The Lombardia region of Italy is known particularly for its sparkling wines made in the Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese areas. Lombardy also produces still red, white and rosé wines made from a variety of local and international grapes including Nebbiolo wines in the Valtellina region, Trebbiano di Lugana white wines produced with the Chiaretto style rosé along the shores of Lake Garda. The wine region currently has 15 Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC), 3 Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and 13 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designations. The main cities of the region are Milan, Bergamo and Brescia. The region annually produces over 28 million gallons (1.1 million hectolitres) of wine, more than the regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Marche, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Umbria.
The winemaking tradition of Lombardy dates back to its settlement by Greeks from Athens along the Po river. Archaeological evidence suggest that these settlers traded wine with the Etruscans in nearby Tuscany. In the late 19th century, the Italian wine writer C.B. Cerletti wrote a book for the French market that described the wines of Italy. Of the wines of Lombardy, he noted that the Valtellina were still being made in a Greek style and the wines of Oltrepò Pavese were the preferred wines of the Milanese.
The climate of Lombardy is varied due to the diverse terrain of the region but is generally considered a “cool” continental climate. The region is influenced by several geographic features that control the climate and terroir of the land. These include the Alps located in the northern parts of the region near the wine producing area of Valtellina and the Po River which runs along the Oltrepò Pavese (whose name means “Pavia across the Po”) and forms most of the region’s southern border with Emilia-Romagna. Many wine areas are located near some of Lombardy’s major lakes including Franciacorta near Lake Iseo as well as the Garda Bresciano and Garda Mantovano regions near Lake Garda. To the west of Lombardy is the Piedmont wine region, to the south is Emilia-Romagna and to the east are the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Veneto wine regions.