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Lombardia

Perhaps the most characterful wines produced in the region surrounding Milan are the slightly tough Nebbiolo-based reds of Valtellina on south-facing slopes just south of the Swiss border. There is also the innocuous dry white Lugana grown on the shores of Lake Garda and many a still red and white made in the hills around Piacenza and Oltrepò Pavese, that bit of the province of Pavia that lies on the far side of the lazy river Po. Franciacorta is an extremely varied but interesting area for serious red, dry white and, especially, sparkling wines. The region produces most of the raw material for Italy's most skilled traditional-method sparkling winemakers such as Bellavista, Ca'del Bosco, whose fine, Chardonnay-based Annamaria Clementi bottling is superior to the great majority of champagnes, and Umberti. This is most certainly an area under-represented on export markets.