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Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Wine

Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro is a sparkling red wine from the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. As implied by its name, the wine is made from Lambrusco Grasparossa grapes (just one of various Lambrusco varieties) grown around the town of Castelvetro di Modena. Inky purple in color (flecked with crimson in the foam), it has pronounced aromas of violets, strawberries, fresh plums and black cherries. Fuller-bodied and higher in alcohol than other Lambrusco wines, it is also more tannic - Grasparossa has the highest tannin count of the Lambrusco varieties. The wine is robust enough to provide an excellent match for the local food specialty, zampone (stuffed pig trotter).

The name Lambrusco is the source of much confusion. Originally it meant 'wild vine' (similar to labrusca), and came to be used for a number of grape varieties and their clones. Many of these survive today, most saliently Grasparossa, Maestri, Marani, Monstericco, Salamino and Sorbara. By extension, the name came to represent not just grape varieties, but also the wine styles made from those varieties. It is now synonymous with the fruity, light-hearted sparkling reds made in central-northern Italy.

The coat of arms of Castelvetro di Modena

Other than Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro there are several Italian DOC titles dedicated to the style, most famously Lambrusco di SorbaraLambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce and Reggiano. The wines of the various Lambrusco DOCs are obviously of the same style, but each has its own subtly distinct personality thanks to variations in terroir and differences between the various Lambrusco grape varieties.

Any wine bearing the Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro title must be made up from at least 85% Lambrusco Grasparossa grapes. The remaining to 15% can be made up of other Lambrusco varieties and/or Malbo Gentile. The wines are typically made using the Charmat method (tank method), as is almost all modern-day Lambrusco. Only a tiny number are still made in the methode traditionnelle - typically the very highest quality wines. 

This official vineyard area for Grasparossa di Castelvetro covers thirteen communes located just south of the town of Modena. The land in this area is essentially flat and fertile, with soils rich in mineral salts. Although relatively far inland, and not far from Italy's mountainous spine (the northern Appennines lie just to the south) the area lies are low altitude, around 200ft (60m) above sea-level.

Despite its long history, Lambrusco wines were hardly known outside Italy before their commercial success in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s. The style gained a bad reputation in subsequent years and is now seen as a cheap, bulk-produced, low-quality wine. Overcropping and mass production have been the primary causes of this reputation, which, it could be argued, is largely deserved.

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We found 50 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Barbolini Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $13 25416
Tenuta Pederzana 'Il Grasparossa della Tradizione' Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $18 32700
Cleto Chiarli Vigneto Enrico Cialdini Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $13 34727
Medici Ermete Le Tenute 'Bocciolo' Lambrusco Grasparossa Dolce, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 40972
Donelli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 42929
Nando Cavalli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Frizzante Amabile, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $6 46171
Fattoria Moretto Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $18 49867
Cleto Chiarli Pruno Nero Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $11 50714
Tenuta Pederzana Gibe Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $15 50969
Barbolini 'Lancillotto' Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Secco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $11 56355
La Battagliola Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $16 58509
Carafoli Toccacielo Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $16 60556
Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Centanario Secco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 62212
Fattoria Moretto Monovitigno Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $18 63480
Villa di Corlo 'Corleto' Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $13 72278
Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Centanario Amabile, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $11 78731
Fiorini Terre al Sole Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $13 81711
Villa di Corlo Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 92246
Tenuta Pederzana Cantolibero Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $18 94256
Chiarli 1860 Gala Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 97514
Cavicchioli & Figli Col Sassoso Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $15 98688
Tenuta Pederzana Puntamora Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $15 106391
Corte Manzini Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $8 126656
Cantina Bazzano Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 133256
Manicardi 'Vigna Ca del Fiore' Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Lambrusco $10 133256
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