If you are staying in Milan during your vacation and you would like to try out and discover more about Northern Italian wines, here’s everything you need to know to find what you’re looking for.
There are no vineyards in the country surrounding Milan, but you can reach an area that is famous for the production of quality wines in just under 45 minutes from the city. The wine production region is known as Oltrepò Pavese, and it’s not always included in most tours, and so not every tourist knows that such a suggestive place with great wine-related activities and experiences is just around the corner.
There are many places that are easily reached by car or train, and even by bus, if you’re staying in Milan. The city has great food, amazing shops and there’s plenty of stunning works of art and museums to visit. However, if you like nature or would like to know more about the produce and ingredients used to create the many delicious foods you can eat in restaurants and the renowned wines, going on a day trip to the countryside outside of Milan is the best option.
Here are some of the places you can visit, and where to go if you’re looking to have a wine tour.
Oltrepò Pavese, Pavia And How To Get There
You can get to Pavia from Milan in under 50 minutes, by train, but you will still need a car if you’d like to visit the wineries in the area, as they’re not connected by public transportation. Car rental is always recommended when travelling across Italy – or you could seek out a taxi service in the area, but that can quickly get expensive.
But while you’re in Pavia, you might as well enjoy the city, which is wildly different from Milan. The atmosphere is less hectic and you’ll have the chance to visit churches, cathedrals and the Visconti residence, all at a more relaxed pace.
While in Pavia you can also visit palaces and historical buildings, and you can visit the countryside and hamlets outside the city and find more stunning buildings and enjoy nature at local natural parks.
An area covering over 420 square miles known as Oltrepò Pavese is also part of the province of Pavia, and this triangular shaped territory is not very well known to foreign tourists, but Italians (especially Northern Italians) are familiar with the area because of its relevance as a wine production region. But visiting the area means that you’ll discover many stunning sceneries and landscapes unknown to most, such as smooth hills, medieval castles and villages, and you can enjoy authentic food and wines that belong to the local tradition.
What Wines Are Produced There?
Sparkling wines produced in this region are the most well-known, and the area of origin for DOC (controlled designation of origin) wines in Oltrepò Pavese covers 42 towns. The Bonarda is the most famous wine produced in the area and has a fruity taste without being sweet, and is well loved by many wine-lovers and restaurant goers. Most Oltrepò Pavese wines are paired with local dished made with mushrooms, truffles and game meats like boar or rabbit. Red DOC wines of Oltrepò Pavese go well with meat dishes, but can usually be paired with every dish of the typical Italian menu (antipasto, first and second course, side dishes and dessert). The Oltrepò Pavese Bianco is a white wine best paired with seafood and fish based dishes or vegetables. Sparkling wines like the Oltrepò Pavese Spumante go well as a cocktail before meals, or when paired with fish dishes. Other notable Oltrepò Pavese DOC wines are the Barbera, Riesling Italico and Riesling Renano.
Some Notable Vineyards Of The Oltrepò Pavese
Since the region of Oltrepò Pavese can be reached in under one hour if you’re based in Milan during your vacation, there are definitely a number of wine tours you can take part to by visiting some of the local vineyards and wineries.
Here are some notable vineyards located in the area of Oltrepò Pavese.
The Canneto Pavese winery was founded in 1961 and includes members from many local vineyards covering a total of about 400 hectares. Every member of the winery takes care to handle the grapes with the outmost care to produce excellent wines.
The Cantina Storica Il Montù doesn’t just deal in wine, but also in grappa, and organizes events throughout the year to showcase the local cuisine along with their own productions.
Terre d’Oltrepò is a society that merges two local wineries (the Cantina di Broni and the Cantina di Casteggio) and offers guided visits along with an extensive selection of wines that can be purchased at the associated locations.