The origins of this Romagna native variety go back centuries. The first vines were in all likelihood planted in the ancient pineta, or pine-forest, area of Classe, but it was in Bagnacavallo that Antonio Longanesi, known locally as Bursôn, noticed, in the 1920s, a vine growing on his property whose grapes showed high sugar levels and striking resistance to severe weather conditions. He propagated them and then began to vinify them as a 100% varietal wine in 1956.
Bagnacavallo oenologist Sergio Ragazzini, recognising the qualities of this grape, launched in 1980 a process of further developing the grape, and thanks to his efforts and research, the Longanesi grape won a place in Italy’s Official Registry of Wine-Grape Varieties.
Ragazzini’s enthusiasm won me over, and his project become mine as well, and so we joined forces in researching, developing, and promoting Longanesi-Bursôn.
1999 saw the debut of the first 100% reserve Longanesi wine, Augusto, which I dedicated to my maternal grandfather. Over the years, the vinification process has varied, depending on the growing season and on experimentation aimed at constantly improving wine quality. In the first years, I harvested the grapes just slightly over-ripe, but in 2002 I used only dried clusters, and in successive vintages the grapes were picked late in the season.
Maturation is extremely important for this wine, and it must remain in large oak casks for almost two years, then a further two in the bottle.
The fruit of all this is an extraordinary wine, of great breed and longevity, appearing a purple-red with ruby highlights. The tannins are dense and quite appealing, and it exhibits a lovely herbaceousness–in the words of the great Luigi Veronelli, who prized this wine, “like wet but still fresh leaves.”