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Official Tourist Information Site
Municipality of Ravenna
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The (divine) Sangiovese
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“A little shade and a glass of wine is not denied to anyone”, so goes the saying in Romagna. Thus the famous poet, writer and screenwriter Tonino Guerra, born in Santarcangelo di Romagna, maintained that, even before its beaches and the sea, Romagna offered the traveller a special welcome, a sense of familiarity because – and here we quote the poet – “A Romagna man says good morning to you even if he peers at you sideways”.

Naturally, Romagna’s welcome is also replete with cooking and good wine. Romagna’s wine par excellence is Sangiovese DOC, whether novello, superiore or riserva, obtained from 85% Sangiovese and, up to a maximum of 15%, from other black grape varieties, with an alcohol content of 12%.

Sangiovese di Romagna goes well with red meat, game and fresh Romagna pasta dishes, such as cappelletti or tortelloni with meat sauce, or mature cheeses.

The history of Sangiovese dates back at least to the seventeenth century, since the notarial deed found in the State Archives of Faenza, in which the name Sangiovese appears for the first time, dates back to 1672: the document states that the owner of the Fontanella farm, located at 400 metres above sea level, had rented three rows of Sangiovese vines near the house; even though, popular tradition wants to trace the name back to even more ancient times, from the Latin SanguisJovis, or the Blood of Jupiter.

Since 1962 the Consorzio Vini di Romagna has brought together wineries, winegrowers and wine producers with the aim of protecting production in the area.

Over time, the activity has expanded considerably: over the last thirty years, thanks also to the generational change of producers, there has been a renewal of cultivation and winemaking techniques that are leading to increasingly high quality production, and the number of winemakers and associated wineries has grown considerably.

Today the Consortium has 7 cooperative wineries, 103 winemakers, 6 bottlers and 5,200 farms registered in the DOC and DOCG registers, and leads the enological growth of Romagna, which has also reached levels of excellence in recent years in terms of quality .
The tourist experience, increasingly sought by foreign tourists, includes the wine-tour, a unique opportunity to get to know the area more closely and savour its wine thanks to guided tastings in the wine cellars that produce Sangiovese di Romagna.

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The wines of the sands

The history of sand wines (“vini delle sabbie”) begins from afar and is still to be discovered: vines that are rooted in sand, grapes grown in coastal environments and wines with the whiff of sea.

When vines grow in soils with a predominantly sandy composition (at least 85%), the resulting wines have very particular characteristics: they are intensely fragrant, light in tannins, pale in colour and low in alcohol content; elements which make them very drinkable and extremely pleasant.

The area of the Po Delta, whose landscape is flat and uniform in appearance, actually is the perfect terrain for growing vines.

The coastal sands, in fact, are covered with extremely permeable and well-drained soils: the roots of the vines penetrate deeply and the soil prevents water stagnation, giving the wine its peculiar characteristics.

These crops must also be of ancient origin. In fact, legend has it that Renata di Valois-Orléans, princess of France and duchess of Ferrara, when she married Ercole II d’Este, duke of Ferrara, brought as a dowry some small black berry vine plants, known as “fruttana” (transposed into Italian as “Fortana”, from which the Côte d’Or – Burgundy wine is produced).

The most historically accurate sources, on the other hand, provide clear evidence that vines have been cultivated in the area of Ferrara and Ravenna ever since Etruscan times.

Their extensive growth, according to ample documentary evidence from the Middle Ages, was largely due to the winemaking skills of the Benedictine monks who settled in Pomposa and Classe.

Finally, recent history attests to the cataloguing of the Fortana variety in 1985, when it became a product with a controlled designation of origin in 1991.

Left on the margins of the great Italian winemaking tradition for too many years, today “sand wines” are gradually becoming known and appreciated for their unique characteristics: lightness, low alcohol content, roundness of taste and lingering pleasantness to the mouth with an unmistakable note of raspberry.

Pagine a cura della Redazione Locale e-mail Redazione: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Ultima modifica: 8 January 2021

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