Tuesday, 2 November 2010


The New Wine of the Veneto is called 'Torbolino' and seems to be a popular seasonal treat, much like Federweisse in Germany. It arrives at the end of October so is not fully fermented at 8%. It is semi-sweet but rather delicious. The examples we found were made with Chardonnay (right) and Raboso (left - pay no atention to the labels on these. They are ex-mineral water bottles). In the middle is a sparkling Marzemino which we bought to see if the interesting example we had drunk in Vienna was a flash in the pan (it was).

Information about Torbolino is very difficult to come by. It doesn't have an entry in the Oxford Companion to Wine and Google only has a couple of mentions. One of these (with thanks to the author Marc Millon) is worth quoting ;

I notice a sign for “Torbolino”. I’ve not come across this before. It is the local term for mosto or newly pressed grape juice that is in the process of still fermenting, and thus is no longer grape juice but not yet wine: something frothing and vivacious and deliciously in-between. In Piedmont’s Langhe hills, we’ve enjoyed this mosto with our winemaker friend Mario around a campfire, while roasting castagne, chestnuts. In the German-speaking Südtirol, we’ve sampled törgellen, a simple repast of speck, cheese, good bread and the new, still-fermenting mosto. So here, I purchase a litre of the white torbolino, made from Prosecco grapes, and a litre of the red, made from Cabernet. The red is better, and our daughter Bella quickly downs a couple of tumblers on our return to our palazzo.
This torbolino, it has to be said, is good; it is seasonal; it tastes of our mood, the old year slowly transubstantiating into something new.

Marc Millon, www.marcmillon.co.uk

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