One Name, Many Stories: Teroldego
The etymological origin of the word is lost in the mists of time and is still a matter of discussion today. The first theory, perhaps the most widely accepted, is that its name is linked to the area of Tyrol. In fact, in ancient times, the Viennese court held the grape in such high esteem that it was called the 'gold of the Tyrol'. Tiroldegho, Tiraldega, Tiroldela and Teroldigo were the various synonyms by which this red grape was known. Despite the fact that it is the cultural and enological symbol of the area, another theory suggests that its origin may not actually be in Trentino but in the Veneto region. In fact, near Lake Garda there was a variety called Tirodola, whose name derived from the tirelle (small vines) used as living supports to cultivate the grapes, which were then brought to the South Tyrol area by migrating populations. The favourable climate and the fertile soil of the region created the perfect conditions for this grape to germinate, and over the years it became an indigenous grape of the region. According to many people, Teroldego wines have great affinities with Syrah-based wines, while the grape appears, after some genetic studies, to be closely related to the Lagrein variety, which is its cousin from South Tyrol.
Trentino is Stained Red in the Piana Rotaliana
If we look at the Trentino region from a geographical point of view, we see that it is nothing more than a continuation of the Adige Valley. In fact, the varieties cultivated in this middle land are the same and include Schiava, Lagrein and Pinot Noir. However, if we look in detail at the point where the Adige River divides the municipalities of Salorno and Rovere della Luna, we notice the presence of exclusively Trentino grapes such as Teroldego in the Piana Rotaliana, Nosiola in the Valle dei Laghi and, a little further on, Marzemino. The Piana Rotaliana, also known as Campo Rotaliano, is the area where the best Teroldego is produced. It is an area that covers the municipalities of Mezzocorona, Mezzolombardo and San Michele all'Adige. It has alluvial origins and is particularly flat, featuring a high presence of stones and minerals, which allow good drainage of the soil and enable the plant to sink its roots several metres deep. This territory is also the birthplace of the DOC Teroldego Rotaliano, one of the most prestigious and symbolic denominations of Trentino wines, which are well-known and appreciated by connoisseurs for their fresh and enveloping taste. There are a very large number of great producers guided by one of the most famous and award-winning wineries on the national wine scene, which, since the 1990s, has revolutionised the classic idea of this red wine by refining it in amphora. We are talking about Teroldego Foradori, a true establishment that displays a finesse and character that this type had never shown before.
Profile and Pairings
It normally presents itself with a dark ruby-red colour, which is dense and impenetrable. On the nose it presents a very delicate bouquet in which wild blackberry, blueberry and raspberry are the most common notes. In the more rounded versions, which are aged in wood, spiced and toasted scents emerge, with hints of menthol. The taste is full and enveloping, with a good thrust of freshness and a very light tannic texture. The alcohol content is also normally low and always well integrated. Teroldego wines lend themselves to numerous pairings, with the most common being meat and salami dishes of traditional Trentino cuisine. We recommend opening a bottle to pair with Sguazet (an offal-based dish) and Trentino-style potatoes cooked in speck, with strangolapreti (bread and spinach gnocchi) with venison sauce, or with dumplings served with diced smoked speck. Try it also with the famous polenta carbonera, which is a typical local recipe to experience the authentic taste of the Trentino region.
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