Flashcards in Trentino- Alto Adige Deck (41):
Trentino- Alto Adige
Most northerly region. Mountainous: vines planted in terraces on the lower slopes. Southern area (Trentino) has always been a part of Italy; northern area (Alto Adige) was part of the Austro- Hungarian empire. Far north also known as the South Tyrol, German is still spoken and QbA can be used instead of DOC on labels.
Small quantity but high quality. Highest proportion of DOC wines, highest number of export wines, often in Austria. High altitude plantings. Predominately varietal production rather than blends. Schiava produces a light acidic red and Lagain a darker, intense red that will develop with bottle ageing. Increase in production of high quality white wine, including Pinot Grigio, Gewurztrainer, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Major producer of neutral Pinot Grigio. Local red variety, Teroldego also important. Produces a high acidity, low tannin wine with cherry fruit. Quality not as high as Alto Adige.
The southern and principally Italian-speaking half of Italy’s central alpine region of trentino-alto adige. Trento is the regional capital. Viticulture is centred on the valley of the Adige and the hills immediately to the east and west of the river, with an occasional excursion to side valleys such as the Valle dei Laghi and the Val di Cembra. The terrain further east and west into the Dolomites and the Gruppo di Brenta mountains is too rugged and mountainous for viticulture. Although the region is far to Italy’s north, and Trento is on the 46th degree of latitude, the climate is not necessarily cool, as heat rapidly builds up at lower elevations during the summer months (see topography). Viticulture is therefore by no means confined to early-ripening vine varieties. Of Trentino’s 10,000 ha/24,700 acres, all of 9,500 ha are registered for the production of doc and igt wines. In 2010 more than a million hl of wine were produced. Although these figures seem to indicate a region focused on quality, the reality is very different and geared towards large volumes of international varietals. Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, planted on respective totals of 2,835 ha and 2,353 ha, are followed by Müller-Thurgau on 894 ha and Merlot on 694 ha of vineyards. A good 90% of the region’s total output is controlled by 15 co-operatives and 14 négociants who have the power to set the region’s agenda. This commercial model has led to overproduction of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, while indigenous varieties and local wine specialities have been neglected. The region’s DOC system has been designed with large-scale production of international varieties in mind, with scant interest in the notion of terroir. The overarching Trentino DOC permitting yields up to 15 tonnes/ha as well as innumerable grape varieties extends to the entire region. It is, however, subdivided into four historic subzones with some local focus: Trentino Isera and Trentino Ziresi for marzemino grapes, Trentino Castelbenes for moscato, and Trentino Sorni for nosiola and schiava. The DOC Valdadige, covering the same area and varieties as the Trentino DOC, seems void of sense. The confusingly named Trento DOC (for marketing reasons written as TrentoDoc) designates the entire region for the production of metodo classico sparkling wine based on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The base wine requires high levels of acidity, guaranteed in grapes coming from elevations of 400 to 700 m (1,310–2,300 ft). An extended minimum period of 18 months on the lees has proven to be an efficient way of ensuring truly high quality wines. Ferrari is the leader, ageing the non-vintage wine for 24 months and longer, but the many small producers tend to turn out equally good wine. Trento DOC is surely set to become Trentino’s flagbearer. The other candidate is Teroldego Rotaliano, one of the few DOCs that have been sensibly demarcated, in this case limited to the gravelly Rotaliano Plain, with only a handful of producers, notably the pioneering Elisabetta Foradori who has so successfully proved that with low yields teroldego can produce serious wines. Most quality-conscious producers refuse to bottle the wines as DOC Teroldego Rotaliano, preferring the more anonymous but less tarnished IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti. Two other independent DOCs, Casteller and Lago di Caldaro (the latter shared with alto adige to the north), are devoted almost exclusively to light, pale, Schiava-based reds, but its 340 ha in Trentino is dwarfed by Alto Adige’s more than 1,000 ha. Although Trentino’s greatest handicap is the market-driven spirit of mass-market wine production, there are significant traditions of matching individual varieties and subzones: Müller-Thurgau in the Val di Cembra; Cabernet in the Vallagarina and between Pressano and Lavis; lagrein in the Campo Rotaliano; nosiola in the Valle dei Laghi and Pressano; Pinot Noir in Civezzano and in the hills to the north of Trento; Marzemino in the Vallagarina. The local centre of academe is san michele all’adige, which is instrumental in researching the detail of the region. This undertaking has so far been largely in the hands of a tiny group of small-scale growers who have set up I Dolomitici association. They have received official consorzio status and are virtually the only ones carrying the quality banner, which would otherwise be sorely lacking in Trentino.
