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- CANTINA TOBLINO, Trentino - Organic
- VILAR, LUIGI SPAGNOLI, Trentino - Organic
Trentino cuisine maintains its traditional ingredients: sausages and salamis, pork, the cheeses, polenta, sauerkraut, the ‘canederli’ in all its
variations, and the “salada” (salted) beef, an ancient dish known from the time of the Council of Trent, that important historical period
that saw the city of Trent as an important capital. It wasn’t until the 20
century, when this area became part of the kingdom of Italy, that
Trentino cuisine actually started adding to its diet dishes typical to the rest of Italy; for example, the ‘pastasciutta’ (pasta dishes). Trentino
has its roots in ‘canederli’ and ‘gnocchi’, rather than in homemade pasta. The “smacafam”, is a savoury torte filled with garlic and
covered with fresh luganega pork sausage. This is a typical festival dish during the MardiGras Carnival. The “gröstl” is another traditional
peasant dish, useful for recycling leftover meat, made simply with coarsely cut up pieces of up meat sautéed in butter with chunks of
boiled potatoes covered with finely chopped chives. Boiled potatoes sautéed in butter, mashed and then covered with chopped parsley are
also a typical Trentino style fare.
Among the richer dishes let’s not forget Lepre –Trentino style, a sweet and sour ‘salmì’ recipe found
only in this area. The hare meat is marinated it in wine and vinegar for at least twenty-four hours with all sorts of spices, plenty of onions,
pine nuts and sultanas, then broiled. Stuffed chicken is another favourite speciality of the area. The stuffing is prepared with walnuts, pine
nuts, bread doused in milk, liver, eggs and boiled meat. It can be served with various sauces, but especially with the tasty fruit ‘mustard’
of mandarin oranges. There are only a few types of fish: salmon trout from the streams which is smoked and cooked in various fashions.
Eel Trentino style is cut up and sautéed in butter with onions and spices. Baked dried cod made with potatoes, butter, oil, garlic, onions,
celery, milk, salt and pepper is another favourite dish served with polenta. Wild mushrooms (ceps, chanterelles, chiodini and russole) are
stewed and eaten with polenta. The Trentino desserts are very similar to those in Alto-Adige, with one exception – the strudel is made
with apples only. Trentino ‘krapfen’ can be baked instead of deep fried, giving the doughnuts a lighter touch. Bread pudding pie is a
typical Trentino dessert, made with stale bread soaked in milk, then mixed with fruit, flour, sugar and walnuts. The ‘Fregoletti’ pie is
made with white flour, butter, sugar and almonds. ‘Zelten’, the Christmas speciality is made with rye flour in Alto-Adige, whereas in
Trentino it is made with white flour, eggs, yeast, candied fruit, and plenty of dried fruit, all covered with split almonds. The cuisine from
the Trentino is strongly characterized by its geographical position, its climate and its history. Despite tourism, it has remained deeply
rooted to its origins, like the tradition of eating meat accompanied with fruit mustard (to take one of the most obvious examples).
Smoked meat reigns supreme in Alto-Adige, typical of cold climates, from cattle used to spending long nights outdoes and grazing on
fragrant grass in the fields at high altitude. There’s nothing tastier than the local “speck”, boneless pork meat cut in small square pieces
and placed in saltpetre with garlic, laurel, juniper, pepper and other herbs that vary according to secret family traditions handed down
from one generation to another. The “speck” is then hung in the smokehouse which must be well aerated. The smoke grazes the meat only
a few hours a day and the temperature must be low. Each farmer has his secrets: the wood must be sweet and enriched with branches of
fresh juniper. The best “speck” is homemade and is ready in the autumn because the slaughter usually takes place in February. In Alto
Adige “speck” is eaten for breakfast, at noon as an antipasto, and as an afternoon snack.
