On lands that lies between the Enza and Stirone streams, in the hills of the Parma province, there is an expanse of area at an altitude of between 200 and 800 metres above sea level that has been dedicated to wine-growing for centuries.
In the Napoleonic era, officials of the court of Marie Louise of Austria grafted various vine varieties in this area, around their hillside villas: the soil proved to be particularly suited to these vines. Today, the municipalities in Parma with the highest concentration of vineyards are Langhirano, Felino and Sala Baganza.
The PDO Colli di Parma designation comprises white and red wines, as well as still and fizzy wines from a variety of different grapes. Historical grape varieties include the aromatic Malvasia di Candia and Sauvignon blanc, and Barbera and Bonarda by way of reds, which give rise to PDO Colli di Parma Malvasia, PDO Colli di Parma Sauvignon, PDO Colli di Parma Barbera and PDO Colli di Parma DOP Bonarda, respectively.
Alongside this production, other grape varieties were added in the amendments made to the specifications after 1982. Since establishing themselves in the area, these varieties have succeeded in perfectly acclimatising and adapting to their environment and in assuming the particular properties of the land they grow on. These varieties are Pinot nero, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Lambrusco (Maestri variety).
A Consorzio Volontario (voluntary consortium) has been monitoring production of PDO Colli di Parma wines since 1977, whilst the Museo Cantina dei Colli di Parma museum, set in the Rocca of Sala Baganza, recounts the wine’s history, taking you on a journey from ancient times to the present day.