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Sangiovese di Romagna

Sangiovese di Romagna is the leading enological protagonist of a generous, sunny and hospitable land, which at times is as frank and direct as its inhabitants. The red wine produced here embodies these characteristics, along with the ability to combine warmth, fleshiness and consistency with a light and youthful drinking ease. Its origins are ancient, dating back to the 17th century, and each Romagna province has its own particular stories, traditions and production styles. For this reason, 12 additional geographical indications, corresponding to different production areas, are permitted on the wine label. The more structured versions can bear the Riserva mention after ageing for at least 24 months, often in oak barrels, while the more common and widespread versions are characterised by freshness and great agility. These characteristics are particularly suited to accompany grilled red meats, cold meats and salami, often served with the traditional Romagna piadina.

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Sangiovese di Romagna is the leading enological protagonist of a generous, sunny and hospitable land, which at times is as frank and direct as its inhabitants. The red wine produced here embodies these characteristics, along with the ability to combine warmth, fleshiness and consistency with a light and youthful drinking ease. Its origins are ancient, dating back to the 17th century, and each Romagna province has its own particular stories, traditions and production styles. For this reason, 12 additional geographical indications, corresponding to different production areas, are permitted on the wine label. The more structured versions can bear the Riserva mention after ageing for at least 24 months, often in oak barrels, while the more common and widespread versions are characterised by freshness and great agility. These characteristics are particularly suited to accompany grilled red meats, cold meats and salami, often served with the traditional Romagna piadina.

A Classic Regional Variety

Sangiovese di Romagna is certainly one of the leading protagonists of the region and one of the most famous and brilliant treasures of the Emilia Romagna wine scene. Its history is ancient and closely linked to the territory, but the origins of the vine have always been disputed by both Tuscany and the Romagna Apennines. The vine was mentioned for the first time by the Florentine agronomist Giovan Vettorio Soderini in his 17th century text 'Trattato della coltivazione delle viti'. However, the first official document found was in favour of Romagna and consisted of a notarial deed from the Faenza State Archives dated 1672, which referred to a donation of vines in the territory of Casola Valsenio.

According to legend, Pope Leo XII greatly appreciated the red wine produced locally and offered to him by the Capuchin Friars during his stay as a guest at the Monastery of Sant'Arcangelo. In response to the illustrious guest's curious questions, the monks explained the etymology of the vine and called it 'sanguis Jovis'. Thanks to this tradition, the hill on which the town of Sant'Arcangelo stands was renamed 'Collegiove' ('the hill of Jupiter'). This wine has always been produced and enjoyed by the farmers of the Romagna hills, and in the early decades of the 20th century it was considered to be on the same level as the noble Tuscan reds. In fact, it was greatly appreciated at the first Siena wine fair in 1933, along with the famous Brunello. The subsequent extraordinary winemaking success of Tuscany resulted in a significant loss of identity between the 1980s and 1990s, as many producers resorted to long and invasive ageing in wood to imitate the Supertuscans, thereby misrepresenting the true nature of the vine and the territory.

Today, the best Sangiovese di Romagna wines are produced by families of winemakers and small to medium-sized producers who, for at least a decade, have been strongly committed to enhancing their true identity. Compared to their Tuscan counterpart, the Romagna expressions are less powerful and structured, finer, fresher and more subtle, and characterised by good ease of drinking. In each territory it can acquire slightly different characteristics, closely linked to the soil and climate conditions as well as local traditions.


The Geographical Mentions on the Label

This typology is protected by the Romagna DOC denomination, which was established in 2011 to replace the previous, more specific DOC denomination. The objective was to include other native grape varieties such as Trebbiano, Cagnina and Pagadebit. The denomination covers all the provinces of the territory (Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini) as well as 7 municipalities in the province of Bologna. This specification allows for the indication of Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore provided that the maximum grape yield is 10.5 t/ha, and that it is released on the market no earlier than 6 months after the harvest date. The Riserva may be released on the market only after two years from the date of harvest and with at least 6 months of ageing in the bottle.

Additional geographical mentions are also allowed, and correspond to 12 Romagna region sub-areas: Bertinoro, Brisighella, Castrocaro, Cesena, Longiano, Marzeno, Meldola, Modigliana, Oriolo, Predappio, San Vicinio and Serra. The expressions featuring this mention on the label must have a lower maximum yield of grapes per hectare and an ageing period of at least 12 months. It is also possible to combine it with the term Riserva after ageing for 3 years. The sub-zone of Bertinoro only allows the Riserva version. The only areas not included in this subdivision are the hilly territories of Imola and Rimini, which are however still included in the general specifications.

The differences between the sub-zones are first and foremost climatic and involve soil composition and altitude, although local traditions also play a decisive role. In the areas of Oriolo and Marzeno, for example, the wines are characterised by great freshness, elegance, ease of drinking and balsamic tones. In Bertinoro the reds are warmer, softer and more concentrated, while in Predappio there are more robust, austere and structured interpretations. Famous labels such as Drei Donà's Sangiovese di Romagna, made exclusively from the precious grapes of a single vineyard, or Nicolucci's Vigna del Generale belong to the Predappio subzone.


From the Piadina to Mutton, the Best Food Pairings

Each variety has its own particular pairing preferences. Generally speaking, the youngest and freshest wines go well with seasoned white meats, such as rabbit or chicken alla cacciatora, cheeses that are not too mature and, especially, hams and sausages. The best territorial pairing is that with the piadina (flat bread) and cold meats and salami, preferably obtained from the Mora Romagnola, which is a local pig breed native to the Ravenna and Forlì countryside. The combination with fresh or dried cracklings, obtained from pressing pork fat, is also a gastronomic experience of very close territorial relevance. Valuable alternatives include the tasty Romagna sausage, loin steak cooked in milk or the typical squacquerone cheese.

The more evolved and structured expressions are instead recommended with grilled red meats and roasts, with very tasty sausages such as the coppa di testa, sambudello or with mature cheeses such as the prestigious Fossa cheese. The pairing with sheep meat, often flavoured with garlic and rosemary, and in particular with mutton, 'e castré' in dialect, is a classic. These are large steaks obtained from the castrated male sheep, which are usually well cooked on the grill. These are just a few examples of territorial pairings, although the possibilities are endless, especially since this type of wine has a great gastronomic suitability that makes it exceptionally versatile.

If you enjoy good food and fine wine, or simply wish to impress your dinner guests, discover the special offers of Sangiovese di Romagna at the lowest prices available on the Callmewine online wine shop.