San Patrignano, “Avi” Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva, 2008
There are many reasons to visit the region of Emilia-Romagna, ranging from the sacred to the profane.
If your quest is spiritual, visit the city of Ravenna where you will be brought to your knees by the dazzling Byzantine mosaics that decorate the interiors of eight, World Heritage List early Christian architectural sites dating from the sixth and seventh centuries.
If your quest is more secular or profane, rent a Maserati or Ferrari in Modena, the city where they are made, and embark on a culinary tour of Emilia-Romagna along the roads that trace the Via Emilia, an ancient route that stretched the entire region from Piacenza in the northwest to Rimini in the southeast. Along the way you will feast on the copious culinary treasures of the region—Parmigiano Reggiano in Reggio, Proscuitto Crudo in Parma, Aceto Balsamico Traditionale in Modena, funghi porcini in Borgotaro, tortellini in brodo in Bologna.
Emilia-Romagna occupies a broad east-to-west swath of Northern Italy stretching from the Adriatic, just below the Veneto, to 25 miles shy of the Ligurian sea. Its northern border is the river Po. Its southern border is rimmed with the northern Appenines, shared by Toscana to the south.
Much of the northern portion of Emilia-Romagna is a fertile plain of alluvial soil, deposited by the Po. Rich delta soil is the key element that infuses the bounty of agriculture of the region— wheat milled into soglia flour for pasta, Vignola cherries, Abbondanza apples, Passacrassana pears, asparagus, zucchini, and sugar beets.
As one moves south into the hills and then mountainous elevations of the Appenines, the terroir is conducive to vine cultivation for wine making.
The Sangiovese di Romagna DOC lies in the pre-Appenine hills stretching from southeast of Bologna down to the Adriatic near Rimini.
Our featured wine, the San Patrignano, “Avi” Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva, 2008 is made 25 miles west of Rimini. “Avi” is a rich, full-bodied, elegant red with a generous bouquet of plum, cherry and violet that gives way to intense brambly fruit, clove, nutmeg and cedar wood.
This wine pairs well with the rustic game dishes that grace our tables on the Thanksgiving holiday and the cold winter months that follow.
Just as a delicious red wine can warm the body in the autumn and winter seasons, the story of the San Patrignano Estate will warm your mind and heart.
The San Patrignano winery is but one part of an amazing organization of the same name. Established by Vincenzo Muccioli, a resident of the area, in 1978, who was deeply concerned and disturbed by his observation that the youth of the area were by-in-large without direction or vocation, and as a result turning to substance abuse.
Muccioli, a successful insurance broker and a man of great energy and spirit, established the San Patrignano Community as a place where the young people could come to live and learn a trade in a loving, supportive environment. The residents are given a home, legal and medical assistance and the opportunity to study and learn a trade, with the goal being to return to being fully respected members of society.
One of the first vocations taught at San Patrignano was viticulture. “Avi” is made by the residents of San Patrignano under the direction of the consulting oenologist Riccardo Cotarella.
Thirty five years later, the San Patrignano Organization is the largest rehabilitation center in Europe. It has served over 20,000 young people in need of direction with a 75% success rate of their re-integration into society. It is free to the residents and their families, and funded by the sale of the goods and services produced by the community, as well as private donations.
The “Avi” San Patrignano Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva is named to honor Vincenzo Muccioli (a-vi, for Vincenzo), a man who left his mark on Emilia-Romagna in a profoundly moving way.
To learn more about the San Patrignano Organization, as well as the products that are produced there, go to: