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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

The winemakers of Emilia-Romagna arrived in London en masse this month in a bid to shake off the image of its infamous Lambrusco. Emilia-Romagna, in east-central Italy, is more famous for its Parma ham, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese than its wine, which is why the Italian Trade Commission invited more than 30 wine producers to seek out importers and distributors in the first in a series of London workshops. Charles Metcalfe led a tasting session, and later told Harpers: Everyone thinks of Tuscany as the home of Sangiovese, but actually, there are some magnificent wines here. I think Albana is a fascinating grape, and the producers are only really beginning to explore the possibility of what it can do. The decision to make Albana a DOCG grape in 1987 may have been contentious, but it's been a far-sighted one.' Roberto Marino, export manager of Casa Vinicola Fratelli Bernadi, said: In Italy, every region has some very good wines. I'd say ours are different. They're not the usual thing people are used to; they are something new.'