A wine and food tour focused on Romagna’s best wineries and grape varieties. This region, besides savory food like cured meat, terrific grilled meat, Fossa cheeses and amazing dishes of handmade pasta, has a lot to offer speaking specifically of wine. We are going to taste Sangiovese di Romagna, Albana, Centesimino, Famoso, Uva Ruggine, but not only, since we will fully explore a land where history and art are fused into bucolic landscape. To let you embrace the beauty of this terroir, we selected the most typical restaurants that combine imagination and skill to the great culinary tradition of Romagna.
Among the cities we are going to visit stand out Ravenna with its magnificent mosaics; Faenza, the mecca of ceramics; the Terra del Sole (The Sun City) a small metaphysic town nestled on the Appennines and to conclude Brisighella, a wonderful example of medieval architecture. In each area we are going to discover the most compelling delicacies, visiting wineries that best embody (bottle) the spirit of renewal that is bringing to the forefront the wine of Romagna.
The uniqueness of this wine and food tour is that, given the beauty of this hills, we will reach some wineries by bicycle, but don’t worry, the tour is designed to offer a choice between a hard path for those who have a lot of energy to spend and a easier one to enjoy the view at your leisure.
Transfer from Bologna airport to our holiday villa among the vineyards: La Sabbiona, which produces good wines and a velvety extra virgin olive oil. After lunch, ride to the Old San Biagio winery, perched on a hill overlooking the entire valley, where we will spend a couple of hours tasting and exploring these shining vineyards, some older than 40 years, ending with a sumptuous dinner on the panoramic terrace of San Biagio restaurant, where chef Morini turns top notch Slow Food materials into wonders.
Ravenna: the city that once was the capital of the Roman Empire. We will admire the mosaics of San Vitale and Galla Placidia’s Mausoleum, then the Tomb of Dante and Fortebraccio Gardens, to finish with a visit at San Francisco church. Lunch at Ca de Be’, an iconic restaurant with a monumental selection of wines and on the way back home we will take a closer look to Sant’Apollinare in Classe, one of the most beautiful Romanesque church that preserves breathtaking mosaics.
In the afternoon visit at Leone Conti winery, where we will taste excellent whites base on Albana di Romagna, but some nice bottles of Centesimino too and of course Sangiovese, just to finish with two stunning raisin wines paired with blue cheeses. In the evening is schedule a cooking course to learn all the secrets about hand-made pasta and dinner with paired wines.
In the morning, the first stop of our winery tour is at Spinetta Winery: lots of native grapes paired with cold cuts of Mora Romagnola, a wild pig bred in the woods. Then we will move to Brisighella to visit this charming medieval village perched on the rocks. Lunch at a local restaurant, Guercinoro, and then we will explore the town.
In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to visit an oil mill to taste the dainty extra virgin olive oil of Brisighella, a niche product that comes from a very limited production, the first in Italy to boast the DOP. Walk through the olive groves, oil tasting, and then we will move to the Vigne del Bosco winery, where we will find the bio-dynamic wines of Paolo Babini: Syrah, Sangiovese, Albana, Riesling, all unfiltered, courageous, marked by a heroic soul that reflects this rocky terroir.
Today our Romagna wine tour will stop at the Terra del Sole—Sun City—a little gem hidden in the Apennines. Founded as a ideal city, survived intact through the passage of centuries. The Medici family had it built in 1564 to defend the northern border of Tuscany. But the real treasure once again are the wines, which in these hills are austere, sharp, with plenty of minerals and herbal suggestions due to a soil rich in marine fossils, clay, limestone and chalk veins that give supple consistency to the wine.
In the afternoon visit at Pennita winery, where we will find an excellent Sangiovese and a supple blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Sangiovese, not to speak about a mind blowing extra virgin olive, literally sublime, pure golden liquid. Walk in the hills covered with olive trees, vineyards and woods, after that we can relax at Castrocaro’s spa.
After breakfast, we will take a bicycle ride among the hills of Oriolo to visit the ancient tower, then lunchtime visit at Ancarani winery, with an intriguing selection of native grapes of Romagna, from which emerge a mighty overripe Albana, Santa Lusa, and Uvappesa the sweet Centesimino. We will be guests of the winery for lunch: expect typical dishes and a profusion of grilled meat to go with an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the afternoon visit to the Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, the city tour includes Milzetti Palace, the Cathedral and the Square dating to the Renaissance. Free time before taking dinner at the Baita, the best restaurant in town, with a wine list that will touch your heart.
Bertinoro: first of all we will take a tasting tour of the compelling wines of Giovanna Madonia, a rocky lady that grows only alberello (tiny tree) vines, an old training system used in Romagna since centuries, in one of the most suggestive corner of this region. Afterward, visit to the castle and stroll through the medieval buildings; free time to explore this charming town with plenty of delicatessen and antiques shops. In the afternoon visit at Hermitage of Camaldoli or truffle hunting in the woods.
Early in the morning visit at Tre Monti winery and then lunch at Vicolo Nuovo restaurant, where tradition is only the first step to reach innovation. In the afternoon walk to visit the historic buildings, like the church of San Domenico and the famous castle, which houses a museum with over 600 original weapons then free time for golf or horseback-bicycle riding.
Trip to Bologna to visit the old town with its two towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), Piazza del Nettuno, San Petronio and Santo Stefano churches, and then you’ll be spoiled for choice: there are the Art Gallery, the Medieval Museum, not to mention the Museum of the great painter Morandi. Lunch at Cesari, a iconic Bolognese restaurant. End of our Romagna food and wine tour by bicycle.
For those who want to continue exploring: a couple of additional days in Bologna are enough to visit the old city and the wineries of the surrounding Colli Bolognesi too.