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Italian Wine Hub - Extensive online database listing Italian wine producers, exporters, importers and distributors
Extensive online gallery featuring over 1,000 Italian wine labels
Extensive online gallery featuring over 1,000 Italian wine labels


Lombardy Native Vines – First Part
Rosa D'Ancona – November 1, 2006


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Though Lombardy is known worldwide as the Italian industrial and service hub, the region has a rich agricultural legacy, of which wine constitutes a sizable part.

The vitiviniculture tradition in this regions has very ancient roots, reaching as far back as the Etruscans, the Euganei and the Romans. In fact, Roman writers such as Catullo and Virgil, among others, wrote about the quality of Lombard wines.

The fulfillment of self-imposed objectives, 'quality, image, research and communication', achieved by the sector professionals and the regional administration, have put the Lombard enological production on the national, as well as international, wine map.

The commitment to better quality, both in the vineyards and in the wineries,has found solid bases in a variety of different terroirs, thus providing a heterogeneous wine production.

Some 80% of the vineyards, covering an area of 17,885 hectares (around 44,195 acres), are located in the provinces of Pavia and Brescia, especially on hillsides. There are also 4,300 vintners and wineries in the Alpine part of the region, but the cultivated fields are fairly small, and the overall vineyards area is modest when compared to the regional output. The Alpine area is basically limited to the province of Sondrio, where viticulture finds its home exclusively on the traditional terraced fields, important both for the characteristic landscape that they provide, as well as for the preservation of the environment.

The main production areas are:

  • Franciacorta, which is considered the best Italian area for the production of the sparkling spumante produced in the metodo classico (classical method).
  • Valtellina, with its rugged viticulture, where the Nebbiolo and other local vines grow on the mountain terraces and produce one of the three regional DOCG denomination.
  • Oltrepò Pavese, where the terroir and the climate provide an optimal environment for the production of quality wines.
  • Viadana and Sabbioneta, in the province of Mantova, where the king is the Lambrusco Viadanese, which has completely different characteristics from the Lambrusco grapes from Emilia.
  • Bergamo, home of the Moscato di Scanzo, used to make one of the rarest Italian DOC wines.

According to the yearly data about regional grape harvesting and wine production, in Lombardy there are around 8,000 vintners, who produce an average of 1.5 - 2 million metric tons of wine-making grapes per year. There are also around 3,500 wineries in the region, which all together produce from 1.3 to 1.5 million hectoliters (around 40 million gallons) of wine per year, 55% to 60% of which are VQPRD, or Vini di Qualità Prodotti in Regioni Determinate (Quality Wines Produced in Determined Regions). The yearly average production ranges from €120 to €150 million.

Around 35% of the total grape production comes from small producers grouped in several associations, and found mostly in the provinces of Pavia and Mantova. A smaller number of cooperatives operates in the provinces of Sondrio, Bergamo and Brescia. Currently the region produces three DOCG, 15 DOC and 14 IGT.

In addition to international grape varieties, in the vineyards of Lombardy grow many native vines, such as Basqano,  Bianca Botticino,  Bucalò, Chiavennasca, Chiavennasca Bianca, Colombaia Bianca, Erbamat, Invernenga, Lambrusco Viadanese, Marzemino, Moscato di Scanzo, Pignola, Rossola, Sangallina, Trebbiano di Lugana, Verdea and Vespolina.

The growing potential for wine and food tourism in noteworthy, thanks in part to the nine different regional Strade del Vino (Wine Roads), organizations which promote knowledgeable, educated tourism, appealing to people who appreciate tasting new flavors and discovering new landscapes.

DOC and DOCG wines made with the main native vines

  • Valtellina Rosso
  • Sforzato di Valtellina
  • Valtellina Superiore
Groppello Gentile
  • Riviera del Garda Bresciano
Lambrusco Viadanese
  • Lambrusco Mantovano
Moscato di Scanzo
  • Moscato di Scanzo
  • Valcalepio
Trebbiano di Lugana  
  • Oltrepò Pavese

Lombardy IGT Wines



Collina Milanese

Provincia di Mantova

  • Lambrusco Viadanese

Provincia di Pavia

  • Vespolina


  • Lambrusco Viadanese

Ronchi di Brescia

  • Invernenga


  • Lambrusco Viadanese

Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio

  • Chiavennasca
  • Pignola
  • Rossola


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