(tren-TEE-noe ahl-toe ah-DEE-jay)
The area consists of the regions Trentino and Alto Adige, neighbors in Northeast Italy, and is part of the Tre-Venezie trifecta. The northernmost region of Italy is fairly hilly due its closeness to the the Alps, and many vines in Trentino are terraced along the hillsides for ideal sunlight benefits. Alto Adige, in turn, has more vines on the valley floors, but enjoys warmer summers. White and sparkling are the name of the game here in quality and exports, although oddly enough, more red wine is produced. The majority of this red wine is drunk locally and in neighboring countries.
Reds are likely to be Merlot
, Cabernet Sauvignon
and Cabernet Franc
, along with a few local varieties, most notably Schiaval. The white grapes are Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio
, Traminer and Chardonnay
. Chardonnay is the most-planted and most revered, while Traminer hails from Austria and has an amazingly light body, but is also intensely floral and delicious. Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio are the international players that make lively whites of good value. The sweet spot of Trentino Alto-Adige is Vino Santo- a wine not to be confused with Tuscany's Vin Santo. Vino Santo (which means holy wine) is a sweet wine of the area made from dried grapes. Not found as much as Vin Santo, but still a treat.