Italy Road Trip: Explore the country’s Rosato regions on a five-day trip

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In the battle between the French rosé and the Italian rosato, the reputation of the rosé gives it the advantage. After all, the Italian variety tends to spark memories of that syrupy mauve drink from schlock nonnas playing canasta. But rose wines don’t come from a single varietal, but from a winemaking process using skins to stain the juice – and in recent years Italian rosato makers have tweaked the process to create a lighter, more drinkable drink. pink and more refreshing. The verdict: French rosé is no longer the only rosé wine to be chased away.

For starters, Italian rosati offer a wider range of roses, varying in hue, taste and effervescence. Second, many rosati are made from native Italian grapes not many people have heard of, such as Bombino nero and corvina, so every glass is a lesson in viticulture and history. Third, Italian wines are generally cheaper, offering more value per bottiglia than rosé, the price of which has skyrocketed as consumption has increased by 1433% over the past decade. But the best part: According to most oenophiles, rose wines have been made in Italy longer than rosés in France, which has given them more grace with age.

A rosato road trip designed around Canaiolo Neros in Tuscany or the strawberry-nosed Negroamaro of Puglia is the best way to appreciate all of the above – and there’s no better time to explore the rose wine scene in booming than now. Think of the Italy road trip below as your introductory rosato beauty course.

The trip: five days, 644 miles

Not all Italian rose winemakers use the term rosato, but Italian rose wines are produced in all regions of Italy, from Sardinia and Sicily to Friuli. No realistic road trip in Italy could include them all – this getaway descends from the center of the boot of Lombardy to Puglia to sample a decent range.

Yes, the highway tolls are boring. Yes, Italian drivers are in a hurry. And there are far too many edible distractions, bustling beaches and UNESCO World Heritage sites along the way, but in the end, it’s an easy drive through a spectacular wine country with hills topped with cypress trees and parasols, villages with bell towers, sun. whitewashed masseria, and more rosé wines than a game of pétanque in Provence.

Be sure to call ahead to arrange for rosati tastings at wineries, though most r Ristorante sufficient stock to give you an overview. And don’t forget to sip lightly: Italy is strict on blood alcohol levels (0.5% is considered drunk driving), and bringing home unfinished bottles from lunch is perfectly fine. acceptable.

When should we go

Italy is invaded by tourists during the summer, when the rosato is most abundant, and from the end of August to September marks the beginning of the busy harvest. This means that the months of March to June and September to December are great times to enjoy rosati without the crowds and the delicious accompaniment to richer, seasonal foods.

Lago Iseo, a laid-back alternative to Lake Como, is home to sparkling rosatos.

Nicole franzen

Day 1

Start with a glass of rose bollé (bubbles) in Franciacort in Lombardya wine region, one hour east of Milan between Lago Iseo and Brescia. Its Champagne-style wines, such as the DOC Franciacorta Rosé, made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, Erbamat and Pinot nero (aka Pinot noir) grapes, are widely consumed during Milan Fashion Week. You’ll have to fight the Milanese for a lake-view balcony at the spacious 40-room Rivalago in sleepy Sulzano, parked directly on Iseo, a laid-back anti-Como. Let someone else take the stern and hop aboard the 11-minute ferry to the more sleepy Monte Isola, where La Foresta trattoria offers a selection of local rosati to pair with dishes like grilled lake fish on spring polenta cakes.


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