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The wines of Bologna

Updated on 23 September 2022 From Bologna Welcome

Great food in Bologna is no secret, but what about the drinks? Which wines are typical of the area and do they live up to the reputation of lasagna and tortellini?

Let's discover the most famous and best-drinking wine varieties while rediscovering some lesser-known local favourites. 

Arguably the king of Bolognese wines is Pignoletto. Already known to Pliny the Elder, this wine has been certified as DOC since 1985 being the most widely produced in the hills of Bologna. Beware, however, of indulging in easy conclusions: what may seem like a drinkable table wine is not only presented in its sparkling version, as it also comes in still and spumante varieties. A versatile wine, it pairs as well with aperitifs as it does with crescentine and cured meats.

Another local white wine is Alionza, an indigenous grape variety yielding a characterful wine full of energy, depth and pleasantness. Next come the classic Pinot Bianco, Riesling Italino, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Trebbiano, all the way to Albana di Romagna, grown and produced in the lands of Imola. 

As far as red wines are concerned, Bologna may not have a dominant superstar like Sangiovese is for neighbouring Romagna or Lambrusco for Modena, but this vacant throne leaves ample room for experimentation and the exploration of lesser-known candidates.

Such as Rosso Bologna: mostly derived from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (at least 50%), it is characterised by a ruby red colour and an intense, pleasant flavour. A must-try to experience a connection with the territory.

Not not mention Negrettino, an autochthonous vine saved and replanted that yields a red wine perfectly suited to the local cuisine.

The list is completed by classic imported grape varieties such as Barbera, Merlot and Sangiovese (a typical Romagna wine, grown near Imola).

Now you have gained an idea of the typical Bolognese wines, you just have to try them! Where?

The winegrowers of Bologna and Imola are united in consortia: the Consorzio dei Vini Colli Bolognesi and, for the Imola area, the Consorzio dei Vini di Romagna. Within the consortium, you can check out all the member wineries and contact them directly to visit their cellars or participate in experiences and tastings.

Lastly, you should also pop into Dozza to the Enoteca Regionale, a reference point with over 200 wine labels offering exquisite tastings paired with typical products.


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