The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary

Alto Adige

Comprising the northern half of the oft-conjoined Trentino/Alto-Adige region of Northern Italy, Alto-Adige is in fact its own entity with its own distinct style of winemaking. Situated on the historic boundary between Italy and Austria, the two autonomous regions were returned to Italy after World War I (hence why they are often lumped together). Alto-Adige retains great pride in its Germanic heritage, evidenced by the dual language bottle labels appearing in the region. Alto-Adige is most famous for its crisp and minerally whites, such Pinot Bianco (a.k.a. Weissburgunder) and Sylvanner. The primary red grapes of the region are Lagrein and Schiava. The former typically exhibits notes of cocoa and graphite-like black spice layered over deep, plumy fruit; the latter are very light in body and in color, and offer delicate notes of strawberries and herbs. 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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