Trentino-Alto Adige: land of ancient traditions

Paola Mascarin

Our sommelier for Trentino Alto Adige is Paola Mascarin

Paola has a degree in Economics for Tourism, she is graduated Sommelier A.I.S. at the headquarters in Bolzano, she lives in Merano and she works in the restaurant business.

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Wine-making in Trentino-Alto Adige boasts centuries of tradition: when the ancient Romans conquered the territory, cultivation of the vineyards was already widespread, in fact, according to the records of the writer Plinio il Vecchio, the local vineyards were more developed than those of the Romans themselves. In the 8th Century, during the reign of Carlo Magno, Trentino-Alto Adige supplied wine to all the courts and monestaries of southern Germany, and was reknowned and coveted for the high quality of its production. This quality culture has been passed down over the following centuries until the modern era: 1874 is the year of foundation of the Agricultural Institute of San Michele that still defines the rules for the local viticulture. Today the Trentino-Alto Adige is the first Italian region for the percentage of DOC wines on total production. Let's take a look at the principle vineyards.

Positioned between Bolzano, Merano and Bressanone lies the zone of Alto Adige, where the magnificently beautiful countryside alternates between vineyards and castles. The most cultivated vine is Schiava (Slave), a red autoctono grape that has been known and enjoyed since Medieval times. Other autoctono vines are Lagrein, also red, and Traminer Aromatico, a white grape with an intense characteristic bouquet that achieves optimum expression in this location in particular. Among the imported vines we find, from France, Cabernet, Pinot Nero, and Chardonnay. Grapes of German origin include Reisling and Sylvaner. Another wine cultivated with great success in this area is Müller Thurgau, a blend of Riesling Renano and Sylvaner Verde named after its creator, Professor Müller, native of the Swiss Canton of Thurgau. 99% of the wine production in this area is D.O.C.: this characteristic makes it unique in all of Italy and is proof of the extreme attention to the quality of production on the part of the Altosinese.

In the valley of the river Adige between Rovereto and Trento lies the zone of Trentino: beginning from lake Garda, in only a few kilometers it becomes an area thriving with olive and citrus trees in a classic alpine climate. The grapevines are cultivated in the traditional method of the "pergola". Autoctono vines characteristic to this zone are Marzemino, from which we receive a red wine with a delicate bouquet of violets that was a favorite of Mozart's in the 1700's, the Teroldego, also a red, that gives origin to a wine with a characteristic rasberry bouquet, and the Nosiola, a white, with a delicate hint of hazelnut, from which is made a rare Vino Santo. The symbol of the Trentino vineyards however is probably its Spumante, obtained primarily from Chardonnay grapes and produced in the classic method.

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Trentino-Alto Adige