Albana di Romagna
Albana di Romagna was the first Italian white wine to be given a DOCG quality classification and it is produced in three versions: dry, semi-sweet and sweet (Passito). The latter is perhaps the most interesting.
The area of production for Albana is centered in the provinces of Forlì, Ravenna and Bologna as well as in the extreme end of the Po Valley, between the Apennines and the Adriatic. The general consensus is that the Romans brought the Albana grape to Romagna and some maintain that this varietal got its name from the Colli Albani hills outside Rome. However, it appears more likely that its name derives from the Latin word for white albus.
The Albana grape is an authentic sugar factory but it also has quite a high acidity level with fairly strong tannins in the seeds and skins. The grapes produce the famous and typical white DOCG wine Romagna Albana that is made in three versions: dry, semi-sweet and the sweet Passito dessert wine. This latter has imposed itself as the most valid in regards to quality and it can be made two ways. The first involves allowing the grapes to age long on the vine while in the second the grapes are picked and then raisinate on drying mats or straw in a well-ventilated area. The wine is made in stainless steel cisterns or in barrels. The minimum alcoholic content permitted by regulations governing production is 15.5% and the wine must age for at least six months. Most producers, however, let their wines age for between two and four years.
Albana is also used to make a sparkling wine that is sweet and velvety and has a minimum alcohol level of 15. The grapes for this wine raisinate before they are pressed.
In the Colli Bolognese, the hills outside the city if Bologna, Albana is blended with Trebbiano Romagnolo to make a light, dry white wine called Colli Bolognesi Bianco.
We have selected the best Romagna Albana Passito wines available on the market. Cristina Gemignani is the iconic producer of this wine, at her Fattoria Zerbina estate, but there are also some interesting other ones.