The cuisine of Alto-Adige has an Austrian influence and it’s hard to find the typical Italian flavours. Ingredients, spices, and
combinations unknown to the other regions are used here. There are few greens and soups, but dishes such as canederli, large balls made
with stale bread, flour, milk, and eggs with liver, bacon, salame and even greens. Depending on the ingredients, the name of the dish
changes: Canederli di Fegato, Tirolesi, Neri, etc. Canederli are served as a soup, boiled in water or broth and placed in a tureen with
boiling broth, or boiled and then served with goulash. They can also be prepared with dried prunes where the pitted prune is inserted in
the canederli, dipped in crumbs, and boiled. Yum – or maybe not…
CANTINA TOBLINO, Trentino - Organic
Founded in 1960 by a small group of growers, who perceived the potential quality of wines produced in the Lakes Valley
Cantina Toblino collects and vinifies the grapes of about 600 associated small farmers. Thanks to the constant ventilation
coming from the nearby Garda Lake, soils with extremely varied compositions and an altitude band ranging from 150 to 800
m a.s.l., every different grape variety expresses in the final wine outstanding varietal notes. Vineyards located in the plain of
the River Sarca (150-400 m a.s.l.) benefit from a particular dry and airy climate. Gravelly soils and the interaction between
the "Ora del Garda", a warm wind coming from the south-west of Lake Garda in the afternoons, and the cooler winds coming
from the north, blowing through the narrow valley of Limarò, ensure a wide temperature range between daytime and the
night. Cooler vineyards located in the hills and mountains of the Cavedine Valley and Bleggio near Stenico, imbue grapes
such as Müller Thurgau and Kerner with unique aroma and elegance. The Gewurztraminer is intensely aromatic, subtle,
persistent and spicy with hints of grapefruit and ripened peaches which complete the classic notes of rose, flora and honey.
The Pinot Grigio is graceful and fruity with perfumes of williams pear and yellow plum. A structured but discreet palate,
elegant with a pleasant touch of acidity with gives a freshness and a sensation of cleanliness in the mouth. Kerner offers a
typically ample and seductive bouquet, with hints of fruits and undertones reminiscent of aromatic herbs and a characteristic
mineral note. This wine has a good power and density, subtle, with a good aromatic persistence. With its pale straw colour
with a distinctive green tinge the Müller Thurgau expresses intense and elegant sensations typical of the variety, with pleasant
aromatic notes. To the palate this wine is dry, fresh and has a persistent length.
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The cliffs of the Adige Valley change their appearance as the light shifts across them: awe inspiring when they are veiled
by shade or darkened by a heavy sky; and enchanting when the sun shines on them, as they are tinted with delicate shades
of pink. The river too changes its mood as the weather changes: when there is bad weather, its rough waters become a
whirlpool of green and blue, while on calm evenings they become a sparkling silver ribbon. No one with a sensitive soul
can cross this land without being touched by its beauty.
After the narrow Salorno Gorge, visitors travelling from the north are welcomed by the marvellous sight of a wide valley.
Vineyards and orchards are scattered among these rocky outcrops. Near San Michele all’Adige, on the right bank of the
Adige River, a wide plain unfolds beneath the mountains: its name is Campo Rotaliano. This is where the Teroldego, one
of the country’s best grapes, thrives. It is no coincidence that this striking landscape marks the linguistic and cultural
boundary between the Tyrol and Trentino, between north and south – an invisible border, yet nevertheless a border. The
Noce valley, Campo Rotaliano with the towns of Mezzolombardo and Mezzocorona, has seen tribes and rulers come and
go – Rhaeto-Etruscan settlers, the Romans, Celts, Longobards, Franks, Tyroleans, Austrians, Bavarians and Italians.
Whether conquerors or settlers, traders or mercenaries, all have left their mark at this crossroads where valleys, rivers
and mountain ranges converge and diverge. Campo Rotaliano offers the opportunity of discovering a grape variety that
has been cultivated for centuries in a context rich in contrasts and history. Always exceptional, Teroldego has for long
been considered a grape of unique character giving wines with “the body and robustness of a Bordeaux”, being
“somewhat rougher” and possessing “strong varietal attributes” and “a little acidity”. These are words used to describe
it by a 19
-century wine connoisseur. The Teroldego grape is medium-sized and deep in colour. Its vines need rigorous
pruning. Depending on the year and the weather, the grapes ripen relatively early. The first written document in which
Teroldego is mentioned by name is dated 1383, when one Nicolò da Povo undertook to give a certain Agnes, who lent him
money, a ‘tun’ (around 250 gallons) of Teroldego by way of interest. Between the 14
centuries, Teroldego was
grown between Campo Rotaliano and Rovereto. It is spoken of in 16
-century Mezzolombardo when it gained a foothold
in Campo Rotaliano. Elsewhere its use has waned.
