Checking in on Trentino

Teroldego time, but let’s not forget Nosiola and Rossara!


As many of you might know I am half Italian, with family that comes from the province of Trentino in northern Italy. It’s where the seeds for my love for wine were originally planted, and there are plenty of fabulous wines produced there. Though little of it finds it’s way to our shores. That is slowly changing but the truth is there is only so much ground that we can make up.

Consider that the overwhelming majority of table wine produced in Trentino comes from a pair of large, albeit quite good companies and that the production of Trento DOC, the local Metodo Classico Spumante that we rarely see, contributes to pushing the production to nearly 65% white wine.

You’d think we’ve had seen all that Trentino has to offer.
Of course the truth is more complicated. This is a region of astoundingly high quality wines that get gobbled up by the domestic market, to a certain extent, as well as visitors from the north, who have historically driven down through the Brenner Pass on their way to summer destinations in the Dolomiti mountains and on the glorious shores of Lake Garda. The trunks of those cars tend to sit decidedly lower as the visitors return to points north. If not for them we might see more of these delicious wines here with greater frequency.

What follows is a bit of an indulgence, wines from just three producer focused primarily on the local starring red, Teroldego. But please forgive me this indulgence as Teroldego is my epiphany grape, and these three producer are doing some terrific stuff with the variety and are worthy of your attention, even if finding the wines is a constant struggle.

Teroldego is a terrific grape, and one that is being planted with some intensity in California, and from what I understand Australia as well. It produces darkly colored wines that are relatively light on tannin, with juicy acids supporting dark and tart fruit flavors with hints of game and herb. While the color of Teroldego tends to be quite dark, its character in the mouth is one of transparency. That is it reveals its terroir quite clearly and nowhere is there better terroir for Teroldego than within the Piano Rotaliano region that it calls home.

This narrow flood plain, bounded on both sides by imposing cliffs and the foothills of the Alps, has a loose alluvial soil layered over meters of glacial debris and river stones. All of that rocky matter imparts a fine minerality, and firm, crisp tannins to the wines that are grown here. They really are unique and while Teroldego may not be as age worthy or complex as some of the most appreciated wines of the world, they are delightfully engaging, easy to pair with food, and offer the wine lover a chance to experience something new while staying very much within the classic red wine paradigm.

For more information on Teroldego please check out: Teroldego

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  • Numerous spelling mistakes put in to see if we are alive and/or interested?

    Jun 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    I see you are awake then. Seriously, my apologies. I had updated this content in googledocs while traveling, and changes that they have made allowed me to make the changes on my computer but didn't updated our shared doc as had previously been the case. I've gone through the article once to update it, and will do so again shortly to catch, hopefully, whatever details I've missed.

    Thank you for taking the time to point this out.

    Best regards


    Jun 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

  • Snooth User: Al Faison
    196612 155

    Finally, some praise for my favorite Italian wine, Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano. I was introduced to it by Chambers Street Wine in Manhattan, and was heartbroken when they informed me he could no longer ship to me in Texas. The 2008 vintage was my first experience with Foradori, ans still is one of the best vintages, in my opinion. I have had Chambers Street ship subsequent orders to a friend in New Mexico, that brings it to me, just to show you how much trouble I will go to in order to get Foradori Wines. It is also available from in New Jersey. Hats off to Elisabetta for telling the DOC to "stick it" when they tried to critique her second rendering of Teroldego and wanting changes made. She stuck to her guns, kept control of her wine making and hello IGT with her 2011 bottling, of which I just received a case. An interview with Elisabetta on Snooth would be a great read for all Italian wine lovers!

    Jun 10, 2014 at 6:45 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    Urban Legends in Oakland makes Teroldego as does Amphora in Sonoma, both are good, provide a nice break from more ordinary varietals, and they provide some evidence of their role as predecessors to Syrah..

    Jun 10, 2014 at 8:08 PM

  • Snooth User: annwrite
    451405 14

    So happy you wrote this. My husband and I discovered (and fell in love with) Teroldego in '99 in Chicago and yes, it's hard to find!

    Jun 11, 2014 at 1:29 PM

  • I was introduced to Teraldego by Dr. Paulo Sabbatini of Michigan State University, where he is evaluating it as a potential grape for their industry. You need to meet this guy Greg. He's the real deal. And so is Teraldego. I'm really glad you highlighted it, and I hope we see more of it in the US.

    And by the way, I hope you don't get too hung up on getting all the spelling right. It isn't the most important element of your writing.

    Jun 13, 2014 at 10:24 PM

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