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Poggio Della Dogana: Pure Romagna on the Palate

Poggio della Dogana Winery, located in Faenza in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, combines tradition with innovation to produce exceptional wines that capture the essence of their terroir. The winery was acquired back in 2017 by brothers Aldo and Paola Rametta (who also own Ronchi de Castellucio). Here, their focus is on the most representative varieties of the Romagna territory, specifically Albana and Sangiovese. 

Paolo and Aldo Rametti
Photo Credit: Poggio delle Dogana

Location, location, location. The vineyard’s territory and location play a crucial role in the quality of Poggio della Dogana’s wines. Situated in an area (on the hills between Castrocaro Terme and Brisighella) in between the sea and the mountains, with ideal climatic conditions and soil composition, the vineyard benefits from a perfect balance of sun exposure and rainfall. There are sea breezes from the Adriatic coast and vineyard altitudes are between 180-300 meters above sea level. The soils in Castrocaro Terme are composed of brown clay and minerals (bromine, sulphur and calcium), while Brisighella features calcareous, ochre or mineral rich soils. These soils impart unique flavors to the grapes and salinity, enhancing the overall quality of the wine. 

At Poggio della Dogana, the winemaking process is a blend of traditional techniques and modern technology. The grapes are carefully handpicked to ensure only the best quality fruit is used. The fermentation process is closely monitored to maintain the integrity of the flavors, and the wine is aged in carefully selected barrels to achieve the perfect balance of taste and aroma. Poggio della Dogana is certified organic and absolutely committed to biodiversity and sustainable viticulture. They keep bees, produce honey and have dozens of olive trees. The winery employs environmentally friendly farming practices, minimizing the use of chemicals and focusing on natural solutions to manage pests and diseases. This commitment to sustainability not only protects the environment but also ensures the production of pure and authentic wines​.  

Poggio della Dogana Winery exemplifies the art of fine winemaking. Through its commitment to quality, sustainability, and tradition, the winery produces wines that are not only enjoyed locally but also celebrated internationally.  

While I did not get to visit the winery, I was able to experience these wines while at a wine dinner in Cesenatico, and then at their sister winery, Ronchi di Castellucio. Here’s what I experienced: 

Vindice Vino Spumante di Qualità Pas Dosé 2021

Vindice is a delightfully refreshing sparkling wine made from 100% Romagna Sangiovese from 25 year-old vines. This sparkling Sangiovese is a blanc de noir (vinified white) produced via metodo classico. An inviting nose of white flowers and yellow stone fruit. The palate is loaded with citrus fruit and vibrant acidity with salty notes. This wine is fantastic as an aperitivo or paired with shellfish. Fine perlage. 12.5% Abv.

Nubivago Romagna DOC Trebbiano 

Produced from 100% Romagna Trebbiano, this still, dry white wine is a lovely easy-drinking wine that pairs well with seafood and fish. Vinified without skins and fermented in stainless steel, followed by aging for 10 months in amphora and 10 months in oak to give it more structure. Light and fresh and fruity with a good mouth feel. 12.5% Abv.

Belladama Romagna Albana Secco DOCG 2022

This is a fantastic example of a lesser-known Italian indigenous grape, yet Emilia-Romagna’s first DOCG and Italy’s first white wine DOCG. 100% Albana expertly crafted from the vineyards in Brisighella. The native Albana does well in the soils of this area. Belladama is vinified without the skins and then fermented in stainless steel. It is then aged for five months in steel on the fine lees and at least four more months in the bottle. Although the grape is often suited for passitos, this is a dry expression of Albana. Subtle aromatic aromas of sage, citrus fruit and flowers. This wine is full-bodied, but refreshing and elegant. The saline finish is inevitable coming from the ochre soils and nearby sea. 13.5% Abv. Aldo referred to this wine as “a red wine dressed in white.” Absolutely. Good complexity.  This wine is a tribute to Aldo and Paolo’s mother, as Belladama was the name of her beloved horse.

I then had the privilege of tasting another 2022 Albana, that did not have a name or label yet. However, it was beautiful! This soon-to-be released Albana is more complex, spending nine months in oak, in cement for another 12 months and then at least another year in the bottle, enhancing the tannic structure.

I Quattro Bastioni Romagna DOC Sangiovese Superiore 2021

100% Sangiovese from the brown clay soils of the Castrocaro Terme vineyards, 25 years old. After fermentation with indigenous yeasts and maceration on the skins, malolactic fermentation occurs.  The wine ages for nine months in concrete and a minimum of three months in the bottle. Intense ruby red color and rich bouquet of dark berries, with hints of red fruit.  13% Abv.

Arlesiana Romagna DOC Sangiovese Brisighella 2022

Arlesiana is a Romagna Sangiovese cru from vineyards over 20 years old. After fermentation, the wine undergoes maceration on the skins, followed by aging for 12 months in concrete and three months in the bottle. It’s a deep purple-red,with typical Sangiovese notes of sour cherry and red fruit. Very aromatic and juicy with great complexity.  This Sangiovese is somewhat rounder, less acidic and offers a softer tannic structure than its Tuscan counterpart. Arlesiana will develop even further complexity with aging. The flavor profile is a testament to the careful cultivation and processing techniques employed at the winery​. 13.5% Abv.

Bel Demonio Vermouth Rosso

I have really been enjoying Vermouth lately, and this one was both a surprise and a delight!  Bel Demonio is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole. The grapes are aged for 12 months in barriques and then aromatized in herbs and spices for three months. Then it is aged in the bottle for at least another four months. This red vermouth is herbaceous and very pleasant with intense notes of blood orange, spicy cherry, pomegranate and anise. Bel Demonio is named after one of their grandfather’s track horses. 18% Abv.

Interestingly, the labels were designed by Silvio Gordini, the great grandfather of Aldo and Paolo and one of Emilia-Romagna’s best-known artists. Additionally, all of the wines are named after their grandfather’s horses. It was fun to hear the story behind each one. Ultimately, Poggio della Dogana is dedicated to producing high-quality wines that reflect the unique characteristics of its vineyards and these wines are lovely expressions of their Romagna territory. Truly, a taste of “Romagna in a Glass” and on the palate!

Planted, harvested and aged in NY. I have a background in education and marketing, with a love and passion for travel...and all things wine. In addition to writing about wine, I also maintain an online wine boutique (thewininghour.com) that caters to the winelover, as well as the weekly vinous winechat (#WiningHourChat) on Twitter (see page for more info).

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