wine areas

Viticulture in Lombardia

What are the key grapes in Lombardia?

In Valtellina, Nebbiolo, locally known as Chiavennasca, is the main grape, at times complemented by rare varieties like Pignola, Rossola, and Brugnola.

In Oltrepò Pavese, Barbera is the most widespread red variety, followed by Croatina, Bonarda, and Uva Rara. Riesling Italico and Malvasia are the main white grapes for still wines.

Pinot Nero and Chardonnay are normally employed in the production of Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico, yet Blanc de Noirs versions (100% Pinot Nero) are rather common. Oltrepo Pavese Cruasé, a denomination exclusively dedicated to Rosè Metodo Classico, requires the wines to be at least 85% Pinot Nero.

Franciacorta, in the surroundings of Lake Iseo, mainly houses vineyards planted to Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco, and Chardonnay. The latter is often prevalent in the cuvèes, with most wineries also producing a Blanc de Blancs. Up to 10% Erbamat, a rare native grape, may complement the blend, imparting higher acidity and a touch of herbal freshness.

On the Lombard shore of Lake Garda, Groppello, Barbera, Marzemino, and Sangiovese give simple, easy-drinking red wines. Groppello also accounts for at least 50% of Valtenesi, a light and delicate rosè from the namesake area.

Trebbiano di Lugana – also known as Turbiana and the equivalent of Verdicchio and Trebbiano di Soave – thrives in the homonymous area stretching from the southeastern shore of Lake Garda and crossing the border with Veneto. The wines range from light and crisp to rich, complex, and age-worthy when sporting the Riserva category.
Minor grapes include Lambrusco in the province of Mantua and Moscato di Scanzo in the province of Bergamo. Bordeaux blends take center stage in the Valcalepio DOC.

Key grapes:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Bianco
  • Pinot Nero
  • Barbera
  • Croatina
  • Uva Rara
  • Ughetta di Canneto
  • Riesling Italico
  • Malvasia
  • Trebbiano di Lugana (Turbiana)
  • Moscato di Scanzo
  • Erbamat
  • Nebbiolo (Chiavennasca)
  • Lambrusco
  • Marzemino
  • Sangiovese
  • Groppello
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Incrocio Manzoni




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White soils in Oltrepo’ Pavese

While driving through Oltrepò Pavese, I couldn’t resist the temptation to stop the car and admire the incredible landscapes and soils. Just look at how vibrant they are!

Journey to the Oltrepò Pavese kingdom

The Oltrepò Pavese, known for its exquisite grape cultivation, had few labels carrying its name despite its beauty.