Last 10th September, a day before the opening of the Val Tidone wine Festival, a group of journalists, wine writers and wine experts were called for the press event “Emilia in villa”, by Emilia Wine Experience, the organization which regroups different wine and food consortiums and wine routes associations.The press joined the tasting and explored the different styles of Malvasia and Gutturnio in the secular park of Villa Braghieri, in Castel San Giovanni, in the province of Piacenza. A pleasant and perfectly conducted dinner that “blended” gastronomic masterpieces with the focus on the productions of Malvasia, age-worthy white wines with powerful aromas and body.
In Emilia, vineyards are extensively cultivated with both red and white grapes. The homeland of Malvasia is Colli Piacentini DOC, and refers to the gentle hills around Piacenza, where wines are all mainly under this appellation. It is a very interesting place for wine production, because of the steep slopes of the hills, the different composition of soils such as red clay and limestone and a particularly suitable climate for the vines, with long and warm summers and very cold and cloudy winters. Colli Piacentini DOC covers 3,600 hectares of hills in the westernmost part of Emilia-Romagna. It runs from the Appennine, on the border with Lombardy, through the main five valleys: Val Tidone, Val Luretta, Val Trebbia, Val Nure, and Val d’Arda. The production covers a wide range of wine styles and grape varieties. Among the many native grapes cultivated there is no doubt that Malvasia Aromatica is the golden shade of those wines. As the name suggests, it is very aromatic, but the producers of the area (more than 80) have been keen to develop different styles of Malvasia, from dry to sweet, to bubbly and even skin fermented.
The DOC Colli Piacentini appellation has been protected by the local consortium since 1986, and, every year, celebrates with unbelievable enthusiasm the so-called Val Tidone Wine Festival in the charming towns of the DOC area. The event wants to join art, culture and local food, with wine and hospitality, to create and promote the connection between the excellences of the territory. Tidone Valley is a land of scenic and breath-taking views over the vineyards. The smooth hills of the valley lead to Ziano Piacentino, the largest vine-covered area in Italy; and a historical town rich with castles under the same name. Thanks to the strategic geographic position, midway between North and Central Italy, the adjacent towns are also embellished with beautiful buildings and fortresses, some of them still have ruins from Roman times. The entire area is blessed with green forests and pristine nature, around the river Trebbia, that contributes to the moisture of the area even during drought periods.
Emilia Wine Experience
The Emilia Wine Experience arises from the need of the representatives of the territory to emerge, or rather, to promote and communicate, in a more effective way, the potential of the fascinating Emilia. The project creates and promotes the territorial brand “Emilia” and has managed to involve 20 municipalities, gathered around the three main Provinces along the fascinating 5 roads of wine and flavours of Emilia: Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia, two Consortiums of Protection, and a local association; all united to enhance the strong link between territory, wine, and tourism. The Emilia Wine Experience is a model of local development that brings together all the many experiences, events and quality initiatives of the territory, it collects them in the same portal, and gives them easy access.
“Emilia is a land of food and wine masterpieces”.
COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “SORRISO DI CIELO” 2020 – LA TOSA
This winery dates back in the Nineties, being one of the first to focus on a still and dry Malvasia, that can potentially age over the years. No doubt, this is a winning project of La Tosa, as their Malvasia is one of the few that can be aged for decades, still keeping its body and aromas. This wine brings memories of Sicily, as the aromatic bouquet recalls Sicilian Muscat. The colour is deep golden and, on the nose, you may recall a lot of orange blossoms and dried apricot. On the mouth it is medium bodied, easy drinking with a green finish.
COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “BACIAMANO” 2020 – MOSSI 1558
One of the most historical wineries of the area, immersed into the vineyards. Their Malvasia is pretty unique, as it is aged in porcelain stoneware, where it ferments and ages for 6 months. The colour tends to be more golden, but with deep notes of citrus, exotic fruits and dried herbs, like hay. On the mouth, its alcohol is well balanced by the lashing citrusy acidity and long dry back taste.
COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “BOCCADIROSA” 2020 – LURETTA
An enchanting place for winemaking: a castle on the hills of Piacenza, a timeless place that was kept untouched through the years, since 1000. The same walls of the Middle Ages actually host the winemaking area and aging cellar. Since 1988 the vineyards have grown organic for a wide production of wine. This Malvasia shows brilliant amber colour, with nice notes of cedar wood, beeswax and candied orange zest. Full bodied, with an immediate cleanness, it tastes almost tannic and salty on the back taste.
COLLI PIACENTINI MALVASIA DOC “TASTO DI SETA” 2019 – CASTELLO DI LUZZANO
A family-run winery made of passion and bonds with Northern Italy, that has concentrated its efforts and resources on dry Malvasia, in order to produce one of the most elegant examples of this wine.
The straw yellow colour is enchanting, but the nose is even more, with intriguing notes of cantaloupe, orange blossoms and chalk. On the mouth its silky taste (as its name evokes, silk is seta in Italian) is well balanced with the mouth-watering taste and long finish.