Adriatic Diary: Romagna Makes Great Wines

Romagna is the eastern part of Emilia Romagna. While the western part is more familiar to consumers (think Parma ham and cheese and Modena for balsamic vinegar), Romagna is not too shabby.
First of all, it wins from a cultural perspective. We had a guided tour of Ravenna, a gem of a

Ravenna

city with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And then there are the wines.
Romagna’s strongest suit is its sangiovese di Romagna, which is the DOC for the area.
We had a wonderful experience at Borgo Condé where we had a wonderful lunch of an assortment of local salami and cheese with honey and jam, Strozzapreti pasta (literally strangle the priests) with bacon, ditch cheese and zucchini cream, baked baby pig and parfait coffee ice cream accompanied by their Sangiovese Superior 2012 blended with 10% merlot and one of their top wines, the single vineyard Raggio Brusa 2013, 100% sangiovese, a very complex wine with 30 months barrel aging.
We also had a tour of the modern winery which has a resort hotel, followed by a tasting of

Borgo Condé restaurant and vineyards

their Rosato 2016, crisp, dry and lovely on a 95 degree day; DOC Sangiovese Predapio 2011, blended with 5% merlot, and the DOC Predapio Riserva 2007, 100% sangiovese. Our conclusion was that the best value was the Predapio at 18 euros, a fruit forward wine with complexity that’s ready to drink.
Our next day was another blend of wine, food and culture, the 3 pivot points of our tours. We started with a visit to San Patrignano, which is a winery which consistently receives 3 Bicchieri awards. But it is so much more: it is a rehab center for recovering drug and alcohol addicts.As far as I know there is nothing like it in the world.
San Patrignano started in 1978 when Vincenzo Mucelli took in a drug addict, Betty, whose father was his friend. Not being professionally trained in rehab, Vincenzo worked on raising her self esteem and building on her self of worth. He was so successful that a few other parents sent him their children and before he knew it, he had 10 people living with him.
That’s when he asked his parents if he could use the family farm, where the current San

Our chefs at San Patrignano

Patrignano is located, almost 200 hectares with 110 devoted to grapes.
Today the facility houses 1,500 recovering addicts with a staff of 150. Residents commit to 4 years at the facility and cannot leave. They are trained in a vocation and also must select a hobby.There are 50 vocations available including wine making under the tutelage of Ricardo Cottarella.
Our tasting included Ora, 100% sangiovese di Romagna 2015, an excellent prototype of the typicity of the grape with minerality, tannins and acidity- 1 year in barrels and 1 year in bottle; La Spallara 2015, a single vineyard DOC with no sulfites added, the wine was rougher and tougher because sulfites soften wine, This was a remarkable demonstration of the effect of sulfites and I detected cherry flavors and aromas, tobacco and leather; Aulente Rosso 2015 IGT Rosso Rubicone, a quaffable sangiovese that was easy to drink.
We had lunch with the commune, a meal, including wine, that was prepared and served by residents.
This was truly a remarkable experience for all of us and we wondered if a similar facility would work in the US. San Patrignano has a 70% success rate.
Tour participant Jeff Krauss takes wonderful photos and you can view more about our Condé tour here and San Patrignano here.
We ended the day with a visit to Le Saline di Cervia, the salt harvesting fields established by the Romans and still active. After a short boat ride, we were walking among the ponds where the salt increases in density from 35 kilos per cubic meter of water to 240 kilos of salt per cubic meter.

Fonte: Adriatic Diary: Romagna Makes Great Wines

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