Although Lombardy is developing a reputation for its sparkling wines from Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese, the wine industry has less importance here than the region's other industries. That is not to say that the local population do not enjoy wine – far from it. Yet the affluent Milanese people tend to shun the local wines in favour of Tuscany and Piedmont's reds and the whites of the Veneto.


It is not entirely clear why this is the case – Lombardy offers some outstanding conditions for vine growth with influences from the Alps to the North, the lakes of Garda, Iseo, Como and Maggiore and the Apennines in the south. Its wines offer great variety and character, with a mixture of modern and traditional, as well as native and foreign grape varieties.


The region's sparkling wine industry is buoyant with some fine bottle fermented Pinot Nero based wines coming from the productive Oltrepò Pavese area. These are produced according to what is known as metodo classico classese and there is now a Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG. The tank method is also commonly used although it is the metodo classico wines of which the Lombardians are most proud. Most wines from Oltrepò Pavese are not sold as DOC though its wines are diverse and interesting, including reds from Pinot Nero and Barbera and sleek modern whites from Riesling and Moscato.

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