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The wine hills
The wines of Lombardy have an important and ancient history, and today, in the third millennium, they are enjoying a period of absolute excellence. Barbera, Lambrusco, Chardonnay and Pinot are just some of the valuable grape varieties that have been grown in Lombardy for thousands of years. More specifically, Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese are areas of great importance for Italian sparkling wines, with a production of about 12 million bottles with DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Protetta e Garantita, Denomination of Origin Protected and Guaranteed) certification, the finest mark of recognition of a wine’s quality and area-specific characteristics.
South of Lake Iseo, the hills in the Franciacorta area near Brescia are chequered with vineyards and small villages, Mediaeval towers and castles, 16th century palazzi and aristocratic villas. In this sunny landscape, Franciacorta wines are produced, along with others. Franciacorta sparkling wine has a unique and unmistakable flavour, with brilliant, light straw colour, and a fresh, harmonious fragrance. These sparkling wines are made using the classic Champenois method, the longest and most strictly controlled procedure for sparkling wines in the world.
Oltrepò Pavese, with its hills, forests and streams, is another of the region’s richest wine-producing areas, famous for Champenois sparkling wines that are unique in Italy. The red wines are also of high quality, with full body and bright, intense colour, such as “Buttafuoco”, which, with ruby-red colour and full, well-structured flavour, is considered a great wine for ageing.
Milan, on the other hand, boasts it own wine that carries the Docg mark that guarantees the quality of the wine. It is produced on the hill of San Colombano al Lambro, an antique village connected to the city through its tradition and history. This village owes its name to an Irish monk who arrived in the area in the 6th century and taught its inhabitants the culture of wine. Subsequently, the Viscontis favoured expansion of the vineyards. Recently, when Lodi became a province, it absorbed the area of San Colombano, but a referendum saw the inhabitants choose to remain connected to Milan.