Trentino-Alto Adige

Trentino-Alto Adige

46°30'0.00" N

LATITUDE

11°19'59.88" E

LONGITUDE

9

subregions

about this region

Trentino-Alto Adige is a region in the northeast of Italy, located on the border with Austria. While production was once dominated by red grape varieties like Lagrein and Schiava, now white wines are more important. They are made with varieties like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and the local variety Gewürztraminer.

The most distinctive wine region in Trentino-Alto Adige is Trentino, located in the southern part of the region. The wine produced in Trentino is made from several grape varieties. Nosiola is the most important white grape variety, and Teroldego and Marzemino are the most important red grape varieties. Trentino-Alto Adige is home to 9 DOC and 4 IGT.


Associations

42024

Vineyard Hectares

453

WINERIES

1600 - 2200

growing degree days

Discover Terroir

The wine region of Trentino-Alto Adige is located in northern Italy. It is bordered to the north by Austria, to the northeast by Switzerland, to the west by the Lombardy region and to the south by Veneto.

This region has an alpine climate. Despite this, the wines produced here have more body and riper flavour than expected in a cool region. This is mainly because the region's soil, especially on the valley floors, heats up quickly, and then that heat is released to the mountain slopes, where the vineyards are concentrated. This is in addition to the great exposure to sunlight that the vineyards have due to their location. Another factor that contributes a lot to making this region ideal for winemaking is the warm air currents from the Alps. These help prevent certain diseases and fungi from affecting the vineyards.

The Trentino-Alto Adige wine region features a diverse range of soils, influenced by its mountainous landscape. Sandy, gravelly soils prevail in lower areas, while higher altitudes exhibit rocky, well-draining soils rich in minerals. The region's unique geology and soil variations contribute to the nuanced flavors and characteristics of its wines, reflecting a harmonious balance between terroir and grape varietals.

Discover

Red Grapes Varieties Lagrein

White Grapes Varieties Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay


In the Trentino-Alto Adige wine region, the most popular wines are made with the grape varieties Lagrein (on the red wines side) and Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay (on the white wines side).

  • Lagrein: This red grape variety, originally from Trentino-Alto Adige, has been cultivated in the region for hundreds of years, specifically around the 16th century. It is highly appreciated because it produces full-bodied wines with a flavour profile reminiscent of fruits such as plums or wild cherries.
  • Pinot Grigio: This grape variety is widely used in several Trentino-Alto Adige DOCs, such as Alto Adige or Trentino. This is due to the cool climates of these regions, especially in winter, as the Pinot Grigio variety thrives in this type of climate. The type of wines produced with this variety will depend a lot on the ripening time of the grapes. Wines produced with riper grapes will have a more tropical fruit-oriented profile. On the other hand, those wines produced with less ripe fruit will have a more citric profile.
  • Chardonnay:  This grape variety is widely used in several DOCs, such as Valdadige, Trento, Trentino and Alto Adige. Due to the predominantly cool climate in the region, the wines produced with Chardonnay grapes are elegant, lighter-bodied and have a fruity profile with citrus notes. In addition, the wines have a mineral component due to the composition of the soils in Trentino-Alto Adige.
altitude

200 - 800 m

rain

600 - 1300 mm

soil

The soils are mainly calcareous and alluvial, with components such as gravel or limestone

top varietal

Lagrein, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay

History of wine

The Trentino Alto Adige region has a wine history that begins in 500 B.C. when grapes started to be cultivated around Bressanone. Further back in time, in 15 B.C., the Alto Edigio region was part of the Roman Empire. During Roman rule, Alto Adige experienced its Golden Age of winemaking due to the arrival of new varieties in the region and the planting of vineyards in new places, such as slopes or scree cones.

From 700 A.D. onwards, many monks and nobles arriving from southern Germany began to run their own wineries in the region. It was precisely the monks who perfected the recording of winemaking practices.

During the Middle Ages, a large number of wineries were opened in the region, many of them owned by monks, and this had such a stimulating effect on the region that by the end of the Middle Ages and under the reign of the Habsburgs, wine from the region reached the European courts.

The 16th century brought a consolidation of red grape cultivation and a great change in the production method. Instead of fermenting only the juice of the grapes, the whole must began to be fermented.

During 1850, the grape varieties available in the region were expanded, thanks to the Archduke Johann of Austria, that introduced several varieties to Trentino Alto Edigio, such as Riesling or Burgundy.

The inauguration of the Brenner Railway in 1867 and the Pustertal Railway in 1871 greatly boosted the region's wine economy. This was due to the fact that the producers had the possibility of marketing large quantities of their products to more distant places. For this reason, various associations began to be formed to market and export wine.

In 1872 the Institute of Agricultural Education and Testing was founded in San Michele all'Adige, promoted by the Society of Viticulture, Fruit Growing and Horticulture of Bolzano. The institute not only educated its students about the practices of winemaking. It also introduced various grape varieties, such as Bordeaux red grapes, Sauvignon Blanc or even Red Muscat. In fact, the Sylvaner, Gewurztraminer, Veltliner and Pinot Blanc varieties, produced in the Isarco Valley of Alto Adige, were introduced by the institute's director in 1881.

In 1893 the first cooperatives were founded in Trentino-Alto Adige, specifically in the regions of Andrian, Terlan and Neumarkt. These cooperatives pressed the grapes together and sold the wines under the same name. After World War I, they were joined by several other cooperatives.

The year 1931 marked a turning point for the quality of wines in this wine region, thanks to the enactment of the Italian wine law that designated growing areas for ''designated wines'' and new quality standards for each designation.

In 1957, about fifty fruit and wine growers founded the Alto Adige Fruit and Viticulture Advisory Center. Today, the advisory center collects scientific knowledge and practical experience on agricultural and winemaking processes and advises its members.

In 1962, wine pioneer Sebastian Stocker was the first to make a brut wine in the region. This would be key to the success of sparkling wines from Trentino-Alto Adige.  In 1963, another law was passed to ensure the quality of sparkling wines. This new regulation included the creation of controlled appellations of origin (DOCs), which sought to protect wine consumers.

In 1970 and 1975, the first DOCs of Alto Adige, Lago di Caldaro and Alto Adige, were created. This allowed the introduction of stricter production standards and quality controls, thus improving the level of the region's wines.

From 1980 onwards, Alto Adige began producing more single-varietal wines. This, together with the reduction of grape yields and the use of modern winemaking techniques, meant a great leap in quality for the region.

Finally, in 1990 the Alto Adige Sparkling Wine Producers Association was founded to promote the production and consumption of this type of wine.

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