Trentino wine: A salute to the men in the cliffs.
Trentino wine from Alto-Adige is a harsh place, made up of valley’s that curl their way deep into the Alps, this place has cold winters, but summers might be severe; few clouds and a warm breeze that climbs up the slopes makes the region warmer than you’d expect. There’s a little place to plant vines, so winegrowers work the foothills which are sometimes quite steep.
Native red grapes like Lagrein, Marzemino or Schiava have given the world a refreshing take on red wine, and they’re usually high quality. Other international varieties like Merlot and Pinot Noir can be found too.
Today, its white grapes dominating Alto Adige’s vineyards from which Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are the most popular. High altitudes and low average year temperatures are more suited to ripen white grapes, and the demand for alpine, fresh, mineral whites is historically high.
Growing grapes in the mountains are not for the faint-hearted; heroic viticulture it’s called, especially to the practice of tending the vines in slopes with angles higher than 30%. Vines planted on lofty terraces or embankments are hard to prune, train, and harvest.
Trentino Alto Adige will live on. There are generations of passionate grape growers and winemakers ready for the task, and they don’t seem to slow down. Let’s hope the pure wines of Trentino Alto-Adige live long, even if that means paying a premium for the heroic work of the people in the mountains.