Wine Dharma

Trentodoc spumante metodo classico wine guide: how is made the sparkling wine of the Dolomites

Trentodoc spumante metodo classico wine guide, history, grape variety Trentodoc is the mighty Spumante Metodo Classico (sparkling wine) produced in the charming mountains of Trentino: a wine born from the Dolomites.

We don’t say it to make cheesy wine-poetry, but because, although it still has a small production, Trento Doc wine manages to harness and bottle the majesty of the mountains.

Trentodoc: a mountain juice

The wines have a sidereal saltiness, abundant acidity, structure and thickness, all virtues which are then skillfully worked and translated into fine wines, using the champenoise method.

Despite being the first Italian sparkling wine awarded with the DOC, Trentodoc has been exploding only in recent years. The number of wineries is growing, the awareness of the producers, the quality and variety themselves are taking off, with many winemakers who dare with pure and rocky wines (pas dosé) that are not rounded by sugars and give up on easy stylizations.

To be honest, if we talk about Italian Spumanti Metodo Classico, right now, Trentodoc is the most exciting and full of ferment, the one that presents the most interesting wines.

But those who produce in Trentino, perhaps at 800-900 meters above sea level, are advantaged and can afford to produce a more pure wine. The grapes are healthy, the temperature range gives clear scents and increases the acidity of the grapes exponentially and then the rocky soil does the rest. They are unique conditions, perfect for producing wines of extraordinary structure and intensity.

Vines used to produce the Trentodoc method sparkling wine

And since we talked about grapes, let’s say that the vines used to produce Trentodoc are the same as Champagne: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. To which is added in small percentages the ephebic Pinot Blanc, used above all to add fine perfumes and delicacy.

All this minerality must rest on the lees for a long time to find elegance and balance and, by law, a Trentodoc wine must age for at least 15 months, 36 for the Trentodoc Riserva.

Trentodoc sparkling wine production method

Méthode champenoise, same as Franciacorta and Champagne. The process is identical, but the territory is completely different. So we cannot make comparisons or confrontations.

The grapes are harvested early to preserve their acidity, then they are crushed with soft pressing and start the fermentation.

This “base wine” is bottled with sugar, in form of must, and selected yeasts to force a second fermentation and so the bottle is closed with a stopper.

And so the magic happens: the refermentation in the bottle. The yeasts consume the sugars producing alcohol and carbon dioxide “as a waste”. But it’s thanks to carbon dioxide that the wine becomes effervescent, developing that delicious perlage that makes sparkling wines unique.

We move on to remuage, the most suggestive phase: the bottles are placed in the pupitre (trestles) upside down, inclined at 45 degrees. Each day they will be gently rotated a few degrees, so that the dead yeasts settle in the neck of the bottle, above the bottom of the cap. Now all you have to do is to freeze the part of the neck of the bottle that contains the sediments, uncork and remove the sediments (disgorgement).

At this point, the wine is topped up with the liqueur d’expedition, the syrup of dosage, the trademark of each cellar. With this mixture of sugar and high-quality wines, you can create unique and unrepeatable bottles or standard products, an army of clones. It is a double-edged sword of which many abuse, but many others indeed produce pas dos, zero dosage or brut nature with a sugar-free liqueur d’expedition to offer a hard and pure sparkling wine. Certainly more angular, not ready and in need of many years of bottle aging, but also more adherent to its territory of origin. Sugars and liqueur d’expedition are great friends for winemakers but at the same time dangerous doping for a sparkling wine.

Well, now the Trentodoc is bottled for the last time and stays a few more months in the cellar to find the right balance, before being put on sale. And here we have finished the production process of this great Italian wine, but for us, this is only the beginning, the pretext for tasting splendid sparkling wines!

History of Trentodoc sparkling wine

At the beginning of the 1900s, a young winemaker named Giulio Ferrari sensed the potential of the Trentino hills to produce great sparkling wines. After a few years, in 1933 the Trentodoc became the first Italian sparkling wine to be awarded the DOC and thus the myth was born, with the Ferrari winery acting as a forerunner for all the others. Today there are 48 official producers and specific production areas are designated: starting from Avio, passing through Lake Garda up to the Val di Cembra. The variety is not lacking, indeed.

Classification and sugar content of the Trentodoc sparkling wine

Zero dosage, brut nature, pas dosé: sparkling wines with a sugar content of less than 3 g/liter, to which no sugar is added after the second fermentation. Certainly among the most stimulating and adherent to understand the Dolomite terroir, but also the least ready and most grumpy. The potential for aging and evolution is very high, 10-20-30 years. There is no other sugar other than that naturally present in the grapes.

Extra brut: wines with sugar content ranging between 0 and 6 g / liter. Consider that up to 7-8 grams the sugar is not perceptible, the wine is dry.

Brut: sparkling wines with a dose of sugars lower than 12 g/liter.

Extra dry: the sugar rises and varies from 12 to 17 g / l. Sweetness is barely noticeable, a glow in the distance.

Dry or sec: between 17 and 31 g / l. Let’s talk about roundness, certainly not sweetness.

Demi-sec: slightly sweetish sparkling wine with sugar between 32 and 50 g/liter.

Sweet: sweet dessert sparkling wines with a residual sugar greater than 50 g/liter.

Trentodoc food pairings

These structured, savory and fresh wines deserve fish soups, mixed fried fish, sea bass fillet in salt, Indian dishes with vegetables, white meats, and chowder. Recommended dishes: pumpkin tortelli with valance, spaghetti with clams, rice noodles with prawns and vegetables, sweet and sour pork, veal with tuna sauce, parmesan herb ravioli, risotto with truffle, spaghetti with carbonara, tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.

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