The alpine and most northerly part of Italy which shares with its neighbour trentino a preponderance of international varieties and the absence of a detailed doc system. With the Austrian Tyrol to the immediate north, its culture is firmly Germanic and its first language is German. Officially known as Südtirol—Alto Adige, and part of Austria until it was annexed by Italy after the First World War, the region owes the Italian part of its name to the River Adige (Etsch), flowing south-east to the Adriatic. At the capital Bolzano the Adige is joined by the Isarco (Eisach) River from the north east, forming a y-shaped valley on whose slopes viticulture has been practised for millennia. Vineyards are planted from 300 m up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft), while the valley floor is reserved for other fruits, plus the occasional large-scale vineyard which can be worked mechanically and is therefore more lucrative than apple orchards. Viticulture at often dizzying heights is a serious option since the Alps protect Alto Adige from cold winds from the north, while the steepness of the slopes creates excellent expositions for long, slow grape ripening. Marked temperature variation helps to retain acidity in the grapes, resulting in the fresh, appetizing whites for which the region is especially known. Some districts, notably around the towns of Merano and Bolzano where the dark-skinned lagrein is cultivated, even enjoy a sub-mediterranean climate. International grape varieties, introduced in the 19th century under Hapsburg rule, are the norm here, with Pinot Bianco (475 ha/1,174 acres), Pinot Grigio (585 ha/1,446 acres), Chardonnay (494 ha/1,174 acres), and Merlot the most important, although they are dwarfed by plantings of the local schiava (1,157 ha/2,857 acres). Its pale, often dilute, early-maturing red wine was once enormously popular in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, markets that are now looking for fuller-bodied reds which, increasingly, they can produce themselves. The annual Alto Adige Schiava Trophy is awarded by a group of quality-conscious producers in an attempt to reverse the varietal’s fortunes. Nearly two-thirds of Alto Adige production is controlled by co-operatives, which process the harvest of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of grape farmers. The power of the co-ops is such that they can dictate the cultivation of certain grape varieties considered marketable. This is the main reason why, except for Schiava, Alto Adige’s indigenous varieties have received scant attention in the past, while Pinot Grigio became enormously popular among most growers. The regulations permit yields up to 108 hl/ha and although high yields were still the norm in the early 2010s, improvements in the vineyard, notably the change from pergola to lower-yielding guyot training systems, has led to increased wine quality. However, many of the old local varieties that survive are trained on pergolas. A new generation of producers taking over from parents who sold all their grapes to the co-op are reappraising these indigenous varieties and traditional training systems. An extremely simple DOC system, and the absence of a DOCG, sustains the impression that Alto Adige is all about quantity and easily marketable varieties rather than attention to terroir. There are only three denominations: Lago di Caldaro DOC for the production of Schiava; Valdadige DOC including the whole of Alto Adige and neighbouring Trentino; and Alto Adige DOC with seven subregions—Colli di Bolzano, Meranese, Santa Maddalena, Terlano, Valle Isarco, Valle Venosta, and Lago di Caldaro. In such a crude DOC system, subregions seem only marginally important although Terlano and Valle Isarco have deservedly risen to prominence: the first because of its long-lived Pinot Bianco, notably from Cantina Terlano, which pays scrupulous attention to quality, the latter because of a handful of small estates producing crystalline wines from vineyards up to 1,000 m. Other Cantine Sociale notable for their high quality output include Colterenzio and San Michele Appiano. Matching suitable varieties to subzones has become much more precise, confirming the historic tradition of growing certain grapes on certain terroirs: Magré (Margreid) and Cortaccia (Kurtatsch) in the south west and Settequerce (Siebeneich) to the west of Bolzano for Cabernet and Merlot; Mazzon and Montagna (Montan) in the south east, and Cornaiano (Girlan) to the south west of Bolzano for Pinot Noir (unlike in burgundy, Pinot Noir prefers a south-western aspect in this hotter region); Terlano (Terlan) for Sauvignon Blanc; Appiano (Eppan) and Monte (Berg) for Pinot Bianco; Ora (Auer) and the sandy and gravelly soils adjacent to Bolzano for Lagrein, with an intricate system of single vineyards called Leiten followed by their individual names; Termeno (Tramin) for traminer; Caldaro (Kaltern), and Cortaccia in addition to Santa Maddalena for Schiava; Cortaccia, Magré, and Salorno for Pinot Grigio. While most of Alto Adige’s produce is enthusiastically consumed by the region itself, the Italian as well as the international markets have begun to take notice of Alto Adige as a source of highly original, fresh wines. Now that Pinot Grigio is produced throughout the entire peninsula, including Puglia in the far south, Alto Adige is no longer the cheapest source of this wine. By turning its attention to its very diverse terroirs and marketing them accordingly, it may well manage to shake off its undeserved reputation as a producer of commodity wines.
