Oh how we love Italian wines! There’s such a diverse variety among the regions of Italy and one of our favorites is Lombardy (Lombardia). This northern region is at the very top of the boot and is mostly inland, which is very different from some of the other popular regions like Tuscany which is coastal.
This land-locked climate isn’t entirely without water as Lakes Como, Garda, and Iseo do provide a bit of tempered air. The region is also bordered by the Alps on the northern side which contributes to the “cool, continental climate.”
Lombardy is responsible for about 3% of Italy’s total wine production which makes sense considering how large it is. The most productive and also well-known zone is called Oltrepò Pavese and is known as the Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) capital of Italy. It produces more than half of all the wine in Lombardy and comes close to Asti and Chianti for overall region production.
The area of Franciacorta is known for the sparkling wine, which is considered some of the finest in all of Europe. The bubbly is often compared to Champagne because of the similar fermentation method. It actually grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Bianco very well due to the luscious volcanic soil, and the province of Brescia is the home of the sparkling wine.
As far as white wines go, Lugana is a DOC (denomination of controlled origin) that produces gorgeous dry white wines from Trebbiano grapes. They’re full of citrus and sweetness with a lovely acidity.
Vatellina is in the northern part of Lombardy, bordering Switzerland, and has been producing wine for 2000 years. It’s known for the bright red wines made from the Nebbiolo grape which grows beautifully in the mountainous terroir.
Lombardy is a unique and interesting region due to the varying climates – Alps to the north and lakes and rivers running through the rest of the area. It’s not Italy’s more famous region but it does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of production. If you love Italian wines, this is a region you’ll definitely want to check out.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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