While travelling through Lombardia under the guidance of Ca’ del Bosco’s Vittorio Marzotto, we had the pleasure of dining at Le Due Colombe in Franciacorta.

We were thrilled to find the wine list loaded with local wines from Franciacorta- heavy with the region’s famous sparklers, and deep into older vintages.  Easily the most comprehensive “local” wine list I have ever seen.

Due Colombe is the product of Chef Stefano Cerveni and his vision to create regional dishes from authentic recipes, paired with wines from Franciacorta.  The first taste we received was a soup of asparagus, studded with little gems of the season’s first tomatoes.

This course paired perfectly with the Ca’ del Bosco Dosage Zero from 2007.  The dry, palate cleansing wine was a perfect foil for this silky, rich soup and it’s bright tomato accents.

I think back to another stunning dish- this plate of purple potato mash topped by local freshwater shrimp (probably from the Lago di Iseo, some 5 miles away).  The citrus-butter sauce was simply electric next to the unctuous potatoes and fresh, briny shellfish.

The oil-braised beef with polenta is a local dish which Due Colombe is famous for perfecting.  It is an old recipe, handed down through many generations.  The beef is meltingly tender, and it is accompanied by a rustic, nutty polenta cooked to perfection, all swimming in gravy made with root vegetables and beef stock.

Mike Tadich and Vittorio Marzotto, admiring Due Colombe’s extensive cellar.

Dinner at Due Colombe was an experience- a real, authentic, local experience filled with wines made only kilometers away, based on produce and proteins raised on the same local farms.  When we talk about “local” and “sustainable” in the US, the meaning can sometimes be lost because we don’t always have the opportunity to fill our restaurants with both food and wine from so many truly local places.  Italy is special because it is peppered with places like Due Colombe– restaurants that honor the people who have farmed the local land for centuries, reinventing traditions with modern twists and accompanied as always by world-class Italian wines.