The Lambrusco grape varietal is widely enjoyed by wine makers and drinkers alike around the world, and it is one varietal which has an impressive and very long history. Archaeological evidence suggests it was being grown and cultivated long before the Romans, and has been an important grape for the identity and culture of the people who live in its indigenous Emilia region ever since. The grapes themselves are most commonly used for the famous sparkling wine which bears its name, and Lambrusco is renowned for holding slightly sweet, strawberry flavors which make it a favorite for many due to its light body, elegance and easy drinkability. It is also used to make dry wines, which have a slightly bitter after taste, and is a grape with many variants â€“ as many as sixty, making it an interesting and unique varietal with many sought after attributes.
The beautiful northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna has been home to quality wine making and viticulture for an extremely long time. Indeed, archaeologists believe that vineyards have been cultivated in Emilia-Romagna since around 700 BCE, and the wine industry of the region remains strong and distinctive to this day. Perhaps the best loved wine of Emilia-Romagna are the sparkling wines the region produces in large quantities, and with five registered Lambrusco DOCs, the wineries of the region are recognized for their excellence in this field. However, there is much more to Emilia-Romagna than just sparkling wines, and their still red and white wines are amongst the finest in all of Italy, as esteemed and respected today as they were during the heights of the Roman Empire.
For several decades in the mid to late twentieth century, Italy's reputation for quality wines took a fairly serious blow. This was brought about partly due to lack of regulation in certain regions, and too much regulation in others. This led to several wineries in the beautiful and highly fertile region of Tuscany making the bold move to work outside of the law, which they saw as responsible for the drop in quality in Tuscan wines. They believed that they had the expertise and the generations of experience necessary with which to make truly excellent, world class wines, and set about doing just that. These 'Super Tuscans', as they came to be known, quickly inspired the rest of Italy to improve their produce, and now, Italian wine producers in the twenty-first century are widely recognised to be amongst the best in the world. Regulation and law began to change, and wine drinkers across the globe woke up to the outstanding wines coming out of Italy, which are continuing to improve and impress to this day.