Spungone Gastronomic Route
If the saying “you never get old at the table” is true, then the lands of the Spungone are ideal for staying young, thanks to the products of the territory and the tasty dishes of traditional Romagna cuisine. In this area, in fact, you will discover and enjoy various tasty flavours and typical quality products.
Wines of the Spungone
It is the Spungone, the rock originating from the prehistoric coral reef, which gives the local wine the minerals, the colour and good acidity which add to its excellence. This is where the elegant and austere Sangiovese, the versatile Albana and the generous Pagadebit originate, which every town in this territory declines in a particular way.
Bertinoro, the name says everything!
Wine is the protagonist of the “capital of hospitality”, to which it is tied by an ancient tradition. According to a suggestive legend, Bertinoro's name is linked to the quality of its wine and is due to Galla Placidia, daughter of the Emperor Theodosius: the Roman princess, passing through these hills, was offered a goblet of wine and after tasting it she exclaimed :”You are not worthy of such a rustic goblet but should be drunk in gold” (Berti in oro means drink you in gold). And Albana and Sangiovese here are excellent, of course.
Albana and Sangiovese, gold and ruby treasures.
Albana is the first white wine in Italy to be granted the D.O.C.G certification in 1987, and today can be rightly placed among the great Italian 'whites', thanks to the great work of many excellent producers of the territory. Full-bodied and refined at the same time, the Albana proves to be versatile and very pleasant, both in the dry version and in the passito and sparkling wines and finds in Bertinoro the ideal terroir. To celebrate the DOCG recognition, the Municipality of Bertinoro together with the Tribunato di Romagna commissioned the Albana Bell, which can be admired today on the terrace of the Ca' de Be'(Wine House) and whose chimes, every year, announce the beginning of the harvest.
Equally significant is the presence of the Sangiovese, or rather the Romagna DOC Sangiovese, its new name. Bertinoro is one of the recognized sub-zones, which boasts the production of the Romagna DOC Sangiovese Bertinoro Riserva, a ruby red wine, with hints of violets and red fruits.
All the wines can be tasted during a visit to the various wineries located around the territory of Bertinoro; in order to promote their wines some of them have joined in the so called Bertinoro Wines Consortium.
Bertinoro town centre hosts the Historical Archive of Sangioveses of Romagna which, from 2011, preserves the enological memory of this region. Together with Bertinoro Wines Consortium and the Italian Association of Sommeliers here you can discover the territory and its excellent wine production through theme-based workshops and guided tours, always holding a glass in your hand. Of course, all the local wines can also be tasted in the various restaurants and bars in Bertinoro.
Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole: wine, oil, bread
Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole have all the necessary ingredients for one’s well-being, and not only for the presence of thermal waters, whose therapeutic properties have been known since ancient times.
The peculiar composition of the soil and the microclimate that characterizes the single areas help to create a perfect terroir for the production of excellent wines: The Romagna Sangiovese (with the recognition of a specific subzone Castrocaro), the Albana, the Pagadebit (obtained from the Bombino Bianco grape), the Trebbiano and the Cagnina. It is no coincidence that a Winebar of Local Refined Wines was set up inside the Castrocaro Fortress: it is managed by the local Pro Loco , member of the Wine and Food Route of the Hills of the Forlì-Cesena Province. Tastings are possible also in the various wineries spread around the territory.
Olive trees also find a favourable habitat here and give origin to the extra virgin olive oil Colline di Romagna Dop, characterized by excellent organoleptic properties and very low acidity. An absolute must, to be tasted!
Among the products of this territory, Castrocaro bread, included in the national list of traditional agri-food products, is also worth mentioning. It is a soft bread, cooked in a wood oven, made with the waters from the springs of the territory, local flour and yeast.
Predappio, where Sangiovese reigns
The Romagna Sangiovese wine is the king of Predappio hills, where the cultivation of vines has been documented since the Middle Ages as it is shown by the wine museum of Predappio Alta. This museum was built inside the ancient cellars of the Zoli family, active since the 15th century and today it is an integral part of the “Ca' de Sanzves” (House of Sangiovese), the most well known local tavern which offers also food.
The recognition of the specific Predappio sub-zone attests the special character of the Sangiovese which is austere and deep, robust and structured and is produced at the foot of the ancient castle. Many wine cellars carry on the tradition - some are long-standing, others have been opened in more recent times – and organise wine tastings. The most important ones have created the association "Terre di Predappio" (Lands of Predappio) for the promotion of the Sangiovese of this area.
Every year at the beginning of autumn Predappio dedicates an event to the symbol of its territory: “the three days of Sangiovese”, a real festival dedicated to its most precious wine.
Together with wine, Predappio Alta also offers another typical delicious product : the pecorino di grotta cheese, stored for a few months in the tunnels of the solfara (sulphur mine) digged inside the mountain. The constant temperature at 12 degrees and the high level of humidity gives the cheese a unique taste.
The piadina, symbol of Romagna
Round, fragrant and tasty the piadina is the real “national bread of the people of Romagna”, as Giovanni Pascoli defined it. And even in the land of Spungone, where it is often thicker and smaller than in Rimini, it confirms its double vocation as street food par excellence (to be bought at one of the kiosks dotted here and there) and queen of the table in the trattorias and many restaurants. Served hot, it is ideal to accompany cold cuts and cheeses, it goes best with the Squacquerone dop, the delicate soft cheese typical of Romagna. Perfect for a quick snack are the crescioni, that hide a tasty filling inside a piadina wrap. The traditional one is with country herbs, but they are also made with pumpkin, potatoes, sausage, not forgetting the less 'common' variants (such as tomato and mozzarella), but equally tasty, introduced by the imagination of the piadina makers.