Emilia-Romagna stretches east to west in the northern part of Italy. It shares the Apennines Mountain range with Liguria, Toscana, and Marche on the southern side. It touches Piemonte briefly on the west, Lombardia on the northwestern side, Veneto at the north, and the Adriatic Sea to its east. Of the nine provinces that form the region five are in Emilia (Piacenza, Parma, Regio Emilia, Modena, and Ferrara). The other three (Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena, and Rimini) are in Romagna. Bologna, the regional capital splits its territory between the two sub-regions.
When the summer season is over and the long, sandy beaches of Romagna’s shores are empty of tourists, the time is right to understand why this region, with the fourth largest GDP in Italy, isn’t vibrant for only one season. Emiliani and Romagnoli, the locals, are back to their own activities.
The mechanical industries produce tractors and agricultural machinery, railway equipment, precision instruments and sports and racing cars and bikes like Ferrari, Maserati and Ducati, just to mention the most famous names.
The clothing sectors (especially knitwear), ceramics, and pharmaceuticals also have a certain influence on the regional economy. But it is the food industry that makes Emilia-Romagna a leader of this sector worldwide. Some of the most recognizable Italian food products come from here: Parmigiano and Grana Padano cheeses, Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella di Bologna, Tortellini, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, and the list goes on.
Also, now, the wines from this region have begun to garner more attention thanks to the passion of a new generation of winemakers. With one foot in tradition and one in the present they are using their knowledge and techniques to improve the quality in the vineyard and in the cellar. The results have started to be visible especially in the Romagna, where people here have a genetic spirit to create and innovate along with their traditions of welcoming and hospitality. After all this is the land of Federico Fellini, the visionary filmmaker.
A wine is kind of a movie. You need to open the bottle, pour the wine, and let the story unfold for you…
andwarmth, as well as a genetic spirit to create and innovate. People here open their houses and spend all their lives finding new ways to recover old things, make them shine again.
Elio Longobardi, Italian Wine Specialist
PlumpJack Wine & Spirits – Noe Valley
Randi, Rambëla Bianca, Ravenna Famoso IGT-IGP 2020
About the Winery:
The Società Agricola Randi was created at the end of the Second World War in the territories of Fusignano and Alfonsine in the province of Ravenna. Ravenna boasts seven UNESCO World Heritage sites that include the Basilica of San Vitale, which is pictured on the blue label of a Burson bottle, and the Mausoleo of Galla Placidia with its superb mosaic showing a dove drinking from a golden cup.
Today mother and son, Giovanna and Massimo Randi, run the estate with a focus on sustainable agriculture and indigenous varietals. They practice certified organic farming with a natural approach to wine making that has been a tradition of the area for centuries, characterized by minimal intervention in the vineyard and spontaneous fermentation of indigenous grapes. They produce unfiltered and low sulfite wines in small numbers in respect of nature and traditions.
About the Winemaking:
Famoso is another grape that’s specifically related to this part of Romagna.
A document in the town register of Lugo concerning Famoso dates back to 1437, ascertaining that it was grown as early as the Medieval times. It is likely that the harvest was sold as grapes for table wines in the local markets and during local fairs.
The aromatic profile reminds of Moscato Bianco but it is a totally different grape. Known here also as Rambëla, this indigenous white grape varietal of the Ravenna district is protected and regulated by the local Consortium of Bagnacavallo.
Randi planted the vineyards in 2007 on sand, gravel and partially clay soil.
The hand-picked grapes are sent directly to the pressing without being de-stemmed. The flower covers the juice limiting the possible oxidation of the wine and the need of 0adding sulfites. Fermentation begins in steel tanks and ends in the bottle.
The color is bright straw yellow. Ripe pear, tangerine, jasmine and banana bread are some of the olfactory profile. There is harmony and balance between the aromatic and mineral compounds. Fresh, lively, and delicious!
Price per bottle / Price per case
$ 20 $ 216
Suggested Food Pairing
Tagliatelle with porcini; baked halibut with potatoes; crab cakes;
Steamed artichokes with butter and lemon dip.
Randi, Bursôn Selezione, Ravenna Rosso IGT 2016
About the Winemaking:
Uva Longanesi, a red, ancient grape, has been found in a pine forest 20 km away, with a probable origin in the Middle-East. It came to Ravenna when it was the capital of the Western Roman Empire and that forest was the harbor from which the arriving spices and goods were sent throughout Italy.
In the late 50s, Antonio Longanesi, whose nickname was Bursôn, Big Boar in local slang, used to spend winter days on his farm near Bagnacavallo, a Medieval town nearby. There he noticed a wild grapevine on an oak tree that made him curious because of its sweetness and hardiness into the late autumn. Bursôn became synonymous of Uva Longanesi for the locals.
The vineyards are over twenty years old, planted on the sand, gravel and partially clay soil, the same type of soil as for the above Famoso grapes.
The winemaking process is similar to the one used for ripasso in Valpolicella because more than half of the grapes are left to dry indoor for 60 days. Then those grapes are added to the others for spontaneous fermentation.
The wine spends 24 months in french oak and 12 in bottles before release.
Dark garnet color with hues of purple eggplant skin. The nose is a rich panel of cherry compote, blueberry, dried prunes, black olive tapenade, and sweet balsamic notes.
The palate is coated by reminders of those fruity sensations with hints of cinnamon and chestnut honey. The tannins have a genuine rusticity but it goes well with the food. The finish leaves the mouth clean with a pleasant aftertaste.
Price per bottle / Price per case
$ 25 $ 270
Suggested Food Pairing
Wild boar ragu’ with penne; pigeon breast with lentel; stufato al latte alla ravennate (see recipe); aged pecorino cheese.
Stufato al latte alla Ravennate
(Milk stew Ravenna style)
The recipe calls for a specific cut of meat (scamone) from a local breed, the Romagnola cattle, but can be substituted with a good cut of local grass feed Californian cattle.
This is a perfect recipe for the cold season. A slow cooking stew is what we like when it gets chilly and dark early in the day. The kitchen is filled with food flavors, your favorite music is playing, and a glass of Bursôn is at hand.
INGREDIENTS (serving 4)
- 1.5 lb rump steak or round steak cut
- Whole milk, enough to cover the meat
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 leaf of fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp. tomato sauce
- ½ cup of rum
- ½ lb white cipollini
- Choose a pot big enough to contain all the ingredients except the cipollini
- Place the meat in the pot with all the ingredients, cover with milk and let marinate for 6 hours in the fridge
- Take the pot out the fridge 1 hour before cooking
- Cook the meat covered at low heat for 5 hours, checking once in awhile to see if the liquid is not totally absorbed
- Add the cipollini the last hour of cooking
- When the meat is done take it out and set it on a carving board to rest loosely covered with some foil
- Transfer all the cipollini in the serving plate and keep them warm
- Using an immersion blender purée the vegetable ingredients in the pot
- Slice the meat, transfer in the plate with cipollini and cover it with puréed sauce