The three DOC Lambrusco wines of the province of Modena are:
- Lambrusco di Sorbara
- Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
- Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce
These wines are defended and upgraded by: the Consorzio Tutela del Lambrusco di Modena together with the Consorzio Marchio Storico dei Lambruschi Modenesi (which selected the rosette of the Modena Cathedral as its trademark). The first consortium was founded in 1961 but has been active since 1967. Thanks to its work, in 1970 the Lambrusco wines of Modena were granted status of "denominazione di origine controllata" (wines of controlled origin). In 1997 the new Consorzio Tutela del Lambrusco di Modena was founded. It is a non-profit inter-professional category association to protect, enhance and in general follow up on all aspects of "d.o.c." qualification for the Lambrusco wines of Modena and the typical geographic indication of "Modena or Province of Modena". All those using protected names in one or more of the following activities can become members of the Consortium: vineyard owners, wine makers and bottlers.
Lambrusco wine is made from the "lambrusca" grape, known to the ancient Etruscans and Romans and even earlier to the Ligurian Gauls. Cato mentions it in his "De Agri Cultura" written in the II century B.C.
Lucio Moderato Columella, Pliny the Elder, a man of great knowledge, and Discoride, Greek physician and pharmacologist, each cited "lambrusca" as far back as the first century. In regard to the characteristics of this ancient relative of the Lambrusco, the great naturalist is quite clear. In fact, in Latin he states "singulare remedium ad refrigerandos in morbis corporum ardores" (this singular remedy brings life to the cold, morbid body).
There is mention of its being transported to the Ducal wine cellar on October 29th 1693 and, half a century later, its presence at court has been broadly consolidated, so much so that the documents speak of "strong red grapes" coming from various areas within the Modena territory, including Sorbara.
The greatest Italian ampelographist, Italo Cosmo, in his monumental work "Principali vitigni di vino coltivati in Italia" (Principle wine grapes grown in Italy) he describes three different Lambroscos from Modena: Grasparossa, Salamino and Sorbara and deems the latter the most important because it yields a more prestigious wine.
Lambrusco, all three qualities, is a modern wine with significant organoleptic characteristics: it has a lively sparkle, an intense, persistent aroma, a rich flavour exalted by a good acidity counteracted, in the semi-dry and sweeter versions, by varying degrees of sugars.
Typical production area
The north-eastern portion of the province of Modena, the so-called "low-lying" part of the province (Sorbara, Bomporto, Bastiglia, Campogalliano, Carpi, Modena, Nonantola, Ravarino, San Prospero, Soliera) is the area where Sorbara Lambrusco is produced.
The territory around Carpi in the northwest portion of the province (Campogalliano, Camposanto, Carpi, Concordia sul Secchia, Cavezzo, Medolla, Mirandola, Novi, San Felice sul Panaro, San Possidonio, Soliera) grow the grapes for Lambrusco Salamino di S. Croce.
Finally, the upper plains and Modena hillsides (Castelvetro, Castelnuovo Rangone, Castelfranco Emilia, Fiorano, Formignine, Maranello, Marano sul Panaro, Prignano sul Secchia, San Cesario, Savignano sul Panaro, Spilamberto, Sassuolo, Vignola) give rise to the Lambrusco Grasparossa.
To take the tour you must make written request to the consortium :