Authentic flavor  September 2010

Sparkling red in the fog

The Fortana grape, grown in the area where Verdi once lived, is a strong and productive variety. The limited amount of wine made from this grape is considered to be some of the best in the lower part of the Po Valley

ID Card

Fortana del Taro IGT

Made from grapes native to the low valley outside Parma, Fortana del Taro is produced according to certain growing and winemaking guidelines. The grape itself is particularly large and round. The wine has a bright, ruby red color with a fruity nose and sweet, fresh and balanced bouquet. The low alcohol level rarely exceeds 10 percent. The wine is rich in polyphenols, which helps to break down fat, making the wine a good pair for spalla cotta and culatello di Zibello.
Suggested serving temperature is 12-13ºC or 53-54ºF.

Product: Fortana del Taro IGT
: Slightly Sparkling (Frizzante)
Ruby Red
: 6%
Residual Sugar
: 60 gr/l


Fortana, called Fortanina by the locals, is a delightful, sparkling red wine produced in the low valley outside Parma, known as “la Bassa”.
Fortana is also the name of the ancient grape variety used to make the fresh, fizzy and aromatic wine that warms souls in the winter and quenches one’s thirst in the summer.
According to historians, its name derives from the fact that this grape grows well in tough, clay soil.

Originally from San Secondo, northwest of Parma, where the Taro River flows, fortana grapes grow perfectly in their native land, where it is believed that they have been cultivated since the 1400s.
Written records describe the grape as the king of “black grapes”, able to make a sound wine that is lively, fruity and low in alcohol.
It pairs perfectly with the flavorful salumi and other food products of the region.
Try Fortana and spall cotta (cooked pork shoulder) from San Secondo.

In 1995, the wine was recognized as an Igt (Typical Geographic Indication) product by the Ministry of Agriculture, differentiating Fortana del Taro from other types of Fortana wines made in the region of Emilia Rogmana.
The production zone for Fortana del Taro is between the Taro and Ongina Rivers. A limited number of bottles are produced per year and are made in accordance with the local winemaking tradition.

Fortana del Taro

The Cantine Bergamaschi winery bottles wine for small, local producers and vinifies the grapes from their own land for a total of around 60,000 bottles per year to be sold to restaurants. In 1909 grandpa Bergamaschi purchased an osteria and started bottling wine. He passed his passion down to his son and on to his grandchildren. In the Seventies, the family planted a vineyard with Fortana, which has become the jewel of the company.

Info: Cantine Bergamaschi, Samboseto, 100 Busseto (Parma), tel. 0524.90132;

Silvia Ugolotti – Photos by Marzia Gandini

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