Oltrepò Pavese, Italy
Located in the province of Pavia in Lombardia, Italy. This is where some of the most underrated sparkling wines are made with great quality-price-ratio.
Grapes can be seen growing all over the hills to the south of the Po river and begins to rise in altitude towards the Ligurian Apennines. Top quality Pinot Nero for sparkling wines are grown between 200 to 550 meters above sea level with an east / west exposition.
The soils are a varied mixture of clay, quartz, limestone marl and granite.
The region is known for its semi-sparkling and sparkling whites and reds at very good prices. Its top of the line sparkling rosé DOCG, made from a minimum 85% of Pinot Nero, is called “Cruasé”. The Pavia region also produces one of the most widely known cheeses in Italy “Grana Padano DOP” along with “Gorgonzola DOP” and “Taleggio DOP”. Truffles and hearty local dishes made from rabbit and boar as well as its most famous Salami from the region, Salami di Varzi DOP can be found.
- “Oltrepò Pavese” means the “beyond the Po river in Pavese”.
- It was once under the administration of Piemonte before being part of Lombadia.
- Besides its outstanding sparkling wines made from Pinot Nero (pinot noir), it also produces still red wines from Pinot Nero, Barbera, Croatina, Uva Rara and Vespolina. The still white wines are made from Riesling, Riesling Italico (Welschriesling) and Pinot Grigio.
- The region has been making sparkling wines since 1870, earlier than Italy’s other well-known sparkling wine region, Franciacorta. In its history, the sparkling wines were even christened by the French as “Champagne d’Oltrepò” or the “Champagne of Oltrepo”.
- “Cruasé” is a combination of the words “cru” (selection) and “rosé”. Around the beginning of the 18th Century, Crua was also the ancient name of the grape / wine for excellence in products from Oltrepò Pavese.