Terroir: Romagna is divided into strips of territory parallel to the rivers that descend from the Apennine ridge on their way to the Adriatic sea. Crossing the valleys of the main rivers that flow in the province of Forlì-Cesena (Montone, Rabbi, Ronco and Savio) there is notable morphological uniformity, a consistent landscape indicating the uniformity of the geological constitution of this area, and similar forms of erosion. Much of the viticultural land lies on the marly-arenaceous formation, of Miocene origin. Viticulture zoning studies, with particular reference to Cesenate, have made it possible to investigate the main vineyard soils of the area, finding, as a common thread, a derivation from sandstones and marls of the Marnoso-arenacea formation. Sometimes these soils are partially buried by more recent deposits linked to erosion or agricultural activity.
Generally widespread in the middle hills are the soils of the Santa Lucia formation (also found in Montalcino). These soils were formed in materials derived from sandstones and marls of the Marnoso-arenacea formation; they are quite deep, well-drained, very calcareous and moderately alkaline up to the substrate (about 1 m deep), with a silty or frank texture. The altitudes are between 100 and 420 m asl and the slopes can vary from 10-20% up to 20-35%.
In the lower hills, at altitudes between 50 and 100 metres are found the San Tommaso soils: fine-loamy, mixed (calcareous), mesic Typic Ustorthents.
The “San Tommaso” soils were formed following the leveling of the topographic surface and are a mixture of materials derived from other soils (Santa Lucia or Madonna dell’Ulivo). They are very deep, well-drained, medium-textured, moderately alkaline and very calcareous up to about 80 cm deep. The soils “Madonna dell’Ulivo” derive from the Marnoso-arenacea and are sometimes buried due to the redeposition of eroded materials or derivatives from agricultural activity. They are little or not calcareous, deep soils, with frank-clayey or frank-clayey-silty texture, poor in organic matter, moderate permeability and high capacity in available water. The “Celincordia” soils are moderately deep and well drained, very calcareous and with a horizon of frank, frank-clayey or frank-silty texture. The situation can also extend to Forlivese with a particular area linked to the “Spungone chain” in which there are soils with yellowish sands, still not fullt investigated.
Climate | In the hilly viticultural area of the province of Forlì-Cesena, the bioclimatic index of Winkler is between 1,600 and 2,200 degrees per day, with higher thermal summations in the lower hills and gradually decreasing with increasing altitude. Conditions suit both early and late-ripening varieties, such as Sangiovese and, above all, Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano.
Human factors | In the province of Forlì-Cesena, the post-phylloxeric renewal of the vineyards focused on some traditional vines such as Sangiovese, Trebbiano romagnolo and Bombino bianco, which were joined by “marginal” vines for the territory such as Barbera and Montepulciano, which in some situations could help to create more conservative and more structured red wines than Sangiovese. In fact, local farmers knew Barbera could contribute to a blend by bringing colour and acidity, while Montepulciano, often considered a later Sangiovese, brought color and structure if cultivated in the right soils both for exposure and for pedological characteristics. More recently the so-called “international vines” have arrived: Merlot (sporadically already present for a long time), Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon.
Romagna has always historically distinguished itself from other areas of Sangiovese cultivation for the vinification in purity of this grape variety and the DOC “Colli Romagna Centrale has not neglected this aspect, but has also wanted to give reason for the evolution of the most recent wine tradition, which allowed to create very interesting products starting from a decidedly positive grape-environment interaction.
The Sangiovesi of Forlivese and Cesenate have always distinguished themselves for an important structure, which undoubtedly derives from the characteristics of the soils, largely linked to the Marnoso-arenacea formation. The same applies to the other red wines; in fact, there are important Merlot and Cabernet, with hints of ripe fruit and interesting spicy that derive from the grapes and are transformed and enriched with aging in wood.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Bianco: 50% to 60% Chardonnay, 50-50% Bombino Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano and Pinot Blanc. Bombino bianco shows notes of pear and broom. Sauvignon is is said to show notes of broom, gooseberry, peach, and citrus scents, like grapefruit. Chardonnay shows notes of acacia, green apple and citrus fruits.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Chardonnay: 100% Chardonnay. Shows notes of acacia, green apple and citrus fruits.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Chardonnay Riserva: Must age for 15 months. Oak not compulsory.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Trebbiano | 85-100% Trebbiano Romagnolo, 0-15% authorised non-aromatic white grapes. The Disciplinare suggests ‘Trebbiano romagnolo best expresses its potential in medium or medium-high hills. Too high and it may not ripen. Below 1850 degree days (Winkler index) it cannot reach a satisfactory carbohydrate level, producing rather unbalanced musts and wines. The best wines come by cultivating Trebbiano on soils rich in limestone, poor in organic matter, from medium to deep to deep and with a medium to high available water capacity (Celincordia and Santa Lucia up to 150 m asl).
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Rosso: 50-60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40-50% Sangiovese, Barbera, Merlot or Montepulciano.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Rosso Riserva
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Cabernet Sauvignon: 85-100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0-15% other red grapes authorised in Emilia Romagna.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva: Must age for 15 months. Oak not compulsory.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Sangiovese: 100% Sangiovese. Sangiovese and other red grape tend to prefer sites with east and south–south-west exposures and medium-low hills, with soils that tend to be clayey and rich in limestone (Celincordia). Typical flavours: well-ripened cherry to dried plum.
Colli Romagna Centrale DOC Sangiovese Riserva: 100% Sangiovese. Must age for 15 months. Oak not compulsory.
Disciplinare di produzione della denominanzione di origine controllata dei vini Colli Romagna Centrale (2011).