Describe the key geographical features of Northern Italy
The vineyard regions are in the foothills of the Alps and on the extensive plain of the River Po
What is the overall climate of Northern Italy?
Moderate, with dry, short summers
Alps form a rain barrier
Moderating influences provided by bodies of water such as local rivers (like the Po) and glacial lakes (such as Garda)
What is the effect of proximity to the sea in Italy
These areas can have higher rainfall and be more at risk of fungal disease
Describe how Northern Italian vineyards were traditionally planted
High yielding vines at low densities With Pergola trellising systems
Describe a Pergola trellis
The vine canopy is trained high with the fruit hanging down below a horizontal canopy of leaves
What are the principal reasons for Pergola training?
To protect the grapes from sunburn To allow for better circulation, minimising the risk of rot
For what kinds of wines are Pergolas still used in Northern Italy?
High acidity and low sugar levels (e.g. for sparkling wine grapes) For dried grapes which need to be free from damage and disease
What is the most common training system in Northern Italy?
High density plantings using VSP
Where is Alto Adige?
Centred around the town of Bolzano in the foothills of the Alps Italy's most northerly wine region
Describe vineyard plantings in Alto Adige
Planted on terraces on the south-east and south-west facing valley sides of the River Adige
Describe the climate in Alto Adige
Moderate climate Short, dry summers Low rainfall during the growing season Most vineyards experience high diurnal range due to altitude
What does the high average vineyard altitude make the vineyards of Alto Adige ideal for?
Production of aromatic whites and elegant, light-bodied reds
What is the most notable white wine of Alto Adige?
Describe Pinot Grigio wines from Alto Adige
Dry Light to medium body High acid Citrus and green fruit flavours
What are the next most important white grapes of Alto Adige after Pinot Grigio?
Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc
Which red grape dominates production in Alto Adige?
Describe wines of Alto Adige made from Schiava
Light and fruity
Low to medium tannins
Flavours of raspberries and plums
How are almost all wines labelled in Alto Adige?
Alto Adige DOC
Where in Italy is Trentino?
Directly to the south of Alto Adige
Describe the geography of Trentino, particularly in relation to Alto Adige
The valley is wider here than further north
Where within the valley, are Trentino's vineyards planted?
On the valley floor as well as on the slopes on both sides of the valley
What is the climate of Trentino?
Moderate climate Dry summer and low rainfall (similar to Alto Adige) Slightly warmer than Alto Adige
Why is Trentino slightly warmer than Alto Adige?
More southerly latitude Vineyards at lower altitude Mountains to the west of the valley which protect from the cooling influence of Lake Garda
What are Trentino's two main varieties?
Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio
Describe the wines made from the valley floor of Trentino
Medium body Medium acidity Ripe stone fruit flavours
What are wines like which were made from grapes grown at higher altitudes in Trentino?
More similar to whites made in Alto Adige
What are the two most planted black grapes of Trentino?
Merlot and Teroldego
Where within Trentino are Merlot and Teroldego usually planted?
Mid-slopes and valley floor
Describe wines made from Teroldego in Trentino
Medium to full body Deep colour Medium to high tannin High acidity Aromas of black fruit Usually matured in oak
How are most wines labelled in Trentino?