Lombardy wines, a journey through the region's best reds and sparkling wines
The wines of Lombardy are produced from the approximately 30,000 hectares of vineyards in Lombardy and distributed over only a part of the vast regional surface area, where the land is particularly suited to wine production.
In some of these production areas, such as Oltrepò Pavese, Franciacorta and Valtellina, the quality standards are higher and, thanks also to modern wine-making techniques, typical Lombard wines are produced that stand out for their quality and excellence on a global level. Valtellina, in the north of the region, is undoubtedly the most important wine-growing area for the production of Lombardy red wines.
It is famous above all for the production of red wines made from Nebbiolo grapes (locally known as Chiavennasca), where this variety takes on unique characteristics of elegance and complexity. The grapes here in fact enjoy a temperate climate and good exposure to the sun, are sheltered by the Alps from the cold winds of northern Europe, and thanks also to the nature of the sandy soils, obtained from the crumbling of granite rock, rich, refined and structured wines are obtained. A 'mountain' Nebbiolo, one might say. In Valtellina, excellent Nebbiolo is produced under the denomination of Valtellina Superiore DOCG and Sforzato, or Sfursat di Valtellina DOCG a powerful and full-bodied wine produced from dried Nebbiolo grapes, Inferno or Grumello. In the Oltrepò Pavese, between the provinces of Pavia and Alessandria, the most widespread vine is Barbera, followed by Croatina, Bonarda and Uva Rara. The production of Pinot Noir is also important, and this area has recently become known for its sparkling wine production (Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG).
Franciacorta, in the province of Brescia, is also a well-known area for the production of classic method sparkling wine (Franciacorta DOCG). With the same grape varieties, and possibly also Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the wines of Curtefranca DOC are produced. Other relevant wine areas are the Garda and Colli Mantovani area, Lambrusco Mantovano DOC and Lugana DOC (white wines based on the Trebbiano di Lugana vine) interregional with the province of Verona. Then there is San Colombano al Lambro DOC, between Pavia and Milan, with the same vines grown as in Oltrepò Pavese, and Valcalepio DOC, located between Bergamesca and Lake Iseo. The indigenous red grape variety Moscato di Scanzo (from which Moscato di Scanzo DOCG is produced) is grown in this area. In all, Lombardy has 5 DOCG, 23 DOC and 15 IGT.