot, Rondinella, Negrara, Sangiovese, Rossanella (Molinara), Garganega, Trebbiano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Riesling Renano, Riesling Italico
Moscato di Scanzo DOC

Principle Wines

Moscato
Riviera del Garda Bresciano DOC (a multi DOC*)

Principle Wines

Rosso
- blends of Groppello gentile and/or Mocasina and/or S. Stefano and/or Sangiovese, 30-60%; Barbera, 10-20%; Marzemino
Bianco
- blends of Riesling renano and/or Riesling italico, 80% Gropello
San Colombano al Lambro DOC

Principle Wines

Rosso
- Croatina, Barbera, Uva Rara
Bianco
- Chardonnay, Pinot Nero
San Martino della Battaglia DOC

Principle Wines

Tocai Friulano 80% min. – now called Tai.
Valcalepio DOC

Principle Wines

Rosso
- Merlot, Cabernet
Bianco
- Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Moscato

IGT Appellations

Alto Mincio
Benaco Bresciano
Bergamasca
Collina del Milanese
Montenetto di Brescia
Provincia di Mantova or Mantova
Provincia di Pavia or Pavia
Quistello
Ronchi di Brescia
Sabbioneta
Sebino
Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio
Valcamonica