Nicchia Lambrusco di Sorbara
Named for Virginia Oldoini (nicknamed Nicchia), the Countess of Castiglione, Nicchia is a sparkling Lambrusco from Cantina di Sorbara in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. An Italian courtesan of great beauty turned secret agent, Nicchia is credited for her contributions to early photography and with the unification of Italy. A year after her marriage to Francesco Verasis, conte di Castiglione, she was sent to Paris at the age of 18 to plead the cause of unification to Napoleon III. Four years following her two-year affair the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, freeing Nicchia for her collaborations with the photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson. And in addition to the 700+ image portfolio that celebrates her beauty and love of couture, Nicchia is also credited with persuading Otto von Bismarck to avoid the post-Franco-Prussian War occupation of Paris.
To celebrate women who found power and intrigue at a time when their options were few to none, we bring you before the New Year, Nicchia Lambrusco di Sorbara, a sparkling red wine. Reserved for the sparkling wines that are made from two indigenous varietals: Lambrusco di Sorbara and Lambrusco Salamino, the DOC label of Lambrusco di Sorbara covers the entire area of Bastiglia, Bomporto, Nonantola, Ravarino and San Prospero in the province of Modena.
The history of the cantina has its roots in the period just after the First World War, when a few of the Lambrusco grape producers decided to unite their forces and create an exclusive Cooperative, consisting of 19 partners who pooled their expertise and traditions. Like Nicchia herself, this was at the forefront for this time period, and it is still the backbone of the Cooperative today. On the 15th of April in 1923, the Cantina Sociale Cooperativa di Sorbara came into existence, in the nearby area of Sorbara. In the heart of the typical zone of Lambrusco di Sorbara, the Cantina is situated on the floodplains between the rivers Secchia and Panaro.
The winery itself has based its reputation on quality and small batch production. Their first recognition came in 1927, for producing benchmark Lambrusco of high quality. The Cantina has continued to make steady efforts to produce high quality for a discerning clientele.
Best enjoyed with a slight chill, Nicchia is a food friendly wine that’s slightly sweet with notes of dark black fruits and ripe berries on the palate, and a clean lingering finish. Serve it with your New Year’s Eve dinner to get a head start on the evening’s bubble-oriented festivities.