The opening of Roncolo 1888 is probably the most beautiful opening in all of Emilia Romagna. Throw in the fact that it is also one of best wineries in the region plus some other surprises and you have yourself a simply irresistible destination for the next summer. (maybe even spring!)
A small geography tutorial if you please: the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia lies south of Lake Garda, just west of Modena, smack in the middle of Emilia Romagna – culinary-wise one of the world’s most prominent regions (we may have mentioned that a few times already). Home of the Parma ham, the Aceto the Balsamico Traditionale, Parmesan cheese and, to top it off, one of the best restaurants in the world, the Osteria Francescana lead by star chef Massimo Bottura (who is also a member of Pretty Hotels with his Casa Maria Luigia).
Just south of Reggio Emilia nestled in a hilly landscape there are a few wineries that have been there just shy of forever. One of the most famous is the Venturini Baldini winery. Even before getting there the heart of every seeker of romance kicks up a notch: a seemingly endless drive through the vineyards leads up to the estate from the 17th century. Once you reach the top you discover the so called Limonaia, that you would immediately book for a wedding (and you could, because getting married at Venturini Baldini is one of the surprise options!). Walk down an alley of cypresses and you find a lovely swimming pool. Almost hidden, but next to the Limonaia, another building with 500 ancient wooden barrels stacked up to the roof. Inside: Traditional balsamic vinegar, which of course you need to taste … and later buy in the shop below.
Meet the hosts: On this estate, Julia Prestia (who originally hails from Vienna) and her husband Giuseppe produce very fine, organically certified Lambrusco on an area of about 130 hectares. In order to accommodate the growing number of visitors, they decided to open up a guesthouse in one of the buildings on site. It is also located in the main part of the winery next to the main house, the villa Monadori. Inside the ancient building, you find eleven modest yet comfortably furnished rooms. We adored the simplicity of the bathrooms and the quality of the floors and beds. Everything is quite sophisticated here (without being chichi while blending perfectly with the surroundings).
Probably the best part about staying at Roncolo 1888 is that you actually live together with the farmers on their vineyard. A little further down lies the “factory” of Venturini Baldini. Watch the actual production of the wine if you like. Of course, there is also a tasting room where all Venturini Baldini wines and also the Aceto Balsamico variations can be experienced. Just this year a new Vino Spumante Metodo Classico is on offer. Highly recommendable.
The Relais Roncolo 1888 is the perfect place for culinary and wine lovers. Around the small village there are countless great places to eat, the cities of Modena (45 minutes) and Parma (40 minutes) are always worth a visit. Reggio Emilia is also a perfect place for a stopover on the way to Tuscany. Forte dei Marmi with its beaches is only two hours away.
Breakfast is served on the ground floor of the Guesthouse Roncolo 1888. Sit back in a rather rustic yet cozy room, enjoy some fine organic dishes and of course the best Italian coffee. In spring, Venturini Baldini offers a biological brunch on the meadow every Sunday morning in front of the tasting room. And in summer, you will be welcomed to join the Wednesday Aperitivi (“Mercoledi Rosé”) session.
Doubles from 180 Euros including wine- and Balsamic vinegar tastings and of course the lovely breakfast.
Booking & Contacts
Tenuta Venturini Baldini