This wine is produced from the Lambrusco Grasparossa variety. Although not possessing great vigour, the vine is distinguished by a special characteristic: with the arrival of autumn, not only the leaves turn red, but also the stalk and pedicels.
The relevant productin rules permit the Lambrusco Grasparossa vine to be cultivated alongside a modest percentage of Lambrusco and Fortana ("Uva d’Oro") varieties. None the less the wine is essentially derived from the vine of the same name. The sparse, conical-shaped cluster is medium in length with roundish fruits. The grapes range from plummy dark blue to blackish, have a thick skin and contain a medium juicy, sweetish, slightly acidulous pulp.
Due to its lack of vigour, the Lambrusco Grasparossa vine is best cultivated in smaller vineyards, where it does well, even on rather poor soils, such as those on the lower slopes of the Modenese hills.
It bears up well to climatic and other adversities, and matures fairly late, after waiting to capture the very last rays of autumn sunshine (years ago, harvesting went on well into November).
Region of origin and geology
The vine grows on the dry soils of the Modenese uplands and lower hillslopes, an area dotted with country mansions and ancient castles, where the Apennine chain, rising up to the peak of Monte Cimone, provides the cornice of an undulating landscape of rare beauty.
In terms of surface lithology, the region demarcated by the productin guidelines can be divided into two distinct areas: the upland zone and a lower hill-slope zone.
The soils typifying the uplands are low in permeability, rather infertile and difficult to work, being largely composed of sandy and marly clays, as well as scaly clays englobing limestone blocks of variable size. Here, the yeld is far from abundant, although high in quality and of marked characteristics.
Lower down, the soils are made up of silt deposits and silty sands lying on a bed of gravel and therefore offer a good degree of permeability. On this land, the Lambrusco Grasparossa produces more abundant yields, mantaining similar characteristics to those encountered in the upland wines.
It should be noted that while, in the course of history, this native upland vine gradually worked its way doen onto the lower slopes, thanks to the presence specific microclimatic conditions and a certain type of terrain, it has never spread out over the plain.
The wine is deep ruby in colour, with a violet sheen and a light froth with an edge of the same hue. The notable bouquet is fruity, fragrant and interesting, bringing to mind the aroma of the grape. According to Agazzotti "it emanates a pleasant scent of peach-almonds". Its keen, armonious flavour has delicious body, is well balanced in acidity and and slightly fruity, leaving a pleasant, somewhat bitter aftertaste. It makes an exellent aperitif and goes divinely with Modena’s typical pastries and desserts.