Trentino- Alto- Adige
Autonomous, alpine northern Italian region through which flows the Adige River (called Etsch by the region’s many German speakers). It is made up of alto adige, or the South Tyrol, in the north and trentino in the south
Or Etschtaler in German, basic appellation of the Adige (Etsch) Valley that, unusually, extends across three regions, though is used principally by producers in trentino and also by some in north-western veneto. Vineyards in alto adige theoretically qualify but the Alto Adige appellation is usually used instead.
Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige
Or, strictly, since being renamed in 2008, the Edmund Mach Foundation, one of Italy’s best-known viti-agricultural schools and centres of academe. It was founded in 1874 in what was then the Austrian South Tyrol and is now the province of Trento in the far north of the country. Its aim is to promote cultural and socioeconomic growth in the agricultural sector and to develop sustainable forestry and agriculture. Its first director Edmund Mach set up the institute to include an experimental station and a farm alongside the school. Today a wide range of agricultural and viticultural training and research is undertaken, including the genomics of indigenous varieties in collaboration with international research institutes, and oenological concerns include the analysis of flavour and phenolics, microbiology, and sensory analysis (see tasting). The institute hosts the most important ampelographic collection in Italy, with varieties from Italy and all over the world, as well as producing a range of wines under the San Michele all’Adige label.
Italian name for several distinct and generally undistinguished dark-skinned grape varieties known as Vernatsch by the German speakers of Alto Adige, or Südtirol as they would call it; and as trollinger in the German region of Württemberg, where they are widely grown. The name Schiava, meaning ‘slave’, is thought by some to indicate Slavic origins. The Schiava group is most planted in trentino-alto adige in northern Italy. The most common is Schiava Grossa (Grossvernatsch), which was used to breed many german crosses including kerner and helfensteiner, and has been shown to be a parent of muscat of hamburg. It is extremely productive but is not associated with wines of any real character or concentration. Schiava Grossa is also found in Japan and, as the table grape Black Hamburg, in one ancient vine at Hampton Court Palace in England. Schiava Gentile (Edelvernatsch) produces better quality, aromatic soft wines from smaller grapes. The most celebrated and least productive clone is Tschaggele. Schiava Grigia and Schiava Lombarda are even less important. Light Schiava-based wines have become much less fashionable than in the late 20th century when they enjoyed much popularity in Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany. Plantings are in decline as Schiava has been substantially replaced by international varieties, although Schiava grapes are still found in most of the non-varietal light red wines of Trentino-Alto Adige. According to the 2010 Italian vine census total plantings of all Schiavas were 1,836 ha/4,537 acres. See trollinger for details of the varieties in Germany.
Interesting, late-ripening red grape variety grown in northern Italy, from Lombardia to Friuli but mainly in trentino. dna profiling at san michele all’adige revealed parent–offspring relationships with both teroldego and refosco dal pedunculo rosso, thus anchoring the genetic roots of this variety in northern Italy. Once much more famous than now, it does not have particularly good resistance to fungal diseases, and is often allowed to over-produce, but it can yield lively wines, some of them lightly sparkling. A big-berried clone dominated plantings with just over 1,000 ha/2,500 acres in Italy in 2010.
