La Berta

Emilia-Romagna, Italy
At a Glance
  • La Berta was an early pioneer of high quality winemaking in Romagna.
  • Purchased in 2009 by the Poggiali family, owners of Felsina – at which point they increased the focus on quality winemaking – implementing all of the same farming practices as those used at Felsina.
  • The winery focuses on the Sangiovese plus the whites typical of the region: Pagadebit, Trebbiano and Albana

The Poggiali family, owners of the Fattoria di Felsina winery since the 1960s, are originally from Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna. They have had the intention for some time of having a winery in their native land. That dream was finally realized in 2009 when they bought Podere La Berta in the town of Brisighella, previously owned by Marcello Giovannini whose work at La Berta gained a reputation as one of the top wine producers in the region. There is a natural connection to Felsina in that the most important grape in Romagna is Sangiovese. Sangiovese is the focus at La Berta as well as the famed Albana di Romagna – Italy’s first DOCG white wine. In addition to the Albana, they make great examples of Trebbiano and the local wine Pagadebit. This is a wine made mainly from Bombino Bianco – a grape fairly resistant to disease and that produces a reliable harvest even in lesser vintages. The wine gets its name from the fact that the farmers would rely on the sales of the Bombino Bianco crop to pay their previous year’s debts.

The vineyards at La Berta are farmed with the same care and attention as those at Fattoria di Felsina. They are farmed with minimal impact and practice biodynamic farming methods, but do not plan to be certified. The soil here is a mix of clay and sand rich in marine deposits. The vineyards sit in a choice position in the foothills of the Appenine Mountains with influence from the Adriatic as well. The entry-level Sangiovese di Romagna offers great value whereas the Cru Solano shows more of the area's potential. It is natural to compare these wines to those of Tuscany but they should be viewed in their own light. The best wines can hold their own in any setting.