The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary

Trentino-Alto Adige

Crossing the historic boundary between Italy and Austria, Trentino-Alto-Adige is in fact comprised of two autonomous regions (Trentino and Alto-Adige). The swath of land was returned to Italy after World War I, and the two regions have been lumped together in the winemaking world ever since. Alto-Adige, the northernmost half of the region, retains great pride in its Germanic heritage, evidenced by the dual language bottle labels appearing in the region. The region is most famous for its crisp and minerally whites, such Pinot Bianco (a.k.a. Weissburgunder) and Sylvanner. The primary red grape of the region is Lagrein, which typically exhibits notes of cocoa and graphite-like black spice layered over deep, plumy fruit. These wines are natural matches for the roasted pork dishes so central to the local cuisine. Moving south into Trentino, the red grape Teroldego takes center stage, yielding richly fruited wines with flavors of blackberries and mulberries. While white wines are less important in Trentino, the bitter almond scented Nosiola and the intensely fruited Müller-Thurgau offer great values in very clean styles. The red Schiava grape is shared by both halves of the region. These wines are very light in body and in color, and offer delicate notes of strawberries and herbs. These are some of the most food-friendly wines in Northern Italy, pairing easily with anything from beef carpaccio to spaghetti carbonara. Pull up a chair at any local restaurant in the area, and Schiava is most likely what you’ll find at the table.
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