Trentino-Alto Adige

Regional detail

Location

Technically the same region but in reality they have little in common in terms of wine, culture and indigenous population. Alto Adige is a fiercely independent German speaking enclave with its own politics, economy, cuisine, DNA and just about everything else. Known by locals as Sudtirol or South Tyrol. Austrian up until 1919. Its breathtaking scenery is one of the most exciting winegrowing areas in Italy, where quality has exploded over the past 20 years and viticulture and winemaking have become an art. Trentino, Italian speaking, is the place for excellent value wines and spumante, Trentino, being further south than Alto Adige has warmer temperatures and although share some varieties such as the international one and Schiava also have very different ones such as Marzemino, Teroldego and Nosiola. Alto Adige has Lagrein. As one follows the Adige River north, veritable cru sites emerge for particular grapes such as Gewurztraminer on the left, Pinot Nero on the right, Lagrein around Bolzano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon on the left fork.

Climate

Surprisingly, being so far north, it is one of the sunniest places of Italy, with more sunshine days a year than any other region. Its summer average daytime temperature is on a par with Palermo as the hot Mediterranean air becomes trapped by the wall of the Alps. The quality determining factor, however, is the cool, fresh nights as cold air descends from the mountain tops.

Topography

One of the most dramatic and beautiful world wine areas as the Adige winds its way through the Dolomites to Verona. The area is blessed with various expositions where growers have been able to identify the best sites for individual varieties

Soils

Through millennia of tectonic upheaval and activity, the soils are very mixed. There are predominant areas of mainly calcareous soils or mainly porphory soils

Average annual production

1.162.000 HL
Trentino-Alto Adige Placeholder
Trentino-Alto Adige

Grapes

Cabernet Franc

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
cabernet franc grape
Cabernet Sauvignon

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
cabernet sauvignon grape
Garganega

Description

See Veneto

Principle Wines

See Veneto
garganega grape
Gewürztraminer

Description

Indigenous because its name comes from the town of Tramin on the left back of the Adige river ust south of Bolzano. Gewurz menaing "spice" and the "er" the possessive in German "of". Italian then for the last 100 years but, I suppose, strictly speaking Tyrolean. Recently, interest and quality have surged, making their own particular style of Gewurztraminer, less scented and fermented dry – perhaps more drinkable than the more famous Alsace versions. There seems to be different clonal versions: bianco, rosa and rosso, colour of the wine depending on skin contact when fermenting.

Principle Wines

Alto Adige DOC Gewurztraminer and some blends
gewurztraminer grape
Kerner

Description

The Kerner grape is an aromatic white grape variety. It was bred in 1929 by August Herold by crossing Trollinger (a red variety also known as Schiava grossa) and Riesling

Principle Wines

Kerner and some Bianco blends
kerner grape
Lagrein

Description

Considerable depth of color and extract without excessive tannin. Its notable bitter aftertaste has been tamed using new oak. Improving as every year passes, it is the red indigenous grape of quality in the Alto Adige (as opposed to volume whose claim can be made by Schiava)

Principle Wines

Lagrein DOC Alto Adige Lagrein Grieser from the Bolzano area
lagrein grape
Malvasia

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
Marzemino

Description

Marzemino is a red Italian wine grape that is primarily grown around Isera, south of Trentino. The wine is most noted for its mention in the opera Don Giovanni of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ("Versa il vino! Eccellente Marzemino!"). The vine ripens late and is susceptible to many grape diseases including oidium. Wine produced from the grape has a characteristic dark tint and light plummy taste – some relation tpo Refosco

Principle Wines

Marzemino and some blends
marzemino grape
Merlot

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
merlot grape
Moscato Giallo

Description

Aka Goldmuskateller. Scented dry and sweet versions – perfumes reminiscent of orange blossom. Can be very delicate and classy when produced with care giving ethereal perfumes and chrystalline acidity

Principle Wines

Moscato Giallo
moscato giallo grape
Moscato Rosa

Description

Aka Rosenmuskateller. Intense and unmistakeable, hedonistic aromas of rose petals, rose water, rose perfume (anything to do with roses) and hence aptly named. Usually in its sweet form, an almost syrupy palate, saved by a firm ine of acidity.