Time and again the “great potential” of this wine is cited. It has even proven its robustness to oidium (1890) and
phylloxera (1912). Today’s area of cultivation is quite small, amounting to only about 400 hectares, 73 per cent of which
yields DOC wines. The Campo Rotaliano vineyard has been divided up in the course of time into many small plots, all of
which are cultivated with great care, since the land was scarce and hence precious. Of course, any attempt at forcing this
process and any imbalance in the vineyard
leads to a breach in the bond linking a grape variety to a territory. Easy and
seemingly effective “technologies” increase the distance between the vineyard and hence the wine from its identity and its
originality. These are the inspiring principles of Elisabetta Foradori’s work in her vineyards. The climate and soil are
elements that cannot be modified, while the work of man can lead to deep changes in the grapevine. Clonal selection in
the 1970s led to the homogenisation of the Teroldego grape variety and hence to its genetic impoverishment: very few
clones aimed exclusively at increasing the yield were developed. The limited area cultivated with Teroldego grapes (about
400 ha in Campo Rotaliano) was soon covered completely with the clonal material. The result is that today almost all of
the vineyards are cultivated with only this variety of Teroldego.
the variety’s diversity. After identifying the estate’s oldest vineyard, she started with the careful selection and
multiplication of the plant specimens that had the required quality features. Their monitoring over the years led to a
further selection and it was followed by others reaching up to this day. Foradori has selected 15 Teroldego biotypes that
she uses for replanting. They are the qualitative “backbone” of her wines.
Ensuring a vineyard’s utmost diversity is the best possible guarantee of obtaining great qualitative results. This is the idea
behind all of the work that follows in the vineyard, aimed at reaching the variety’s perfect balance thus allowing it to
express itself in full and exalt its whole potential and uniqueness
There are two distinct levels of quality that Elisabetta Foradori has aimed at producing from Teroldego: the first is
the ‘Foradori’, marked by the purity, dignity and intensity of the fruit. Soft yet penetrating its sweetness is backed by a
supporting acidity that weaves elegantly amongst the fruit. The second, called ‘Granato’ is a wine of greater strength,
harmony, depth and nobility. Deep, almost shy on the first nose, it reveals itself as the aromas come into focus: wild
berries and candied fruit make way for roasted hazelnuts, baked bread, leather, eucalyptus and pomegranate, then the
full robust palate shows plenty of temptingly chewy flesh. The vines are cultivated on different terroirs (varying
quantities of pebbles and gravel), with different exposures and with differing quality potential. Despite the area being
quite small, Campo Rotaliano offers a great variety of soils at a distance of just a few hundreds of metres. Another
element that distinguishes these two wines is the age of the vines, the planting density and the grape yield per vine.
The grapes are vinified separately, plot by plot, and only after ageing in wood are the wines from different parcels of
vines blended to obtain an ideal balance.
FONTANASANTA NOSIOLA VIGNETI DELLE DOLOMITI BIANCO – amphora
FONTANASANTA MANZONI BIANCO VIGNETI DELLE DOLIIMITI
PINOT GRIGIO FUORIPISTA - amphora
FORADORI TEROLDEGO ROTALIANO DOC
SGARZON IGT – amphora
MOREI IGT – amphora
GRANATO, VIGNETI DELLE DOLOMITI ROSSO IGT
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I’m getting oak with plummy overtones
VILAR, LUIGI SPAGNOLI, Trentino - Organic
Vini Dolimitici are 11 producers united by friendship, solidarity, and a common vision of agriculture in the Trentino. Their
desire is to promote the region’s diversity and originality with respect for nature and ethical concerns. I Liberi Viticoltori
Trentini is composed of the following wineries: Castel Noarna, Cesconi, Dalzocchio, Elisabetta Foradori, Eugenio Rosi,
Fanti, Francesco Poli, Gino Pedrotti, Maso Furli, Molino dei Lessi and Vilar.
They are all either organically certified or moving in that direction. Additionally, most of them are also looking to become
biodynamic in the near future. They mostly harvest by hand and make sure that their soils are as healthy as possible by
companion planting other crops in their vineyards. They believe in an integrated system of agriculture and do not believe in
the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers and other chemical products. They feel the old-fashioned ways that grapes were
traditionally grown in their region keep the vineyards in their own natural balance.
Luigi Vilar has always been a winegrower and winemaker. He started with his family estate in Isera before starting his own
vineyard. He now has 4 ha planted with Nosiola, Marzemino, Lagrein, Teroldego. The Nosiola is from rocky soils over clay at
430m asl. The grapes are destemmed and fermented with their own yeasts in stainless steel tank after two days of skin contact.
