When my friend Lynn Gowdy said they had chosen Emilia-Romagna as a regional theme for the #ItalianFWT during the month of September, I asked to write an article about Podere Palazzo, an organic winery in the heart of Romagna, for the group.
Check out the #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream replay with Sara Trevisani below. This live stream aired on October 3rd and you can listen to Sara directly talk about Podere Palazzo winery.
Let’s now get back to the article…
Having swung by Emilia-Romagna a month ago to visit a couple of wineries, Enio Ottaviani winery and Braschi – Vigne e Vini, I thought the timing was just perfect to share my discoveries with all of you.
This month, the wine and food writers in the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group head over to virtually discover more about the Emilia-Romagna region. Emilia-Romagna is a multifaceted region with valleys (47.8%), hills (27.1%), and mountains (25.1). And, not to forget, the seaside along the Adriatic coast. For people abroad, Emilia-Romagna is probably most well-known precisely for its seaside resorts along the Adriatic coast (at least for Scandinavians) as well as for its rich culinary culture and wine production.
On Saturday, September 2, you can join us on Twitter at 11amEDT / 17.00 CEST to learn more about this interesting region. Just type in the hashtag #ItalianFWT in the search field and click Enter, thereafter, you click Latest which will show you all the live tweets.
On Saturday, at least one of the owners of Braschi – Vigne e Vini will join us to give their perspective on wine production in Romagna. Davide Castagnoli and Vincenzo Vernocchi together own the Braschi winery. Davide has agreed to be there with us, so be ready with your questions. 😊
Let’s talk about Romagna
In another recent article, I wrote a few words about Romagna which is one of two halves of the region Emilia-Romagna. The Romagna part of the region comprises the districts of Rimini, Forlí-Cesena, Ravenna, and a small part of the Bologna municipality (the areas east of the Sillura river).
The Romagna area dates to the Etruscan era, after that there have been many different influences and dominations of the area. For example, by the Celts, the Romans, the Lombards, the Byzantines, the Roman Catholic Church, and a short Napoleonic dominion.
All these populations have indeed influenced the region and its culture and people in diverse ways. It is historically considered to have been a region where agriculture has had a strong hand. It is also known for having a long tradition of making hand-crafted military arms, having created the concept of ballroom dancing, and, of, course the cuisine Romagnola.
Winemaking is also an important tradition with the cultivation of indigenous grape varieties such as Albana and Famoso, and the Sangiovese di Romagna.
On the website of the Consorzio Vini Romagna, you can read a saying by Massimo d’Azeglio, the Italian writer, politician, and great patriot. It says that,
“ …la stoffa della razza romagnola é fra le migliori che si conoscano. Ha nelle vene sangue, e non crema alla vaniglia.”
Or perhaps they also have wine in their veins. 😉
The Romagnoli are considered to be exuberant, fun-loving people with a penchant for eating and drinking well in the company of friends. This is, of course, a very simple and superficial description, the Romagnoli are so much more than that.
Let us sum up this brief chapter about Romagna and its people by mentioning some famous personalities that are connected to Romagna. For example, we have Dante Alighieri who lived in Romagna during his last years. Others more recent names to mention are the film director Federico Fellini and the poet and screenwriter Tonino Guerra.
You can get a good clue about a part of the history and character of Romagna by watching some of Fellini’s old films.
Let’s now get down to my main topic for this article: Podere Palazzo winery…
Podere Palazzo – a mix of tradition and innovation
Podere Palazzo winery is situated on the hill Carpineta between Cesena and the Rubicone valley. It is an organic family winery where tradition, passion, creativity, and an eye for research and development are key denominators.
The present owners entered the picture in 2008. Their agronomist who manages the daily activities is Fabio Burroni. His philosophy is to as far as possible work towards sustainability, thus trying to limit the consumption of energy and water as well as favoring the biodiversity and wildlife in relation to the viticulture.
