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
Not not mention Negrettino, an autochthonous vine
saved and replanted that yields a red wine perfectly suited to the local
The list is completed by classic imported grape varieties
such as Barbera, Merlot and Sangiovese (a typical Romagna wine, grown near
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.