14 WINE

All About Italy (USA) - - Editorial - Sveva Riva

Among the sparkling wines of Emilia, Lam­br­usco is cer­tainly one of the most well known both na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. It is def­i­nitely the wine best adapted to the sum­mer sea­son, as when served cold it pleas­antly dif­fers in taste from other red wines whose tan­nins no­tably aug­ment the wood­i­ness ap­par­ent on the palate at cold tem­per­a­tures. But few know that among all of the grape va­ri­etals cul­ti­vated in the penin­sula, al­most all of which ar­rived hun­dreds or even thou­sands of years ago from Greece or France, Lam­br­usco, which de­rives from wild au­tochthonous grapes, is a true na­tive of Italy and there­fore a max­i­mum ex­pres­sion of Ital­ian iden­tity. Inimitable, wholly orig­i­nal, and a per­fect union of the land, the cli­mate, and the char­ac­ter of the Emil­ian peo­ple: a strange mix­ture of cor­dial­ity, gen­eros­ity, straight­for­ward­ness and can­dor. Lam­br­usco is unique, but with a wide va­ri­ety of de­cli­na­tions: an en­tire group of sub-va­ri­etals with com­mon fam­ily ori­gins, sim­i­lar to each other but not iden­ti­cal, cul­ti­vated from the vines that al­ways pro­duced the best grapes.

It is a wine that never ceases to sur­prise, and that in­spires the cre­ativ­ity of the vint­ners who pas­sion­ately look af­ter all the phases of pro­duc­tion. This is the case with Bellei fam­ily at the Cantina della Volta, who have a long tra­di­tion be­hind them and a pas­sion handed down from fa­ther to son, fur­ther in­formed by nu­mer­ous vis­its to France, the home of no­ble sparkling wines. From this ex­pe­ri­ence came the idea of vini­fy­ing their Lam­br­usco di Sor­bara grapes “in white,” with an ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­fect of sur­prise: in a ver­mil­ion bot­tle wrapped in Uv-re­sis­tant pa­per, one only no­tices the straw­col­ored ef­fer­ves­cent iden­tity of the contents upon pour­ing, a sparkling wine made with the clas­sic méth­ode cham­pénoise. This “white with a red heart” is the lat­est great Lam­br­usco.

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