Trentino- Alto- Adige: History
- Until 1919: part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and focusing production on red wines from Vernatsch
- Late 1970s: birth of modern wine industry with conversion to more interesting varietals e.g. SB & Chardonnay
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Climate and Weather:
Continental with cold winters and warm summer in the valleys and the hills just of the valley floors
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Typography and Soils
- Most northern wine region bordering on Austrian Tyrol
- Viticulture only possible in the valleys of Adige and Isarco rivers which meet to form a Y shaped zone
- Best vineyard sites are high up the hill, up to 600-800m
- Mostly sand gravel & sediment deposited by the ice age; some great sites on clay & marl
- Also, some very pebbly soils that annual refertilisation
- Vineyards mostly around the city of Trento north-east of Lake Garda;
- Vineyards partly on fertile flood plain and partly on barren slopes made of moraine gravel
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Schiava (Vernatsch):
Best are dry, light-bodied & easy-drinking
50% of all plantings in the whole region
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Lagrein
Local red grape
Deep colour, hi tannins, spicy w a slightly
Oak-aged to soften tannins and give
6% of the plantings in Alto-Adige
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Pinot Nero
Small amount produced in Alto-Adige essentially around the village of Egna
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Teroldago
Parent to Lagrein grape
Deep coloured, full bodied, med-lo tannins
wines, w cherry fruit with some worth of
Almost exclusively in the Rotaliano plain in
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Other Red Grapes
Merlot (light & fruity or silky, spicy)
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Viticultural and Winemaking
15,000ha for 1.2m hl production overall
Alto-Adige: Guyot is replacing the traditional Pergola system for lower yields and more intense fruit flavours
Trentino: tendone vineyards for high productivity
Some use of barrique for ageing
One of the first regions to adopt modern winemaking techniques
Hail is a key hazard in the vineyard and will drive fluctuations in vintages.
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Gewurztraminer/ Traminer Aromactico
Originates from Alto Adige (1000AD)
Offspring to Pinot
Small bunches, not particularly productive & subject to
Produces off dry wines of hi alcohol, medium to low
acidity and with aromas of lychees, rose & sweet spices
Here more restrained than in Alsace
Grown in both Trentino & Alto Adige
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Chardonnay
Trentino’s spumante boom in the 60s led to the development of the plantings
Mostly light & fruity
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Pinot Bianco/ Weissburgunder
Important variety in Alto Adige for fine wines
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Pinot Grigio
Increase in quality esp. in Alto-Adige. Neutral in Trentino
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Silvaner
Most dense in the Isarco valley of Alto-Adige
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Sauvignon Blanc
Crisp and Dry
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Other White Grapes
Riesling Renano, Moscato Giallo, Muller Thurgau
Alto- Adige- 5,000ha
German-Italian bilingual region with strong German influence
Nearly 100% of the 350,000hl of wine produced is DOC wine (i.e. small quantity but high quality) oDominated by quality oriented cooperatives, which control 2/3 of the production and initiated a surge in quality in the 1980s with payment of growers based on fruit quality (not quantity), promoting lower yields and
also experimented with stainless steel and barriques.
Alto Adige’s success is built on Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Weissburgunder as well as some Cabernet-Merlot blends
Luis Raifer’s Colternzio produces 1.2m btls, one of the leading cooperatives in Alto-Adige. 3 quality levels with top level sold under the brand Cornell.
100% Italian; overall not as quality conscious as Alto-Adige
2 key DOCs:
- Trentino DOC (R/W): regional DOC w 17 varietals & hi yields authorised; Chardonnay & Pinot Grigio dominates the whites and Cabernet and Merlots the reds.
- Teroldego Rotaliano DOC (R): Teroldego grown on small gravelly area in Campo Rotarian
The majority of Chardonnay is also used for the production of local Champagne-like spumante, of which the region sells 5 million bottles/year.
Reds: first wine region to produce Bordeaux blends (Cab Sauv- Merlot).
Home to the The School of Oenology in San Michele all’Adige, one of the best research institutes in the
world along with Geisenheim and Davis University.
80% cooperatives, 18% private bottling firms, 2% independent growers
La Vis cooperative with 1,350ha and 5.5m btls sold every year is a big producer supplying Waitrose in the UK
Trentino- Alto- Adige: Vintages
2000, 2001 & 2004 were top vintages for both reds & whites. 92 & 98 were the most recent worst esp. for reds.
