Lambrusco Maestri is a black grape from Italy, one of several Lambrusco sub varieties.
Lambrusco Maestri is a high acidity grape with flavours of fresh red berries, such as strawberries and raspberries. In some cases, you might also find plums, a bit of peppery notes and some bitter almonds. The grape is sensitive for mildew.
Lambrusco wines come in several styles, dry (Secco), fizzy sparkling (“Vino Frizzante”) and semi-sweet (“Amabile”). Outside of Italy it is the Vino Frizzante and the Amabile versions that are most known, although it is becoming increasingly common to find also the dry version. It is quite common that a Lambrusco wine is blended with the Ancelotta grape in order to bring colour to the wine.
The fizzy sparkling version is made according to the so called Charmat-method, which means that the wine is allowed to ferment a second time in large steel tanks. If you’re lucky you might find a vinery that still produce in the old, so called traditional, style, e.g. with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle as is done with Champagne. If you find one of these you’re likely to get to taste something extraordinary.
The typical, and also excellent food to pair with any Lambrusco wine is food from Emilia-Romagna. For the Secco or Vino Frizzante you should go for Parma ham (Proscioutto di Parma) or other salumi.
Remember to also offer some Parmesan cheese to go with this. Both the dry and the fizzy Lambrusco is best served at 12-14°C/54-57°F.
A semi-sweet Lambrusco will be delicious with a cake topped with fresh berries and cream. If you can get hold of it, you would however be surprised how nice it will be also with Ravioli con Fiori di Zucca (Pasta cushion stuffed with a Zucchini flower). Best served at 10-12°C/50-54°F.
Where is it grown?
Together, all Lambrusco sub varieties reported have plantings of 13.635 ha/33,693 ac, which would place it as the fifteenth most planted grape in Italy. Out of this, 10.028 ha/24,780 ac are in the Emilia-Romagna region, above all in the sub districts Modena and Reggio nell’Emilia.
In the southern region of Puglia, there are plantings of 2.259 ha/5,582 ac. The main sub-districts are Andria, Brindisi, Foggia, and Taranto. In the northern Lombardy region, there are plantings of 797 ha/1,969 ac, above all in the sub district of Mantova.
Lambrusco Maestri holds some seventeen percent or 2.272 ha/5,614 ac of the total Lambrusco plantings in Italy and is above all found around in the Puglia sub districts mentioned above, as well as in Reggio nell’Emilia in Emilia Romagna.
Some of the Lambrusco sub varieties can be found in small plantings outside Italy. Lambrusco Maestri is one of them, with small plantings in a number of regions in Argentina.
The Lambrusco grape with all its sub varieties – there are well over fifty in total – are recognised as having originated in Italy, most likely in the area around Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region. The vast number of sub varieties and synonyms indicates that this is a very old grape.