Trentino is an almost entirely mountainous region of about 14,000 sq km representing the southern, Italian-speaking part of Italy’s alpine Trentino-Alto Adige region, whereas Alto Adige represents the German-speaking Süd-Tirol (South Tyrol) part to the north and bordering Austria, of which it was once part.
Vineyards: Trentino, the area on either side of Valdadige from Rovereto to Salorno, has a vineyard area of about 9.000 hectares. Three native red grapes are: Marzemino in the area south of Trento (Isera and Seresi); Teroldego Rotaliano on the plain north of Trento (Teroldego DOC); Schiava (variants Grigia, Grossa, and Gentile) in the northern part close to the provincial boundaries with the Alto Adige (Valdadige DOC). In the area of Trento there are also Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Cabernet. The most cultivated white grape varieties are the international ones such as Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, which are used with Pinot Noir in the production of classic method sparkling wine Trento DOC.
Terroir: Vines are cultivated between 300 and 600 metres in altitude. The climate is very different from area to area. Winters are very cold, rainfall is heavy, and fluctuating temperatures are often very important.In many ways, the climate here defies what might be expected in an alpine region straddling the 46th parallel north (it shares this latitude with central Burgundy). The valley floors heat up very quickly on summer mornings, sending warm air up into the vineyard-lined slopes. This, coupled with the bright alpine sunshine, results in rich, ripe wine styles that one might not expect from such a cool, fresh region. The currents of warm alpine air also help to ward off vine diseases and fungal afflictions. The soils hold fewer surprises, being made up largely of alluvial and colluvial deposits, relatively free-draining and rich in minerals.
Native wine grapes: Dr Ian d’Agata (2014, p.38-9) says most grape varieties local to Trentino have considerable genetic similarity, a result he says of cultivars sharing a limited alpine habitat not found on major human migration or commercial routes. D’Agata (ibid.) cites a 2000 study by Grando, Frisinghelli and Stefanini which showed identical vine genotypes had been given different but similar denominations eg. Biancaccia and Biancazza, or Schiava Grigia and Cenerina (so named for their copious ash-like bloom); and the unknown Nera dei Baisi had alleles characteristic of non-Vinifera species, likely a naturally occurring cross between a European and American grapevine.
Native grapes–Red: Ian d’Agata says that Trentino’s main native red grapes are Teroldego and Marzemino. Teroldego wines age extremely well and their herbaceous, tannic, and bitter side has been tamed (smoky, red fruit) to the extent Teroldego is now also being planted in other Italian regions (D’Agata, ibid). The lighter red Marzemino grape remains a local variety for now (D’Agata, ibid). Other common Trentino native grapes include members of the Schiava group (which are also typical of Alto Adige) whose light-bodied reds resemble rosés. Unknown Trentino red native grapes include Rossara, and Enantio which is also known as Lambrusco a Foglia Frastagliata (D’Agata, ibid). Some ‘local’ grapes like ‘Vernaccia Nera’ and ‘Francesa’ were found to be Merlot and Carmenère respectively, D’Agata (ibid) adds. See also: Negrone, Pavana.
DOCs: Caldaro or Lago di Caldaro DOC. | Casteller DOC. | Teroldego Rotaliano DOC. | Trentino DOC. | Trentino Superiore DOC. | Trento DOC. | Valdadige or Eschtaler. | Valdadige Terradeiforti or Terradeiforti. See also the Valle dei Laghi (Lakes Valley).
Certified Biodynamic: Elisabetta Foradori.