Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Slotovino Hall of Fame has a new member: Casetta

Yes, a rare red grape from Trentino Alto Adige: Casetta has made a big impact on a recent fact-finding trip to the area. This is one of the ancient varieties to be found in this fascinating part of Italy. Other local varieties include Enantio (used in what is referred to as Lambrusco Trentino) and Pavana which we have not been able to find. A crossing of Teroldego and Merlot called Rebo after the great 20th century grape geneticist Rebo Rigotti

who created this and many other crossings is also a feature of the region. We have been able to source a Rebo and this will be put through our rigorous testing program very soon.

Nosiola is another variety native to Trentino but after thorough trials we have decided that although perfectly acceptable, it is not worthy of the high honour of inclusion. We have not tried the sweet version referred to as Nosiola Vin Santo. This may yet be Nosiola’s ultimate calling.

Moscato Rosa makes another sweet wine in Trentino. We did not taste this but a Moscato Rosa from Sicilia. Again the impression was positive but not up to our high criteria for inclusion in our Hall of Fame.

We have also yet to taste Schiava Grigia or the Malvasia Nera of the Südtirol/Alto Adige. We have managed to bring back local versions of Schiava and Portugieser however. Local expressions of Müller-Thurgau, Incrocio Manzoni Bianco and Pinot Bianco all shone.

The Trentino/Alto Adige/Südtirol region emerged as no less rich in diversity than the Val d’Aosta or Savoie. These mountain areas are hosts to many secret treasures.

The excellence of wines produced from these grapes is not due to them being grown on mountain sides but to the effect the mountains have in concentrating warmth on the growing areas in the valleys over the growing season when for example Bolzano in the Alto Adige can sometimes be the hottest city in Italy.

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