Romagna of Sangiovese! This is what you may have heard about this area. Surely enough Sangiovese is the main grape here: red as a precious ruby, it covers the sweet hills of Romagna, from the golden valleys of the Appenninis to the flat and sandy area near Ravenna and the Adriatic sea. This is the best period to see the blooming of the grapes and their transition to a real bunch, before it turns to red, ready for the harvest.
But nevertheless I discovered a plenty of unique kinds of grapes, using myself as a tester and “sacrifying” me visiting almost all the Wine festivals that you may find in this season of the year. Tasting wine is a serious affair, it’s not just drinking, is using all your senses to understand the stories that producers want to tell: smelling first, to catch the first impression and perceive the notes of fruit, spices or the fragrances due to the wooden barriques. And then taste, with your eyes, not only with the mouth, letting the different flavors flow and arrive to your nose. It’s a hard work, specially for people who are not sommelier, like me.
You may think it’s quite a religious cerimony, well for real wine tester, it is!
Yesterday evening was one of my usual discovery nights: the event was Calici diVino, a wine tasting in Cesenatico, with local cellars but also out of region ones, coming from all over Italy.
For a few euros I was given this kit: a glass (very big actually), four tickets to taste wine and a leaflet to find the producers around the place. I already knew some of them but the real surprise was to find little cellars I haven’t heard about and also some interesting wines of Ravenna area. I’m not a wine expert so, I do not normally review wines, but I would like to give some personal advise about the wines I tasted:)
A very little winery, with a very young team: Federica, Paolo and Enrico. They have a very old tradition in wine making. Their wine cellar is in the hidden hills of Predappio, just near the Rocca delle Camminate Castle, which is now being restored for a future use.
I was captured by a female name wine called “Pansè” which is the name of a flower that women used to wear in the 30’s. Federica told me it was a first experiment to produce a white wine from a red Sangiovese. The taste is really new: you imagine a light rosée and it’s strong and bitter instead, with a very important personality. Something unexpected but delightful!
Fabio De Nadai, the producer, comes from the Prosecco Shire! But he loves Romagna, that is why he decided to buy this wineyard. La Pistona is an old name with a very sensual story behind (the old owner used it as a garçonnier for his love meetings with local young girls), settled in Modigliana, a little nice borough where I also took the bloggers of Romagna Diffusa Blog tour to eat their first hand made pasta! Their San Giovese, the basic Sangiovese, is a nice wine if you like light red wine, but if you prefer something more consistent I advise you to taste their Flo, which is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (40%) and Sangiovese (10%).
I have always been told about a special grape, only living in Ravenna area, and with an odd name: Burson! But never had the chance to taste it from one of the major producers. Burson was the surname of Mr. Antonio Longanesi, who used to spend his winter days in a hunting house in the country yard. This place was near a very old oak with a grape climbing on! In the mid 50’s he decided to restore and cultivate it, obtaining a superb high graded wine, quite an impossible thing in a flat area. People began to drink this wine that, since then, was linked to the town of Bagnacavallo. The Burson is not Sangiovese, the taste makes you remember of gentle landscapes, old times and smiling faces. It has nothing to do with the strong, impressive taste of Sangiovese. Maybe because the favourite ground of the Burson is the sand.
Not to miss their Passito Sinna, one of the best wines I’ve ever tasted, special to eat with bitter chocolate.
Casa Mora, www.vinicasamora.it. The team is available for visits and tastings. The area is one of the precius hidden gems of Romagna, take the SS67 to Predappio and then turn left following the direction Rocca delle Camminate, you will discover beautiful landscapes and also the secret wood of Casa Mora with the Madonna Stone.
La Pistona, www.lapistona.it. A view on the Tuscan Romagna and Modigliana, with the wonderful roman bridge and the hand made pasta of Antichi Sapori.
Randi, www.randivini.it. The area around Ravenna, where you can find good wines but also historical and natural treasures such as the Piallassa Baiona, a water oasis where flamingos and swans live.