Lombardy and wine: much more than fashion
Milano, Italy’s economic and fashion capital, crowns the vast northern region of Lombardia. The region makes excellent red and white wines and world-class sparkling wines, even if it’s not nearly as influential as the region’s western neighbour Piedmont.
It’s in eighth place in the list of Italian wine-producing regions.
Food-wise, Lombardia is heaven for risotto lovers, and the cotoletta alla Milanese is replicated worldwide. There are dozens of reasons to get to know Lombardi better, from overcrowded soccer stadiums to the gorgeous lakes Como, Iseo and Garda.
Here’s all you wanted to know about the wines of Lombardia.
The giant in the north
Lombardy or Lombardia lies at the heart of northern Italy. The awe-inspiring Alps guard the region in the north, and the Po River serves as a southern border with Emilia Romagna.
The impressive lakes Como, Iseo and Garda receive millions of tourists every year, and everyone stops at Milan to do some shopping, it’s the wealthiest city in Italy.
Lombardia’s mountainous north contrasts significantly with the vast plains in the south, creating a myriad of microclimates perfect for growing prime-quality grapes.
When it comes to wine, there’s something for every palate, from sweet dessert wines and full-bodied reds made with Nebbiolo to the world-famous sparkling wines of Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese.
Grapes and wines
Lombardia produces 1.2 million hl of wine every year; it has over a dozen IGP designations, 21 DOCs, and 5 DOCG protected origins, including the notorious Franciacorta DOCG.
From over twenty grape varieties in the region, including Nebbiolo, Moscato and Bonarda, the most planted are Croatina (17%), Pinot Nero (14%), Chardonnay (13%) and Barbera (12%).
Winemakers craft the most brilliant reds with Nebbiolo in the northern, hilly region of Valtellina. They’re as layered and refined as Piedmont’s own.
See for yourself with a gorgeous bottle of Luca Faccinelli Nebbiolo Valtellina Superiore Grumello DOCG “Ortensio Lando”. Plums and ripe blackberries in the palate adorned by elegant scents of dried herbs and oak spices make this one a beauty.
As for the Lombardia’s white wines, there are also endless options; Riesling does very well in the cold, northern climate, as attested by the Marchesi di Montalto Oltrepò Pavese Riesling Renano DOC “Monsaltum”. A dry palate filled with white flower aromas and petrol over an intense peach-scented core.
The region’s sparkling wines
Red and white wine in Lombardia is extraordinary, but the region’s sparkling wines are on another level, they’re as good as Champagne. Franciacorta, ‘Méthode Traditionelle’ sparkling wine made with Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero can be as decadent and sophisticated as the best sparkling wine in Champagne or elsewhere.
Get your hands on a bottle of La Valle Franciacorta Brut DOCG “Premium” N.V. for the purest example of the style, or the creamy and rich La Valle Franciacorta Brut Satèn DOCG, made with 100% Chardonnay.
The lesser-known Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico wines are equally enjoyable and often sturdier. Sparkling wines with character and poise. Try the floral and mineral Marchesi di Montalto Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Brut DOCG “Costagrossa” for an excellent rendition of the denominazione.
Lombardia is much more than fashion
The sophisticated city of Milano, its lively lifestyle, and well-dressed people make it a top touristic destination. What makes people come back once and again is the wine. Enjoy the finest sparkling wines in Italy; you’ll never want to try anything else.
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