Principle Wines

Alto Adige Moscato Rosa
moscato rosa grape
Müller Thurgau

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
muller thurgau grape
Pinot Bianco

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
pinot bianco grape
Pinot Nero

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
pinot nero grape
Pinot grigio

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
pinot grigio grape
Riesling

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
riesling grape
Sauvignon

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
sauvignon grape
Schaiva Grigia

Description

A sub-variety of Schiava Aka Grauvernatsch – some say a superior quality.

Principle Wines

Alto Adige DOC
Schiava (Vernatsch)

Description

Aka Trollinger in Germany. The local term "Vernatsch" coming from the Italian Vernaccia – meaning "local" indicates that the Sud Tyroleans consider it their own. By a long way the most widespread of varieties cultivated in Sud Tyrol but of declining importance. Some old vine versions (pre phylloxera) can be of considerable quality, with luscious texture, cranberry fruit but low tannin. However, the vast majority is quaffing wine, on similar lines to a serious and dry rosé, excellent with your speck.

Principle Wines

Alto Adige Schiava, Santa Magdelena
schiava grape
Silvaner

Description

See international

Principle Wines

See international
silvaner grape
Teroldego

Description

Blue grape earlier found more around the lake of Garda. Now almost exclusively found on the Rotaliano-field, where it seems to thrive very well and makes a great wine. Genetically it has some relations to lagrein, marzemino and syrah which probably has a common origin. Teroldego can give a wine with great fruit which evoloves well over 10-15 years. For an Italian red grape it has low acids, but can extract some tannins. It is highly sensible to high yields, which gives very poor results

Principle Wines

Teroldego Rotalian

Major Appellations DOCG/DOC

Alto Adige DOC ( a multi DOC*)

Description

Bianco - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau, Sauvignon, Riesling, Silvaner, Gewürztraminer, Kerner.

Principle Wines

Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau Sauvignon, Riesling, Silvaner, Gewürztraminer, Kerner, Moscato Giallo, Malvasia. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Lagrein, Pinot Nero, Schiava (Vernatsch), Moscato Rosato, Schaiva Grigia Subdenominations Colli di Bolzano - Schiava Meranese di Collina - Schiava Santa Maddalena - Schiava Valle Isarco - Varietal wines Valle Isarco Klausner Leitacher - Schiava, Portoghese, Lagrein, Pinot nero, Terlano - Varietal wines Terlano Bianco - Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Riesling Italico, , Sauvignon, Sylvaner, Müller Thurgau
Caldaro or Lago di Caldaro DOC

Description

A popular wine in the Italian sense… with the locals. Easy drinking with cranberry fresh fruit and low tannins

Principle Wines

Schiava (Grossa, Grigia, Gentile), Lagrein, Pinot Nero
Teroldego Rotaliano DOC

Description

Some say has as a relation, Grenache, and some of its pepperiness can attest to this. However, its colour and structure may indicate otherwise

Principle Wines

Teroldego
Trentino (a multi DOC*)

Description

Rosso - Cabernet franc and/or Cabernet sauvignon and/or Merlot Rosso Superiore - Cabernet Franc, Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Lagrein, Rebo Bianco - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Müller Thurgau, Manzoni Bianco Bianco Superiore - Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Traminer, Riesling, Manzoni Bianco Rosato or Kretzer - at least two of the following: Enantio, Schiava, Teroldego, Lagrein, Vino Santo - Nosiola, Trento

Principle Wines

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Lagrein, Rebo, Marzemino, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Muller Thurgau, Manzoni Bianco, Traminer, Rielsing
Valdadige DOC

Description

A huge area stretching from the just north of Lake Garda up the Adige valley to the Austrian border, covering 3 different provinces (Verona, Trento and Bolzano) and two distinct cultures (Italian and German). This is therefore a catch all DOC that comprises wines of varying different styles.

Principle Wines

Trebbiano Toscano, Nosiola, Suavignon, Garganega, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Riesling Italico, Chardonnay, Muller Thurgau, Lambrusco a Foglia Frastagliata (Enantio), Schiava, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Lagrein, Teroldego, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Other Appellations DOCG/DOC

Casteller DOC

Principle Wines

Merlot, Schiava Grossa, Schiava Gentile Lambrusco, Lagrein, Teroldego
Valdadige Terradeiforti DOC

Principle Wines

Enantio, Casetta, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay

IGT Appellations

Atesino delle Venezie
Delle Venezie
Mitterberg
Vallagarina
Vigneti delle Dolomiti