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Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol: alpine excellence and high-altitude wines

From the Italian region located furthest north, many traditions and a vine variety rich in history and fragrances

For mountain lovers it is synonymous with ski resorts (among the most exclusive in Italy) and hiking trails along which to venture, map in hand, during the summer.
For many, it is the favourite destination to immerse in holiday spirit by visiting one of the many Christmas markets held in picturesque villages, walking with a steaming cup of mulled wine (Glühwein).

For others, it is the ideal response to the need for a relaxing weekend getaway. Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol, whose territory is mainly mountainous, is unspoilt wilderness.

It is silence, it is the vivid colours of the landscapes which fill your eyes, the scents of the forests, the lakes surrounded by spectacular evergreen trees and also delicious food. The region is well-known for the Dolomites and boasts many ancient traditions, which are handed down year after year by its inhabitants.

As a popular destination for food and wine tourism, Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol also offers a lot in this respect. Although agriculture is difficult, crops such as berries, apples and plums find a fertile soil and organic farming is well-established.

The breeding of cattle that graze freely in the pastures and feed on wild herbs leads to the production of excellent milk. You cannot visit Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol without enjoying at least once at a malga or a maso (Hütte) a high-altitude meal based on homemade bread with cereals, butter, fresh cheeses, farm-produced speck and jams made of the fruits harvested in the surrounding woods.

Also unforgettable: carne salada, polenta, canederli (Knödel), mushrooms, honey and many simple and traditional desserts such as strudel, krapfen and zelten. The use of seasonal and regional products and sustainability are the mainstays of Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol’s cuisine, which reaches its utmost expression with the local wines produced in the mountain vineyards.

The viticultural traditions of Trentino Alto Adige-Südtirol date back to pre-Roman history; it is the Italian region with the highest percentage of DOCs compared to production. Here, quantity is inversely proportional to quality and it is only possible to cultivate vines in the lowest part of the deep valleys. Many varieties of indigenous vines are grown, of which Teroldego is the most renowned: it is a red grape type cultivated in the area since the Fourteenth Century. It is one of the most ancient and representative vines of this region in terms of scents, aromas, history and body.

The locals also call it Dragon Blood because, according to the legend, the first logs sprouted in the place where a terrible dragon that was killed thanks to an ingenious stratagem devised by a brave Knight, a local Count, lost some drops of blood. Teroldego is a very productive vine variety and its grapes ripen slowly. It has a late harvest which occurs between the end of September and early-October. Its grapes mostly produce fruit-rich, lively, poorly tannic and very easy-drinking wines that pair nicely with local dishes.