The malolactic happens naturally, there is no filtration or fining and only a small amount of sulphur added.
, the grape
most noted for its mention in the opera
Don Giovanni of
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
("Versa il vino!
Marzimino!") has a brilliant purple and a flavour dark bitter chocolate coated plums.
NOSIOLA IGT VALLAGARINA
WEINGUT UNTERMOSERHOF, GEORG RAMOSER, BOLZANO, Alto-Adige
The Santa Magdalener wine is produced in some districts of the communes of Bolzano, Terlano, San Genesio and
Renon. Its name derives from that of a hamlet in Bolzano. Made in limited quantities this aromatic wine goes well with
the robust game dishes of the Alps. It was reported in the 19
century that it was the only wine capable of properly
accompanying the succulent delicacy of “bear’s paw” (Exit stage left pursued by bear with bottle of Santa
Magdalener). The wine is produced from Schiava grapes. Georg Ramoser’s Santa Magdalener estate is tiny with only
two and a half hectares and another couple that are rented. The Lagrein is what Ramoser is renowned for, especially
the Riserva. Ruby red with a nose of coffee, pencil box and berry-skin fruit. The big rich palate offers big sweet
tannins and charming mineral touches. Before you pour it into your glass let it tarry briefly in a decanter or a jug,
then tuck into venison with red cabbage or ham and sauerkraut...
SUDTIROL ST MAGDALENER KLASSISCH
WEINGUT NIKLAS, KALTERN, Alto-Adige
The Niklaserhof winery is located in the St Nikolaus region 570m above sea level at the foot of the Mendel mountain range.
The location is tranquil surrounded by vineyards with a wonderful view of the Dolomites, the upper Etsch river valley and
Lake Kaltern. The Lagrein is vivid ruby red with intense aromas of red berries, grass and sweet violets. A light wine worth
serving on the fresh side.
BRUNO GOTTARDI, MAZZON, Alto-Adige
Bruno Gottardi is known in Austria as a great wine expert and wine merchant with shops in Innsbruck and Vienna.
Recently, he has also acquired a reputation as an excellent wine producer.
In 1986 he bought Sarnheimhof, a winery located in the village of Mazzon, in the wine-growing region of Unterland, the
heart of Sud-Tirol’s best Blauburgunder area or Blauburgunder-Himmel as they say locally. Having replanted the
vineyard, training the vines on wires, he built a new winery, and in 1995 produced his first vintage.
These are impressively grown-up Pinots. The “basic” Blauburgunder is very much the expression of vintage. The fruit is
heady and jammy, reminiscent of sweet plums and blackberries, but there is a backbone that keeps you returning to it. The
reserve version is glorious, that ineffable Pinot mixture of enticing primary fruit (violets, red and black cherries) and the
secondary whiffs of tobacco and truffle.
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Up and Down In the Adige – Blauburgunder Himmel
First stop was Georg Ramoser’s Untermosenhof winery. A huge unkempt hound met us; his intentions were friendly despite a notice on
the door of the winery which announced that he was hungry and likely to devour unwary strangers. Georg led us up the hill towards the
Sankt Magdalener church which gives its name to the wine made from the Schiava grape. The vineyards (mostly organic) were
spectacular, carpeted with poppies, lush with grass with the vines trained in the old pergola fashion. From our vantage point we had the
most amazing views, but not as amazing as the cable car that traversed from one side of the mountains to the other. At our feet was
Bolzano, behind us a massive ridge covered in forest and vines, to the north the snow capped Dolomites and all around us a sea of wild
green foliage. We discovered more almond trees which had shed their bounty on the path and whilst Georg was talking some of us were
cracking nuts with rocks. Yes, we were really that hard up for a mid morning snack.
The generous pergola vines seem so much more real than the stunted twigs that are trained up wires. Most of the growers in the region
have abandoned them in favour of more modern trellising systems, but their extensive canopies offer shade and respite from the battering
sun. The baking stones and the drip-drip of the irrigation hose were testament to the heat and sun of the climate. As Andrew Marvell
wrote: “Annihilating all that’s made/To green thoughts/In a green shade.”
Back at the winery we sat down at two large refectory tables and tasted the small range of wines that Ramoser makes. By this time we had
been joined by the winemaker from Tenuta Falkenstein (or Frankenstein as we predictably called the winery). Falkenstein means falcon’s
rock by the way.
Looking down the hill from Santa Maddalena
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