Emiglia Romagna
About the Producer: 
The Sangiovese wine in Romagna was once considered congenitally inferior to its noble cousin across the Apennines in Tuscany – a view long held by more than just Tuscans. The wine referred to affectionately in Romagna’s dialect as sansvez was describes as hearty, zesty, earthy, tangy, with scarcely a nod in the direction of genteel until the early 1980s when the “Ronco” reds emerged from Castelluccio. Ronco refers to a terraced plot typical of the crest above the town of Modigliana, where in 1975 Gianvittorio Baldi planted clones of Sangiovese selected by vine expert Remigio Bordini. Baldi hired the noted enologist Vittorio Fiore to style the wines in French barriques, an extravagance that shocked other producers and resulted in Sangiovese that was too special to carry the routine Romagna DOC. The trio of Ronco dei Ciliegi (cherry trees), Ronco Casone (big house) and Ronco delle Ginestre (wild broom) drew praise from critics, though some tasters found the wines to be out of line in typology and price for what, after all, Romagnan Sangiovese. Baldi and Fiore pushed ahead boldly, creating the oak-fermented Sauvignon Blanc called Ronco del Re (king) that caused a stir with its sovereign style and princely price. But, controversial as they were at the beginning, the wines of Castelluccio sparked a revolution in Romagna’s concepts of winemaking that heralded a new day for Sangiovese. Castelluccio has passed from the Baldi family to a team headed by Bordini and Fiore, who have replaced Ronco Casone with Ronco della Simia (dialect for monkey) from selected clone of Sangiovese that have raised the quality level of the trio to new heights. Top ratings usually go to the Ronco dell Ginestre, perhaps the first Sangiovese of Romagna to rate description as super. Castelluccio’s production of about 70,000 bottles annually from 13 hectares of vines includes Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Le More and an IGT white called Lunaria, from Sauvignon Blanc.