One of the things I like most in being a blogger is that I always receive some nice invitation in places I could have never imagined to be so amazing. Here’s the surprise that came from my friend Francesco of the Consorzio Vino Burson in Bagnacavallo, who invited me to discover this wine and the surrounding area.
Most surprisingly for me was to be the only blogger among expert journalists called to these three intensive days of study of the Burson and its characteristics.
Bagnacavallo, the land of Burson wine
Bagnacavallo is a little nice town, once surrounded by a water canal that was a defensive system around the walls that now do not exist anymore. The ancient name was a roman one: as you may imagine, there is almost any city or town or village that was not founded by the romans!
Bagnacavallo was named Tiberiacum and only in the middle age, the actual name appeared after a legend telling of the miracle waters healing the horses. Actually, the two words mean “soak the horse”. The town was surrounded by waters, a very different view from today’s one and it was an island.
The whole people’s life was governed by this aspect, which also developed a wetland economy, lasted even after the Second World War.
Maybe because of this special “terroir” (as the wine expert taught me!), very different from the one you can find in the hills of the Apennines. And that affected the presence of special kinds of grapes, not very precious, and mostly used during meals, just as any other fruit. In the ancient times, this area was very rich in grapes, wild ones but also imported from Greece.Some of them just disappeared and some other resisted but were not used to make wine but to be eaten by the poor people.
The story of the Burson is a kind of miracle.
Who discovered the Burson
In 1913, Antonio Longanesi purchased a small farm in Boncellino, a village near Bagnacavallo. A small house with a structure comprising the oven, laundry and pigsty.
It was here that, clinging to an oak tree, he saw this vine grape, once used as a decoy for birds. Given the hardiness of the plant and the high resistance to fungal diseases of the clusters composed of small berries with thick skin, the family tried to make wine at home, like all the farmers in the area.
Antonio got a very strong wine, 14 °, very different from the Sangiovese (a typical wine of the area) which had considerable success even among friends, encouraging the spread of the vine in the area.
The vine is still called Burson Longanesi after the nickname of Antonio and is grown only in sixteen local companies that produce wine according to a precise specification that also certifies the quality.
Daniel Longanesi, the nephew of Antonio, continues to produce wine in the same piece of land bought by Antonio. He is a very enthusiastic young man who loves his work and his wine, which was my first impression meeting him.
The wine obtained from grapes that Burson Longanesi is intense, very broad and rich, fruity aromas with a base of black cherries, spices and cocoa in evidence. The palate has great texture, body and powerful tannins.
A touch of color: the bunches of grapes always maintain a single green grape that lets you know if now is the time to harvest. And it is the only grape that behaves in this way.
In this gallery, Mr Antonio, the uncle of Daniele, Katrine, a lovely German journalist, Mr Ragazzine, oenologist, and the Burson grapes!
Some tips about Bagnacavallo
1) It was the town of monasteries. Here the Church domination was very strong, as in the whole Romagna. Now there are only traces of that, huge buildings such as the magnificent San Francesco Monastery
2) San Michele Fair, it is not just a fair, it is the unique chance to taste the San Michele cake. When? At the end of September
3) Tasting the Burson: it is not very common in Romagna restaurants so contact the www.consorzioilbagnacavallo.it