A Contested Land: Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
There is a reason why Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol has such a confusing name...
Until the end of World War One, the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; like Alsace in France the region changed hands on the regular - this is one of Italy's true melting pots.
Influences from the mix of cultures are present in architecture, music, cuisine, and their wine. Down the trans-alpine road was once one of the most important trade routes for all of Europe.
Today the region is an autonomous territory made up of the two self governing provinces. That means they have their own government and that they can make up whatever laws they like, except for that pesky DOP(Denominazione di Origine Protetta). Lucky for them, they lead Italy with 98% of wine produced having DOC or DOCG status. Like the cultural variation of the region, so too is the soil composition. Thanks to the nearby Dolomite mountains you could probably imagine volcanic matter and primitive rock soils reign supreme. With the likes of quartz, mica, and dolomite.
That’s right that fancy new marble benchtop you just bought has the same minerals in it as these wines.
With a mixture of a semi-alpine climate and stony well-draining soil, it makes sense the region is known for its light, mineral-driven, high acid wines. Schiava, Lagrein, and Gewürtztraminer are all indigenous to the area but Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir are the biggest exports, both are respected mainstays and rule foreigners beliefs of what grapes are grown here. They even have their own sparkling wine, Trento DOC which must be made the same way as Champagne, that includes the varietals too. With steep sights resembling Mosel, winemakers must put love, care and intensive handwork into these vines.
My suggestion? Buy these wines of quality before the Alpini try to claim them for themselves.
- World? Old
- Country: Italia
- Climate: Alpine-Mediterranean
- Total area: 5300 ha
- Cases per year: 3.9 million
- Soil profile: Highly varied
Where to find me
Nearest airport: Bolzano Airport
Franz Haas, Pinot Nero, 2015
Trentino Alto Adige
Recommended guzzling temp: 16-18°C
Eats: Speck on toast