Barbara Pansa – Papesse di Papiano, Sangiovese


Papesse di Papiano is a medium-bodied Sangiovese with a splash of Balsamina and Negretto, two native varieties: when you pour it into the glass, a ruby red color with some violet reflections will flood your eyes.

The grapes are carefully harvested by hand, then crushed and fermented in stainless steel with 3 weeks of maceration with the skins. Le Papesse is aged in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 6 months. This process preserves the aromas of ripe fresh cherry, and provides for a bright, refreshing finish. If you smell it, the scent of red fruits, blackberries and roses is full and flavorful, but the higher interesting notes are reached when you taste this wine: it offers aromas of juicy wild berries, strawberry and blackberry, followed by hints of cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, black chocolate, and toasted citrus peel… yes, all in a glass! Proof of the pudding, girls!

In few words, it is a very balanced wine with a refreshing acidity, and mineral, elegant, round tannins.

Le Papesse is suitable for long term aging but usually can’t last more than a week in my wine rack!

I particularly like relaxing at the end of an intense working day, chilling with a friend, a few oriental perfume candles to illuminate the ambiance, the voice of Amy Winehouse as soundtrack and a simple “spaghettone” with fresh chopped tomato, pesto and anchovies: unforgettable!


We are in hills of Romagna, a remote, lesser known area far from the bustling nightlife and crowded beaches on the Adriatic coast.

Villa Papiano is Francesco Bordini’s brain-child. Francesco was born in Romagna in 1977, from Remigio Bordini, one of the greatest connoisseur of Sangiovese, Italy’s most widely planted wine grape variety, who developed the plants favoring its diffusion throughout Romagna. Willing to further his father’s legacy,

Francesco graduated in Oenology and Agronomy, determined to improve the winemaking reputation of his Region by pursuing the highest possible quality in his wines. He believes that the purity of flavors in his wines is the result of Environmentally conscious and respectful winemaking practices, and he believes it so much that he produces excellent wines not only in his own Winery, but also for many other local wineries that have embraced his style and philosophy.

At Villa Papiano, Francesco, his brother Giampaolo and their two sisters (Maria Rosa and Enrica) share the responsibilities of running the Winery, keeping the whole family together. Villa Papiano, named after Lorenzo De’Medici Liutenant, consists of 25 acres of vineyards and and a 15th century villa, bot located at 1.800 feet above sea level in the south side of Mount Chioda, in the Apennines, the mountains dividing Emilia-Romagna from Tuscany.

They strongly believe in organic and sustainable agricultural methods, and in the respecting Mother Nature. Francesco likes to say “we feed our plants just with sunlight, the outmost care, compost and ploughing between the vine rows seasonally, a technique also known as “green manure”. Personally, for me it is important to find this outmost respect for the land in a glass of Villa Papiano, along with the sensation of purity and balance. This not only for an ethical and environmental protection issue, but also to avoid ingesting chemicals (as the ones used with conventional agriculture), and for the pleasure that natural foods and wines give to the palate, if done well.

A walk in Modigliana, perhaps backpacking around its green hills, among ancient vineyards and villages, is an experience that I strongly recommend. Better if accompanied by Francesco, who masters it both geographically and historically.

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Papesse di Papiano


95% Sangiovese, 5% Balsamina and Negretto




Barbara Pansa

Just a few lines to tell who I am?

Let me see…

A girl who is passionate about wine and food, roams around the world for a long time, until she leaves her native home in a Piedmontese village to land in the city at the center of the world: New York.

The ingredients are simple: passion and determination, a bit of luck and, as in all respectable stories, love!

Yes, this is me!


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