Viticulture in the Alto Adige has historic roots that preceded the Roman Empire. This region’s vineyards extend over the plains and hills surrounding the Isarco Valley and the Adige River whose valley is Italy’s corridor to Germany. Alto Adige is considered more Germanic than it is Italian and although the Trentino in the south tends to reflect Italian culture, it too remains more cosmopolitan, as exemplified in the international grape varietals so popular in this region. The most famous varietals are Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Müller Thurgau, Riesling and Moscato. Trentino is also responsible for Italy’s largest production of Chardonnay and is a leader in sparkling wines.
The most northern appellation in Italy, bordering Austria, Alto Adige DOC is also one of the most complex, producing a range of different wines from several different varieties. The area is home to some of Italy’s best expressions of Pinot Grigio.
Casteller DOC is located in southern part of the province of Trentino, to the north of Lake Garda and the city of Verona. The appellation covers only red wine making at the moment, with a minimum of 50% Merlot required. This can be blended with a number of different local varieties, including Schiava Grossa, Schiava Gentile, Lagrein and Teroldego. There is actually very little wine bottled under this denomination.
Trento DOC is a large appellation in Trentino created in order to represent the growing number of high quality sparkling wines produced in the region. It should not be confused with Trentino DOC which covers a range of still wines from a host of local and international varieties.