Among the many wines of Romagna, Albana has always been one of the most versatile. Historically, there was no winemaker who did not have a few rows. Its clusters were harvested at different times, for different oenological results. The first ripening, at the end of summer, gave a dry and light wine. A second harvest, in early autumn, could result in a more full-bodied white. But if the Albana clusters were left on the vine until late autumn (and then hung in the fruit stands for further drying) they were used to obtain a wonderful sweet wine, uncorked on important occasions or as mass wine, for Eucharistic celebrations.
THE PRODUCTION AREA
As evidence of its historicity and vocation, Albana was the first white wine to obtain the Docg, the Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin in 1987. At first it was called Albana di Romagna, but since 2011 the official designation is Romagna Albana, a name that underlines the territorial belonging of this wine, which can be vinified in a specific historical-geographical region of south-eastern Romagna. There are 22 municipalities in Albana, ten in the province of Forlì-Cesena: Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole, Forlì, Forlimpopoli, Meldola, Bertinoro, Cesena, Montiano, Roncofreddo, Savignano sul Rubicone, Longiano. Seven municipalities in the province of Bologna: Borgo Tossignano, Casalfiumanese, Castel San Pietro Terme, Dozza Imolese, Fontanelice, Imola, Ozzano Emilia. Finally, five municipalities in the province of Ravenna: Castel Bolognese, Riolo Terme, Faenza, Casola Valsenio, Brisighella.
THE SPUNGONE AND THE VEIN OF THE ROMAGNOLA GYPSUM
As established by the disciplinary, Romagna Albana Docg is vinified from the vine of the same name, Albana, which has found its ideal location in the hills ranging from Imola to Cesena, representing in fact the only cultivation area of the Italian wine scene. and achieving excellent oenological results. Three are the most suitable areas: the Bertinoro, the Faenza and the Imola area. Trait d'union of these areas are two unique geological formations: the Spungone (from the sponged dialect, which indicates its porous aspect), a rocky ridge that extends from Faenza to Cesena, consisting of limestone deposits with marine shells of 3 million Years ago; the Vena del Gesso Romagna, from Castel San Pietro Terme to Brisighella, the longest and most imposing chalky relief in Italy, a silvery-gray ridge that abruptly interrupts the gentle hilly profiles giving a unique aspect to the landscape. In both formations, where clay does not prevail, the land of election is revealed for Albana, which develops body, aromas and softness. The constant nice acidity is well integrated with the other components.
A TRULY VERSATILE WINE
The versatility of Albana is still recognized by the DOCG disciplinary which establishes its types, welcoming the tradition of its vinifications: dry, sweet, sweet, passito and passito riserva. The "dry" version gives rise to a dry and fragrant wine, excellent with cured meats, first courses of fresh pasta, fish; the “amabile” and “dolce” versions go well with desserts, especially dry pastries. The "passito" and "passito reserve" are born from late harvests, from dried grapes and, after pressing, must be aged in wood for at least 10 and 13 months respectively: they give concentrated and velvety wines, of marked sweetness, with hints of fruit dried, honey, spices and dried apricots. In particular conditions, during the drying phase, they can suffer attacks of noble rot, which instead of destroying the grape gives extraordinary and very fine scents, to the delight of gourmets and connoisseurs.