Lambrusco’s image has suffered from its mass market version, which is typically sweet, fizzy, and either red, pink or white. Quality versions are white or, more commonly, red, lightly sparkling, dry and earthy.
Lambrusco is a vigorous, highly productive vine that is very resistant to disease. The fruit is low in tannin, moderate to low in alcohol and ripens fairly early.
The Lambrusco vine is native to central Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region and is believed to have descended from a wild vine, Vitis silvestris. Known to the ancient Etruscans as Lambrusca, it has more than 60 subvarieties throughout Italy.