The estate comprises 10 ha of vineyard where they cultivate indigenous as well as international grape varieties. More precisely they grow the indigenous grapes Albana, Bombino Bianco, Trebbiano della Fiamma, Lambrusco, and Sangiovese, as well as the more international grapes Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
Podere Palazzo is one of the boutique wineries that are a part of the Enoica Group. Enoica is an “agricultural supply-chain system”, as they define themselves, where the Enoica team provides knowledge and support. They have implemented a system where logistics, marketing, and sales are centralized under Enoica and the quality control is improved.
In Italy, where many wineries are small and family run, it can often be difficult for them to manage everything on their own. Therefore, this is a clever and important initiative to share know-how and support each other in those areas such as logistics, marketing, and sales that can be cost- and time-consuming.
The Podere Palazzo Wines
For the #ItalianFWT chat, they were so kind to send me three of their different wines, namely Rivola Bianco Rubicone IGT 2016, Ramato della Fiamma Bianco Rubicone IGT 2013, and Don Pasquale Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore DOC 2014. As I was about to leave for Sweden when they arrived, I brought two of the wines with me here. In this article, I will thus talk about Ramato della Fiamma and Don Pasquale.
What do we know about Ramato della Fiamma?
Ramato della Fiamma is the name of the wine but Podere Palazzo also talks about it as the name of the grape variety. At first, it threw me a bit off course because I had never heard of this grape variety.
So, I was thinking: am I ignorant, or what?
Then I started reading up on it and realized that it is the grape variety Trebbiano Romagnolo that also goes under the name Trebbiano della Fiamma. The name is probably due to the fact that the mature grapes have an amber or sometimes even ginger color.
The Trebbiano grape is considered to have been introduced by the Etruscans even though it in Romagna is thought to have been the Romans to bring it with them. In fact, Trebbiano was in those times known as “il vino dei legionari”. (The wine of the legionnaires.)
Today, Trebbiano is the most cultivated grape in Emilia-Romagna (15.500 ha) and it is used in many of the DOC denominations such as Colli di Faenza DOC, Colli Romagna Centrale DOC, Modena DOC, and many others. It can also be used on its own in 100% Trebbiano wines such as is the case in the Ramato della Fiamma from Podere Palazzo.
Let’s get back to the wines…
Ramato della Fiamma Bianco Rubicone IGT 2013 is a particular and interesting wine, not only due to its intriguing name. After the fermentation, the juice is matured in barriques of French oak for 24 months followed by one year in the bottle. This results in a structured and almost full-bodied white wine. In fact, Podere Palazzo themselves say that it is a white wine treated as a red wine.
Ramato della Fiamma is a fresh and mineral wine with almost a creamy touch to it. There is a mix of fruity and floral notes as well as a smoky hint. The taste is very rich, intense, and enjoyable to taste.
Don Pasquale Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore DOC 2014 is a 100% Sangiovese wine. It has been matured for 6-8 months in barrique of French oak. Don Pasquale has notes of mature fruit, a hint of the typical violet, spices, and an earthy undertone to it. At the palate, it is smooth and with non-intrusive tannins. All in all, it is a fresh, structured and very pleasant Sangiovese di Romagna wine.
Wine Education at its best – #ItalianFWT
This is the first time I actually write an article for the Italian Food, Wine, and Travel group, even if I follow the Twitter chat as often as I can. It has been a very good way to read up on and learn more about a specific wine region; in this case Emilia-Romagna.
Furthermore, I am happy to, together with Lynn Gowdy, having been able to present Braschi – Vigne e Vini and Podere Palazzo to the #ItalianFWT group. I hope you will enjoy the articles about these wineries. Tomorrow, Davide Castagnoli from Braschi winery will participate in the chat with us, which I am very happy about too.
Anyway, let’s have fun tomorrow on our virtual tour of Emilia-Romagna!
The articles for the September chat
Emilia-Romagna was introduced this month on the Twitter chat #ItalianFWT group. The articles that were written by some of the group members for this month’s chat are as follows below:
Jennifer Gentile-Martin of Vino Travels shares her discovery of Romagna Albana: The 1st White DOCG of Emilia Romagna.
Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Camilla introduces us to a unique specialty of the region with Nocino: A Green Walnut Liqueur from Emilia-Romagna.
Next month, in October, Italian Food Wine & Travel will return with Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick! as host. Then he will lead us on a Chianti Extravaganza.