Imagine the Dolomites in the distance, wrapping around the horizon with their speckled shades. As you proceed north, the hills become taller and rockier, but still green. The vineyards are more daring, the terracing increases. Occasionally one can spot a fortress on the rocky ridges, or the bell tower of a mountain village that rises from a sea of vines. Not a single leaf out of place.
The first stop of our wine tour in Trentino is in San Leonardo, known for its refined Bordeaux blends, not to mention that the estate itself, surrounded by woods, vineyards and villa is gorgeous. Right after, Eugenio Rosi, a winery in an old building, on top of the hill where the town of Calliano stands. He’s young, eclectic and revolutionary, always with a clear idea in mind: making natural wines, with strong bound with the territory. Entering his cellar/atelier you will be welcomed by the barrels, while the landlord himself will offer explanations and wine tastings. The highlight of the house is the Marzemino, made like in the olden times, with withered grapes and then laid to rest in cherry-wood barrels. Thick, juicy, heady.
So Trento, famous for the Palazzo del Buonconsiglio and its series of magnificent medieval frescoes. The old town, with its churches and palaces, is remarkable and well preserved throughout. We’ll relax in our hotel with spa, before proceeding to the next leg.
A hidden gem of our wine tour is the Vin Santo Trentino, renowned since ancient times, made from Nosiola grapes, withered for at least five months, until the development of noble molds. Ideal for after-dinner conversations.
Ferrari. The king of bubbles. A great brand, but also a source of masterpieces such as the Giulio Ferrari. To be paired with local cheeses and cured meats in order to fully appreciate its flexibility and freshness.
The last stop of our wine tour in Trentino will be in the kingdom of Teroldego. Foradori, in the Piana Rotaliana, a small paradise planted with vines and orchards, surrounded by rocky ramparts. Here we’ll enjoy properly paired Teroldego of every sort and vintage, as well as a vertical tasting of Granato, the quintessence of Teroldego.
Alto Adige (South Tyrol). Resort in the hills. We’ll start our winery tour from Mazzon, a hilly area four hundred meters high, where we will spend all day tasting some of the best Italian Pinot Noir and great Gewürztraminers.
Brunnenhof is a small, go-getting winery that produces only two wines (Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer), but more than enough for us to enjoy immensely. Then Franz Haas, with its sophisticated selection of Pinot Noir and Rosen Muskateller (Moscato Rosa). Excellent matching with smoked meats, chamois, deer, carne salada, speck, Trentingrana, Vezzena, Bergkäse, Spretz tzaorì (Puzzone di Moena). For dinner, we will experience pairings with each specialty, not to mention the endless variety of South Tyrolean breads, made from different kinds of flour—brown, white, enriched with spices and seeds.
Then we’ll reach Termeno (Tramin), on the west bank of the Adige, and specifically the Hofstatter winery, where we will find, in addition to the colossal Pinot Noir, the mythical Gewurztraminer Kolbenhof and a Romanesque church in the heart of the village.
Lunch in an alpine hut, with local products and cooking class. A trip at Lake Kaltern and then Castel Sallegg, a winery in a fifteenth-century castle, which will open the doors for a nice tasting and another great Moscato Rosa.
St. Michael Eppan: castle, winery, wine museum. Perfect triad for an establishment of such large size, which can count on great crus. Clear, yet sumptuous the Sauvignon San Valentin, without a doubt one of the best.
For the grand finale of our wine tour in Alto-Adige, we’ll take shelter at the Abbey of Novacella (Neustift). Eight-hundred and fifty years of history and wine. Lunch and a walk in the surrounding gardens, which the monks have been taking care of for centuries.