Realised with the homonymous grape variety, ALBANA DI ROMAGNA is one of the most representative wines of Romagna and the territory of Ravenna, as well as Italy’s first white wine to obtain the Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin (DOCG) label. Since 2011 its complete name is Romagna Albana DOCG.
Even the ancient Romans considered Albana an excellent, noble and valuable wine and brought it to the hills of Romagna – perfect for its cultivation thanks to the clay and calcareous soil. They called it “albus”, meaning “clear” or “white” – probably the origin of the modern name.
The first historian who talked about it clearly is Pier de’ Crescenzi from Bologna, around 1200, in his famous Trattato d’Agricoltura (lit. Agriculture treaty). He talked about a powerful wine with a noble taste, a wine made with the best grapes of Romagna.
Once drunk in the countryside and loved for its intense flavour, in the last decades Albana has evolved and become an excellent product with special characteristics.
In addition to its golden colour, the notes of fruit and the delicate fragrance, Albana has a robust structure, an excellent salinity and intense tannins, which are very uncommon in white wines. It’s almost a red wine dressed up as a white one, and if you are blindfolded and drink a glass of it you may easily be deceived.
Albana is mostly known in its dolce and passito versions, but it is also an excellent dry wine, with a floral and fruity aroma. It is very versatile, both intense and sweet, but also rich and full-bodied.
In its dry version, it is perfect when enjoyed with tasty first courses – such as carbonara, spaghetti with clams or truffle risotto – or with spicy main courses, such as grilled meat or chicken curry. The drying process, with or without the formation of the so-called “noble mould”, Botrytis, is top notch.
In the Albana passito, sweetness goes hand in hand with an acidity that entices you to have another sip or two. Albana is perfect with biscuits, blue-veined cheeses, formaggio di fossa, foie gras, game, tiramisù and a good company.