The Enoteca Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna association chose to set up shop in the enchanting Rocca Sforzesca di Dozza, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, which lies not far from Bologna. Conveniently located at the meeting point between Emilia and Romagna, Dozza is also renowned for its Biennale del Muro Dipinto, a wall-painting event that over the years has transformed the little village into an open-air art gallery.
It was here that the Enoteca Regionale Emilia-Romagna came into being in 1970, with the purpose of promoting and supporting the region’s wine heritage. The association was not officially recognised until eight years later, and ever since the Enoteca has continued to expand; today, it boasts more than 200 members made up of wine, balsamic vinegar and spirit makers.
A visit to the Enoteca Regionale Emilia-Romagna will have you mesmerised as soon as you step inside the Rocca wine cellars, which house the permanent exhibition. Over 1,000 labels are stored in this space and are displayed according to the wines’ pairing with food.
Guided along on an exhilarating journey from appetisers to dessert, visitors are led step by step through the process as they discover which grape varieties work best with the starters, pasta dishes and meat and fish-based courses they are served, finishing off with cheese, dessert and lastly a taste of some liqueurs and spirits.
And so begins the exploration of the different regional areas where these grape varieties grow, each area cherishing and nurturing the vines to give rise to wines with distinctive properties, which over time have earned them the DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) and DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) designations. More specifically, these areas are the Piacenza hills (Colli Piacentini) and the Parma hills (Colli di Parma), the land of Lambrusco, the hills surrounding Bologna and Romagna, the largest wine-growing area in the region, and the Bosco Eliceo wines.
But there’s more: your tour around the exhibition will also include special sections about other regional specialities, such as PDO Brisighella and Colline di Romagna extra virgin olive oil, and Modena and Reggio Emilia’s famous PDO traditional balsamic vinegar. Quality-assured by a technical tasting team, the products on display can also be purchased and sampled at the Enoteca wine bar.
The wine bar
No visit to the Enoteca would be complete without a final stop at the wine bar: stay a while and enjoy a good glass of wine, or take part in the tasting evenings that are held during the year, where you can come face to face with the wine-makers themselves.