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Learn more about the excellent Sangiovese wines of Conde´.
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In Italian 'Campania', [kamˈpaːnja] - [kam-pan-ya].
Campania has been famous for its wines since its days as a Greek colony. Its hot, dry summers are softened by Mediterranean breezes and its mild winters lend themselves to a long growing season. The area is notable for its volcanic soils (Vesuvius and Pompeii are major attractions) and avoided much of the blight of phylloxera.
Aglianico is the major black grape of the area, producing full-bodied, long lived wines, especially in the volcanic soils of Taurasi.
Notable whites include Greco di Tufo D.O.C.G, a rich wine that can continue to develop for 10 or more years, and the aromatic Falanghina which was prized by the Romans as Falernum.
Region: Emilia Romagna
In Italian 'Emilia Romagna', [eˈmiːlja roˈmaɲɲa] - [em-eel-ya ro-man-ya].
Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest regions in Europe, and along with its capital Bologna, is noted for its opulent cuisine, including tortellini and rich pasta dishes, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, mortadella and a plethora of hams and salamis. With vineyards ranging from the hills of Emilia to the plains of Romagna, and stretching almost the whole width of Italy, the region has a variety of climates and produces a wide range of wines in different styles.
If the region is best known for Emilia's fresh, sparkling Lambruscos, it also has a great deal of refinement to offer, from Bologna's rich, peachy, white Pignolettos to deeply fruity, robust Sangioveses from Romagna. Albana di Romagna - the first white to be classified as D.O.C.G - produces both dry, almondy whites and sweet, concentrated botricised ...[more]
In Italian 'Lombardia', [lombarˈdiːa] - [lom-bar-dee-ah].
Italy's largest and wealthiest region, Lombardy stretches from the Alps and the great lakes of Garda and Maggiore, to the Po Valley, and has a relatively cool climate.
The most prestigious wines are the Chardonnay-dominated D.O.C.G sparkling wines of Franciacorta, but there are also notable Pinot Nero and Riesling sparkling wines from Oltrepò Pavese.
The most famous red is the D.O.C.G Valtellina, made from Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) - these are elegant wines, slightly lighter and less tannic than their Piedmont cousins.
In Italian 'Piemonte', [pjeˈmonte] - [pee-a-mont-aye].
The alpine region of Piedmont - literally 'at the foot of the mountains' - borders France and Switzerland in northwest Italy. Its hot summers and foggy autumns help to produce some of Italy's finest wines - Piedmont boasts 16 of the country's 73 D.O.C.G rated wines.
Reds include the long-lived, velvety Barolo, the elegant Barbaresco, fruity Barbera d'Asti and fresh, young Dolcetto. The full bodied, dry whites of the Arneis grape and and the crisp wines of Gavi are also notable, while sweet delights include the light, grapy Moscato d'Asti and the frothy, sweet red Brachetto d'Acqui.
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The third most-planted red grape variety in Italy after Sangiovese and Montepulciano, Barbera has probably been cultivated at least since the thirteenth century and is thought to have originated in the Monferrato hills in Piedmont (Piemonte).
Due to its widespread planting, Barbera can produce a range of wine types and qualities from medium bodied and fruity to more robust and intense wines with impressive ageing potential, but they all share important charactistics: the deep ruby colour (making it valuable in blending), the relatively high acidity which is useful (and unusual) in warmer wine producing regions, and fairly low levels of tannin.
Although somewhat overshadowed by the Nebbiolo grape, Barbera is capable of producing elegant wines which in the lighter versions (not suitable for cellaring) have intense aromas of sour cherries and raspberries and lively acidity. The more robust wines, sometimes from centuries-old vines, have intense ripe blackberry and cherr...[more]
Dolcetto is a black grape variety grown predominantly in the north west region of Piedmont. (Piemonte). Although the name of this variety implies sweetness, the wines it makes tend to be dry, with low acidity, flavours of black cherry, grape, balckberry and herbs, and typically with a bitter finish from the high levels of tannins.
Growing alongside Nebbiolo and Barbera, it is an important and useful grape in that it ripens more easily and can therefore occupy the less desirable slopes, and produces an early drinking wine which provides income while the more 'important' wines are maturing.
The most widely-planted red grape variety in Italy, Sangiovese can fairly be described as the most important grape in red wine production throughout the central regions, particularly Tuscany and Umbria. It is the only grape variety in Brunello di Montalcino, is the mainstay of Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and many Super Tuscans and is an important component of scores of DOC and DOCG wines throughout Italy.
Sangiovese grapes produce a wine that is not particularly intense in colour, generally light to medium in weight, with bittersweet cherry fruit and herby, earthy notes, high acidity and good tannin. Ageing potential varies very much depending on region, yield, winemaking technique, vintage and of course blending with other varieties. The lighter wines, such as basic Chianti, tend to be for drinking within a few years of production while the more 'serious' wines such as Brunello di Montalcino and some Super Tuscans are capable of developing well for upward...[more]