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Region: Emilia Romagna
In Italian 'Emilia Romagna', [eˈmiːlja roˈmaɲɲa] - [em-eel-ya ro-man-ya].
Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest regions in Europe, and along with its capital Bologna, is noted for its opulent cuisine, including tortellini and rich pasta dishes, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, mortadella and a plethora of hams and salamis. With vineyards ranging from the hills of Emilia to the plains of Romagna, and stretching almost the whole width of Italy, the region has a variety of climates and produces a wide range of wines in different styles.
If the region is best known for Emilia's fresh, sparkling Lambruscos, it also has a great deal of refinement to offer, from Bologna's rich, peachy, white Pignolettos to deeply fruity, robust Sangioveses from Romagna. Albana di Romagna - the first white to be classified as D.O.C.G - produces both dry, almondy whites and sweet, concentrated botricised Passitos.
In Italian 'Campania', [kamˈpaːnja] - [kam-pan-ya].
Campania has been famous for its wines since its days as a Greek colony. Its hot, dry summers are softened by Mediterranean breezes and its mild winters lend themselves to a long growing season. The area is notable for its volcanic soils (Vesuvius and Pompeii are major attractions) and avoided much of the blight of phylloxera.
Aglianico is the major black grape of the area, producing full-bodied, long lived wines, especially in the volcanic soils of Taurasi.
Notable whites include Greco di Tufo D.O.C.G, a rich wine that can continue to develop for 10 or more years, and the aromatic Falanghina which was prized by the Romans as Falernum.
In Italian 'Lombardia', [lombarˈdiːa] - [lom-bar-dee-ah].
Italy's largest and wealthiest region, Lombardy stretches from the Alps and the great lakes of Garda and Maggiore, to the Po Valley, and has a relatively cool climate.
The most prestigious wines are the Chardonnay-dominated D.O.C.G sparkling wines of Franciacorta, but there are also notable Pinot Nero and Riesling sparkling wines from Oltrepò Pavese.
The most famous red is the D.O.C.G Valtellina, made from Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) - these are elegant wines, slightly lighter and less tannic than their Piedmont cousins.
In Italian 'Piemonte', [pjeˈmonte] - [pee-a-mont-aye].
The alpine region of Piedmont - literally 'at the foot of the mountains' - borders France and Switzerland in northwest Italy. Its hot summers and foggy autumns help to produce some of Italy's finest wines - Piedmont boasts 16 of the country's 73 D.O.C.G rated wines.
Reds include the long-lived, velvety Barolo, the elegant Barbaresco, fruity Barbera d'Asti and fresh, young Dolcetto. The full bodied, dry whites of the Arneis grape and and the crisp wines of Gavi are also notable, while sweet delights include the light, grapy Moscato d'Asti and the frothy, sweet red Brachetto d'Acqui.