Bright ruby red (with violet hues that become more orange as the wine matures), a fruity nose with hints of raspberry and banana, a dry flavour and unique fragrances that improve with age (up to ten years in the cellar): Teroldego Rotaliano was the first wine produced in Trentino to obtain DOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) certification.
An entire area of the region has for centuries been dedicated to the cultivation of the native varietal whose grapes are used to produce this wine. This area of land is the Piana Rotaliana, between Trento and Bolzano, and is rich in minerals left by the sedimentation of detritus from the Noce and Avisio rivers. The sun, too, plays an important part, lighting and warming the hills to create the ideal climate for the vines.
If you visit the area in order to discover and taste Teroldego in the place where it is made, then you will also have the ideal opportunity to visit a place that is rich in history and culture. Mezzocorona, with its medieval castles and Mezzolombardo, with the numerous picturesque parts of the camp set up by Tita Piaz: the church of S. Michele Arcangelo in San Michele all’Adige, one of the most important examples of baroque art in the Trentino Province, or the Museo degli Usi e dei Costumi della Gente Trentina (Museum of Customs and Costumes of the People of Trentino) and the Edmund Mach Foundation, a centre for research, training and the promotion of viticulture.
You will recognize the village of Faedo from the two churches (and two spires) at the entrance to the village and the splendid woods which surround it. Lavis is distinctive for its narrow streets and brightly-coloured houses and for the Romance style Giardino dei Ciucioi, which dates back to the nineteenth century and lies on helical ramped terraces. The archaeological sites at Drei Canè and Giontech will take you back thousands of years: they date back to the Roman era, just as Via Claudia, which at one time led from the lowlands of the River Po to the Danube, and which today offers 700 kilometres of trail, much of which can be travelled by bicycle through the vineyards.
Returning to the production of gourmet foods in the region, the Piana Rotaliana is famous for other typical products, from the white asparagus cultivated in Zambana (one of the products in the Arca del Gusto di Slow Food (The Slow Food Ark of Taste) to apples (especially the Red Delicious) and local grappa. If you are in the area, don’t forget to ask a local inhabitant to tell you the legend of Basil – one of the oldest legends in the region – which tells of a basilisk, a monster with the appearance of a winged snake that for many years terrorized the inhabitants of the plain, killing farmers and setting fire to houses and fields. Until Count Ugo Firmian cunningly led it into a trap and killed it. But then…..