What is Lambrusco?
Lambrusco is a fruity, sparkling red wine from Italy. It comes mainly from the Emilia-Romagna region, but can also come from Lombardy, South Tyrol, Piedmont, Puglia, Basilicata or Sicily. It takes its name from the Lambrusco or Lambrusca family of varieties. Protected areas of origin for Lambrusco are - in Emilia-Romagna - Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Reggiano (Reggiano Lambrusco, Reggiano Lambrusco Salamino) and Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce as well as - in Lombardy - Lambrusco Mantovano.
Lambrusco is produced dry or residually sweet and with varying degrees of carbonic acidity as still wine(tranquillo), semi-sparkling wine(Frizzante) or sparkling wine(Spumante). There are two main ways to produce it:
- In the first variant - for simple Lambrusco - the red base wine is vinified completely and stored temporarily. For the final product, an appropriate amount of wine is then mixed with grape must concentrate (RCGM) and yeast and fermented again in a pressure tank, whereby the fermentation is stopped at the desired residual sugar content by means of cold shock.
- In the second variant - for quality Lambrusco - the grape must is cooled to about zero degrees after pressing and temporarily stored at this temperature. For the final product, an appropriate amount of must is then heated and yeast is added as needed to initiate fermentation. At the desired residual sugar content, this is also stopped by means of cold shock.
The advantage of the second production method is that the Lambrusco is significantly more aromatic with this variant, while the first variant is less costly. In order to combine the advantages of both methods, mixed variants are also used.