In the land that lies between the Enza and Stirone rivers, among the hills of Parma province, there is an extended area at an altitude of between 200 and 800 metres above the sea level that has been dedicated to wine cultivation for centuries.
In the Napoleonic era, officials of the court of Marie Louise of Austria grafted several varieties of vineyards in this area, around their hillside villas: the soil proved to be particularly suitable for these vineyards. Today, the municipalities in Parma with the highest concentration of vineyards are Langhirano, Felino and Sala Baganza.
The PDO Colli di Parma designation includes white and red wines, as well as still and fizzy wines from a variety of different grapes. Historical grape varieties include the aromatic Malvasia di Candia and Sauvignon blanc for white wines, and Barbera and Bonarda for red ones, which give birth to PDO Colli di Parma Malvasia, PDO Colli di Parma Sauvignon, PDO Colli di Parma Barbera and PDO Colli di Parma DOP Bonarda, respectively.
Alongside this production, other grape varieties were added in the amendments made after 1982. Since their graft in the area, these varieties have succeeded in perfectly acclimatising and adapting to their environment and in assuming the particular properties of the land they grow on. These varieties are Pinot nero, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Lambrusco (Maestri variety).
A Consorzio Volontario [voluntary consortium] has been monitoring production of PDO Colli di Parma wines since 1977, whilst the Cantina dei Colli di Parma museum, set in the Rocca of Sala Baganza, recounts the wine’s history, taking you on a journey from ancient times to the present days.