Varietals: the different types of Lambrusco

Varietals: the different types of Lambrusco


Lambrusco has age-old traditions, testified by the fact that it is mentioned in the works of important poets and historians like Virgil (in his Fifth Bucolic) and Cato, who told of a “Lambrusca Vitis”, i.e. a wild vine that produced tart fruits and grew on the verges of the countryside.
The Romans were the first to cultivate this particular vine, not without difficulty, and were also the first to appreciate the qualities of this exuberant and convivial wine obtained from vines that produced spontaneous little clusters of minute berries of an intense colour. Marco Terentious Varro, illustrious scholar of Caesar's times, was extremely sure of his intuition because he foresaw the enormous wine-making potential of this land, i.e. the province of Reggio Emilia. Lambrusco wine was poured for the banqueters at noble tables in the days of enlightened countess Matilde di Canossa. In 1300, Bolognese jurist Pier de' Crescenzi suggested, in his writings on agriculture, that “Vitis Labrusca” should be planted for the purpose of producing wine. At that time, it was only fermented juice with a rather acid flavour but during the following centuries these vines were cultivated to an increasing extent in the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Modena, where they produced pleasant, fragrant wine with a low alcohol content that gradually changed into what is now considered one of the most drinkable wines in Italy. The historical archives of the House of Este contain a list dated 29 October 1693 reporting that a large quantity of “Labrusca” had been delivered to the wine cellar. Throughout the entire 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, Lambrusco was considered a fine wine and was already sold in bottles at a high price, while many other wines were only sold in bulk and at lower prices.
The first classification of varietals cultivated for the purpose of obtaining Lambrusco wine was made by Francesco Agazzotti, who was also an appreciator of balsamic vinegar. 3 varietals were created: Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Salamino and Lambrusco di Graspi Rossi, which were blended with other and different varietals to obtain all the types of Lambrusco wine produced in the various provinces. The "Controlled Denomination of Origin Lambrusco Reggiano" was established in 1971, to promote the unique features of the wine's quality attributes: its lively, evanescent mousse, its ruby red hue, the pleasantly characteristic floral and fruited fragrance and a flavour in which freshness, aroma and sapidity blend in fragrant harmony, express the typically sparkling, sprightly, immediate, full-bodied, rustic, heady spirit of this wine.
 
 
DOC CLASSIFICATION BY TYPE ACCORDING TO AREA OF PROVENANCE
 
Nowadays, the term Lambrusco comprises various types of wine, typical of the Modena, Reggio Emilia and Mantua areas. Over the years, Lambrusco wine has been classified on the basis of the area of provenance of the varietal itself: Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro and Lambrusco Salamino di S. Croce are to be found in the Province of Modena; Lambrusco Reggiano and Lambrusco Montericco Colli di Scandiano and Canossa in the Province of Reggio Emilia, while Lambrusco Mantovano is to be found in the Province of Mantua.
Situated in the Province of Reggio Emilia, our Winery produces 11 different types of Lambrusco Reggiano:
 
REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO (PDO)
SEMI-SPARKLING REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO (PDO)
SPARKLING REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO (PDO)
REGGIANO DOC ROSSO (PDO)
SPARKLING REGGIANO DOC ROSSO (PDO)
REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO SALAMINO (PDO)
SEMI-SPARKLING REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO SALAMINO (PDO)
SPARKLING REGGIANO DOC BIANCO (PDO)
REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO NOVELLO (PDO)
SEMI-SPARKLING REGGIANO DOC LAMBRUSCO NOVELLO (PDO)
REGGIANO DOC ROSSO NOVELLO (PDO)
 
According to the Product Specification for PDO wines (art. 2 ampelographic base), “Reggiano” Protected Designation of Origin can only be attributed to wines and partially fermented musts obtained from grapes grown in VINEYARDS within the winery, having the following ampelographic composition:
 
REGGIANO LAMBRUSCO (also the semi-sparkling, sparkling and new types): at least 85% of Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Montericco, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Viadanese, Lambrusco Oliva, Lambrusco Barghi. Grapes from Ancellotta, Malbo Gentile, "Jagged Leaf" Lambrusco or Fogarina vines can be used for the remaining 15% either blended or singly.
 
REGGIANO LAMBRUSCO SALAMINO (also the semi-sparking type): At least 85% Lambrusco Salamino. Grapes from Ancellotta, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco di Sorbara and Malbo Gentile vines can be used for the remaining part, either blended or singly.
 
REGGIANO ROSSO (also the semi-sparkling and new types): From 30% to 60% Ancellotta. Grapes from Salamino, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Malbo Gentile, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Grasparossa, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marzemino, Lambrusco Oliva, Lambrusco Viadanese, "Jagged Leaf" Lambrusco and Fogarina vines can make up the remaining percentage either singly or blended.
 
SPARKLING REGGIANO BIANCO: 100% Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Montericco, Lambrusco di Sorbara and Malbo Gentile, either blended or singly. The red wine grapes must undergo the white wine vinification process.
 
 
LAMBRUSCO EMILIA I.G.T. (P.G.I.) CLASSIFICATION
 
The area within which “Emilia” or “dell’Emilia” Protected Geographic Indication wines (IGT) are produced is situated in the provinces of Ferrara, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia and Bologna (but only in the area to the left of the river Sillaro).
PGI Lambrusco wines are obtained from the following grape varieties: At least 85% from the grapes of Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Montericco, Lambrusco Viadanese, Lambrusco Oliva vines, either singly or blended. Up to 15% non-aromatic black grapes of varieties suitable for cultivation in Emilia Romagna can be used.
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