By Enza Bettelli

San Colombano DOC Wine

San Colombano DOC is the only wine made within the province of Milan. The production area extends from the municipality of San Colombano al Lambro, province of Milan, to those of Miradolo Terme, Inverno and Monteleone and Chignolo Po province of Pavia and Graffignana and Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, province of Lodi.
Vineyards alternate with historical sites such as the Lombard castle Belgioioso, built by Emperor Barbarossa, the antique palaces of Pavia, the beautiful square in Lodi, old villages and antique villas. Along the San Colombano Wine and flavours of Lodi Way, a road about 60 chilometers long departing from Milan, you will find traditional gastronomic products, handcraft shops with pottery, wrought iron, goldsmiths, and besides, thermal baths and spas, hotels, farms where tourists can stay or just eat the local produce, restaurants, and, of course, wine cellars and animal husbandry farms.

The Consorzio Volontario Vini DOC San Colombano (a voluntary cooperative for DOC San Colombano wines) was formed in 1987 from 18 vineyards with a protected area of 129 hectares of registered vines and a total annual production of about 121 thousand bottles. (www.sancolombanodoc.it)

The red wine from this territory comes from 30-50% Croatina grapes, 25-50% Barbera and 15% maximum of Uva Rara, with the possibility of the addition of small quantities of other grapes from the territory. The wine may be still or sparkling and may have “Riserva” or “Vigna” added to the label. San Colombano Bianco, Frizzante and Vigna (white, sparkling and Vigna), are made with Chardonnay grapes (minimum 50%) and Pinot Nero (10% minimum).
The red DOC wines are ruby red, aromatic, with a dry, savoury, almondy taste. They go well with elaborate first courses, with meat and with mature cheese.
The white wines are straw-yellow in colour, with a dry flavour and floral perfume. They go well with fresh water fish or white meat and make an excellent aperitìf.

The most famous are "panettone" (a type of bready cake) and risotto, but there is also polenta, "tortelli" (filled pasta), tripe, capon stuffed with nuts which is typical for Christmas, roast goose, stewed carp and eel, stewed or fried frogs' legs, marrow bones, stews, "cassoeula" (pork and cabbage stew typical for All Saints’ and All Souls’ days) and so on.
Other typical products are parmasan, "granone di Lodi", mascarpone, "pannerone", "quartirolo" cheeses.  Among the cold meats: goose salami of Sant’Angelo, Milan and Varzi. And different kinds of desserts: "tortionata" (a crumbly almond cake), paradise cake, "sbrisolona" (another crumbly cake), zabaione and apple charlotte.
(English translation by Gudrun Dalla Via)

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