Lombardy, with its pulsating metropolis of Milan, stands for the economic growth of northern Italy like hardly any other region. Yet one hardly notices the viticulture when driving through the main traffic arteries. This is because the actual wine-growing areas are located far to the north, deep in the south and in the far east. They produce more wine than, for example, Trentino in combination with South Tyrol, Umbria or Friuli. The widely separated wine-growing areas represent a correspondingly different range of grape varieties. One of the better-known regions, Oltrepò Pavese, produces good red wines from the Barbera or Croatina grapes, although the latter is also used to make a very interesting, delicately sparkling version, Bonarda Vivace. Valtellina in the north, on the other hand, is dominated by the Nebbiolo grape variety, while the eastern part, the Lugana region located south of Lake Garda, is dominated by white wines made from the high-quality Trebbiano clone Trebbiano di Lugana, which produces fresh, fruity, medium-bodied white wines. The Franciacorta subregion is outstanding for one name in particular - Ca' del Bosco. Here, Maurizio Zanella produces excellent white and red still wines, as well as outstanding sparkling wines that are among the best in Italy and a real challenge to any Champagne. However, his wines command a high price.
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