WEEK 12 WINE: Awarded Italy’s first DOCG for a white wine!

Albana di Romagna "Neblina" Bianco Giovanna Madonia, 2018

The wine is medium bodied, fresh and lively.  Flavors of stone fruits and melon mix with white flowers.  This is a textbook example of Albana, if you have never had one you may have a new summer go to.

Giovanna Madonia estate extends over 12 hectares (30 acres) on the sunny ridge of the magnificent hill of Montemaggio, in Bertinoro, the heart of Romagna Wine District. Giovanna's grandfather, a Sicilian born engineer with a passion for wine, used to cultivate a few acres of grapevines and produce some wine for family and friends. Giovanna's father increased the property and the reputation of the name so much that he was elected as the first President of the Consorzio Tutela dei Vini Romagnoli (Consortium of the Wines of Romagna).

In 1992, following meticulous studies and clone selection, Giovanna started the new chapter of the Madonia Estate, assisted by Remigio Bordini, who is considered an authority of this region's viticultural scene. She planted the new vines at an altitude between 200 and 350 meters (650 and 1,000 feet), with a density of 7,000 plants per hectare (2,900 plants per acre) trained in the alberello (or bush) system, with a variation that allows the clusters a more consistent sun exposure throughout the daily cycle. Here, the plants benefit from an optimal southwest exposure, and the yields are kept at minimum for the best fruit quality.

The grapevines have found enviable soil and climate, intermingled with olive groves and wild forest, whose scent is blended with the pleasant breeze coming from the sea, only 5 miles away – and the charm of this landscape echoes the fruit's cherished character.

From Gambero Rosso

"Giovanna Madonia’s lovely Romagna winery rests on two solid bases. The first is her few hectares of vineyard on Mount Maggio, in the heart of Bertinoro. Here, very distinctive soils exhibit high proportions of active limestone and the “spungone” or seabed tufa, seems to sprout up continuously among the vines. The other base is Giovanna’s own remarkable personality. Her wines, too, display magnificent character but they need time to express their best. A few years bring them admirable balance, almost as if they are reliving the lengthy ripening periods that the environment imposes on its vineyards, as many as 15 to 20 days more than in vineyards overlooking the sea.”




Romagna DOCG Albana Secco



2017, Albana 100%, Alcohol 13,5%.



Grape Variety

100% Albana from a Vineyard trained in Guyot and “Alberello”, “Bush” system, at a density of 6.500 vines per hectare (2,600 vines per acre). Grape production: 5000 Kg/Ha.



Calcareous-clayey mixture. Exposure South - West. Altitude 300/350 m.



Hand-harvested in small crates generally during the last weeks of September.


Winemaking Process

Soft pressing and vinification without skin-contact maceration. Less than 60% juice extraction. Fermentation and maturation exclusively in stainless steel tanks. Microfiltration and brief bottle ageing. Nomacorc Select Bio 100 closures with oxygen control.


Wine Profile Notes

Color: bright straw yellow. Bouquet: aromas of peach, white melon, exotic fruits, wisteria over a background of bread and flowers. Taste: high acidity, freshness and tanginess in a mineral considerable structure. Perfectly balanced fresh and alcoholic components in the texture. Excellent interpretation of the grape varietal.

Serving temperature 10°C.

Analytical features: Alcohol 13,37 % vol Residual sugars 1,60 g/l Volatile acidity 0,44 g/l Total acidity 7,40 g/l Net dry essence 23,50 g/l.


“This category of wine grabbed headlines in 1987, more because of surprise than stature, when it was awarded Italy’s first DOCG for a white wine.  Known then as Albana di Romagna, there was a collective bewilderment since many other white wine DOCs seemed more appropriate for elevation to Italy’s highest level of classification. 

Just having tasted two-dozen Romagna Albana Secco, I see the wisdom of the Italian wine authorities — this is an appealing and unique category of white wine.  This one is what so many “orange” wines aspire to.  Pale yellow, it conveys real substance and texture, even a hint of tangerine skin, buttressed by bright and racy acidity.  Try it with a hefty seafood stew.” Michael Apstein