Lombardia is a land locked region on Italy's northern border with Switzerland, encircled on the Italian side by Piemonte to the west, Emilia Romagna to the south and the Trentino to the east. The high mountains and glaciers to the north are the source of the many rivers - including some of the country's biggest and longest - which flow through the region. The Alps slope gradually in a southerly direction towards the hills and lakes of Brianza on the edge of the great plain of the river Po which is famous for its fog and its rich agricultural land. The region has a continental climate which is characterised by significant temperature variations, but which in the areas around the lakes offers sunny and more temperate microclimates for viticulture.
Lombardia produces 2 million hectolitres of wine a year from its 50,000 hectares of vineyard, of which 35% is DOC registered. The most important production areas for red wines are the Valtellina with its Nebbiolo based DOCs and the Oltre Pò where Barbera and Bonarda dominate. The Oltre Pò also makes interesting Riesling. The major wine white zones are Franciacorta, famous for its Champagne cèpage sparkling wines, and the west bank of Lake Garda which specialises in the delicate, dry Lugana.