Italian name for several distinct and generally undistinguished dark-skinned grape varieties known as Vernatsch by the German speakers of Alto Adige, or Südtirol as they would call it; and as trollinger in the German region of Württemberg, where they are widely grown. The name Schiava, meaning ‘slave’, is thought by some to indicate Slavic origins. The Schiava group is most planted in trentino-alto adige in northern Italy. The most common is Schiava Grossa (Grossvernatsch), which was used to breed many german crosses including kerner and helfensteiner, and has been shown to be a parent of muscat of hamburg. It is extremely productive but is not associated with wines of any real character or concentration. Schiava Grossa is also found in Japan and, as the table grape Black Hamburg, in one ancient vine at Hampton Court Palace in England. Schiava Gentile (Edelvernatsch) produces better quality, aromatic soft wines from smaller grapes. The most celebrated and least productive clone is Tschaggele. Schiava Grigia and Schiava Lombardaare even less important. Light Schiava-based wines have become much less fashionable than in the late 20th century when they enjoyed much popularity in Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany. Plantings are in decline as Schiava has been substantially replaced by international varieties, although Schiava grapes are still found in most of the non-varietal light red wines of Trentino-Alto Adige. According to the 2010 Italian vine census total plantings of all Schiavas were 1,836 ha/4,537 acres. See trollinger for details of the varieties in Germany.
Known as St Magdelener by the many German speakers who make and drink it, was historically the most famous wine of alto adige in north east Italy. (In an Italian government classification of 1941, it was for political purposes ranked after Barolo and Barbaresco as the country’s most significant wine, a rating which would be unlikely to be repeated today.) An official subzone, and therefore suffix, of the enormous Alto Adige doc, it takes its name from the hill of Santa Maddalena to the north of the city of Bolzano (Bozen), long considered a particularly suitable site for the cultivation of the schiava (Vernatsch) grape from which the wine is made. Since the late 20th century this light red wine has become so unfashionable that its total vineyard area has shrunk from 456 ha in 1978 to 220 ha in 2011 with an average yield of 76.2 hl/ha—much lower than the 12.5 tonnes per ha (close to 90 hl/ha) allowed by law. The production regulations decree a minimum 85% Schiava (no distinction being made between the three Schiavas). About 5% of the deep-coloured lagrein is routinely blended to give this pale speciality a deeper shade of red. Like other Italian DOCs, when it sold well Santa Maddalena underwent a significant enlargement of its production zone from the original nucleus (now called Santa Maddalena classico) of the communes of Santa Maddalena, Retsch, Justina, Leitach, and St Peter. The zone with its well-known name now stretches all the way to Settequerce (Siebeneich) in the Val d’Adige to the west and to Cornedo (Karneid) in the Val d’Isarco to the east. These latter zones undoubtedly give a Schiava of good quality but with less personality than the Schiava of Santa Maddalena; fortunately over 85% of current production of Santa Maddalena is Santa Maddalena Classico.
The only remaining white grape variety native to trentino in northern Italy. It is grown principally on the hills around the village of Pressano, where it produces dry wines, and in the Valle dei Laghi to the west of Trento, where it is used to produce Vino Santo (see vin santo). The 2010 vine census found only 79 ha/195 acres, but interest in the variety has been revived in recent years as several producers, notably Cesconi, have demonstrated that it can, when made with care, produce fragrant, zippy whites of real interest. dna profiling at san michele all’adige revealed a surprising parent–offspring relationship with the Swiss rèze.
In German, long-lived white wines from around the town of Terlano in alto adige. It is also the name of a large subzone of the Alto Adige DOC many times the size of the original area.
In German, red wines based on schiava grapes, from around the town of Merano in alto adige.
German for the trentino and alto adige doc known as Caldaro or Lago di Caldaro in Italian based on schiava grapes.
Or Eisacktaler in German, source of pure, dry white wines from the upper reaches of alto adige.
German for Valle Isarco, doc in alto adige producing pure, dry white wines
In German, township in alto adige, northern Italy. It gives its name to Lago di Caldaro or Kalterersee, a large doc zone for lightish red wines which extends into neighbouring trentino. Produced from schiava Grossa, Schiava Gentile, and/or Schiava Grigia, the wines’ general lightness owes at least as much to the unreasonably high yields of 14 tons/ha allowed by law as to varietal characteristics.
In German, the main town of alto adige in northern Italy. Local light red wines with a minimum of 85% schiava (Vernatch) may carry the name Colli di Bolzano or Bozner Leiten.
Increasingly popular and well-connected indigenous red grape variety grown in 2010 on 653 ha/1,613 acres in alto adige and trentino. Although often over-produced, it can produce Lagrein Scuro or Lagrein Dunkel, somewhat tannic reds of real character, as well as fragrant yet sturdy rosé called Lagrein Rosato or Lagrein Kretzer. Lagrein can be slightly bitter on the finish and its presence, valued for both tannins and colour, can at times be detected in blends. dna profiling has established that Lagrein is, inter alia, a progeny of Teroldego, a grandchild of Pinot, and a cousin of Syrah.