Sunday, November 24, 2013

Enologica 2013 - wines from Emilia Romagna

Yesterday we spent the day at Enologica. Enologica is an event that takes place once a year and brings together wine producers from all over Emilia Romagna. In the past the event was held in Faenza but this year it moved to Bologna. It was held inside of Palazzo Re Enzo right in the heart of Bologna. Obviously, the day was filled with meeting many wonderful producers and trying lots of wine but equally impressive and awe-inspiring was the beautiful venue in which the event was held.
I had never been inside of Palazzo Re Enzo before and I had to repeatedly pinch myself throughout the day at the beauty of the room. The walls are covered in frescoes and hanging in the hall are eight massive, sparkling chandeliers – which add glamour to the room and make anyone spending time there feel like royalty. Through the big windows of the hall you can see out into Piazza Maggiore and catch beautiful glimpses of the Basilica of San Petronio and the Comune building and clock tower – perfectly framed by the windows.
The Basilica of San Petronio
the clock tower of the Comune building
I felt very lucky to spend the day, which was grey, rainy and cold outside, in that gorgeous room tasting wines from our beautiful region.
There were over 110 wineries represented at Enologica from every part of Emilia Romagna – from the Adriatic coast, to Imola, the Bolognese hills, Modena, Reggio Emilia, and Parma. We tried as many wines as we possibly could before stumbling to dinner that evening. Here are my favorite wineries and wines that I discovered at Enologica:
Many of the wineries that we discovered at Enologica tell the story of a family and Palazzona di Maggio is no different. This is a family run business that has been passed down from one generation to the next generation. Antonella, the mom, does the marketing while her son is in charge of making the wines. I had the pleasure of going to the winery this last week and as they showed me the Palazzona (big villa) where their relatives had lived in the past and the cantina it really felt like I was being welcomed into their home. All of their wine is carefully crafted and is enjoyable to drink but my absolute favorite was the Dracone 2008 (the bottle with the white label above) - a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is complex and full of flavor without being heavy. Andrea and I enjoyed a bottle the other night with dinner and we finished the bottle, quite quickly I might add, and we were left wanting more. It is equally good by itself as well as served with food. Its big brother the riserva '08 is also quite nice but packs a bigger punch and for that reason I would reserve it for having alongside a nice, hearty meal.
The sweet people behind Palazzona di Maggio - Antonella and her husband, Federico.
A new to me winery that I discovered at Enologica was Ballardini Riccardo. The first wine they offered me to try was their dry white wine made from Pignoletto and Sauvignon grapes.
I love when wineries have a sense of humor! Ilmiobianco means my white. The name rang true for me as this was my favorite white wine that I tried yesterday.
It was light and refreshing and easy to drink. It would be great with fish or frankly at any time during the summer when it is sticky and hot and you are looking for a way to cool off.
Vigne Le Case was a standout red for me at Enologica! It was obviously a favorite for both me and Andrea because we now have 2 bottles sitting on the shelf here at our apartment. I wonder how long those will last.
At least for 7 euro a bottle we can afford to buy more! Nothing better than delicious wine for a great price!
My favorite wine I tried from Ballardini was their Sangiovese Superiore Riserva Vigna Le Case. They poured me a try of this wine while telling me that it is aged entirely in stainless steel and cement. I tasted the wine and did a double take - did they say this had no contact with wood because there were definitely the typical flavors you get when a wine is aged in wood. There was a roundness and a subtle hint of vanilla that left me asking for a second pour. I loved it as much for the taste as for the way in which it surprised me.
Another new discovery for me was the winery Tenuta di Aljano. This winery really impressed me because they were so consistent (not to mention delicious) across the board from their sparkling wines to their whites and their reds.
The next time we head to the Reggio Emilia area we will definitely be stopping into their winery to learn more about their production and of course, to try more of their wines.
This event goes on for three days and I can now see why. There are so many wonderful wines to try that you would need more than three days to get to know all of the producers and to try all of their wines. It is a great reminder of how very fortunate we are in this region to have so many remarkable producers and wines at our finger tips. 

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