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Guide to choosing the best white wine of South Tyrol – Italian Cuisine

Guide to choosing the best white wine of South Tyrol


The Trentino Alto Adige is a region where so many faces live together. The differences of the two macro areas known as Trentino and Alto Adige are also expressed in the most famous product of this Italian area: wine. Although red wines are just as interesting, they are the South Tyrolean whites to draw more attention to yourself. Discover how to choose the best white wine of South Tyrol for your dinner!

The origins of wine in South Tyrol

THE'South Tyrol is a territory that is part of the autonomous region with special statute known as Trentino Alto Adige. There are two provinces: that of Trento, which covers all the part known as Trentino, and that of Bolzano, to which South Tyrol refers. The two areas have strong linguistic and ethnic differences, but share a large chunk of wine history, which in Roman times saw the two areas unified under the name of Rezia. Viticulture developed very early in these two provinces. It has the first trace in an amphora dated 2000 BC found in Valle Isarco, in Alto Adige, inside which there are traces of grape seeds. An Etruscan vase called situla, dating back to the 8th century BC was instead found in Val di Cembra, in Trentino.

Both Trentino and South Tyrol are entirely mountainous areas. The river draws the boundaries of the various valleys Adige, which runs from north to south. The upper course of the Adige forms the Val Venosta and the Valle dell'Adige. Its largest tributary is the Isarco, in whose valley the Val Pusteria and the Valleys of Funes, Val Gardena, Val Egna and Val Sarentina converge. In South Tyrol the climate it is predominantly alpine, with strong seasonal and daily temperature ranges, although in some periods it is substantially mild, thanks to the mountain ranges that act as a barrier to the northern winds. The extraordinary aroma of these wines is therefore given both by the climatic element and by the different chemical composition of the soils, which influence the aromatic bouquet.

The most famous white wines of South Tyrol

Despite the not very vast production area, just 5,000 hectares, and the production of only 350,000 hectoliters, the wines from Alto Adige stand out for their numerous awards received. Furthermore, 98% of the wines produced in Alto Adice have the D.o.c. brand.

But what are they? the most famous white wines of South Tyrol? Impossible not to mention the Gewürztraminer, native vine known for its aromaticity. Despite the German name, this wine originates from Alto Adige and, to be precise, was born in Termeno, in the province of Bolzano. In German gewürz means spices while tramin is the German name of Termeno.

In all German-speaking countries the Traminer it was a vine known since the thirteenth century. Then this aromatic grape fell into oblivion until it became one of the most famous and appreciated South Tyrolean wines in the world thanks to its highly original bouquet. Today the Gewürztraminer it is also cultivated in the heart of Alto Adige enoico, in Appiano and Caldaro.

In this area, also known as Oltradige, some famous white grapes are grown, such as the Pinot Bianco. Winemakers trace its origin back to the genetic mutations of Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris. This international vine of French origins is cultivated all over the world, but found in Alto Adige, where it has been cultivated for over 150 years, one of its most suitable lands.

It is a very early vine, a characteristic that makes it suitable for extreme regions for viticulture such as South Tyrol. In the past it was often confused with Chardonnay. The wine obtained is of a beautiful straw yellow, fresh, dry and full-bodied. The Pinot Bianco it is also cultivated in the central stretch of the Valle Dell'Adige, between Terlano, Nalles and Andriano.

In the same area is cultivated Riesling. This vine grows among the red earths, the result of porphyritic pluvial deposits, giving birth to long-lived white wines. The most suitable territories for this type of vine are the valleys of the rivers Rhine, Main, Nahe, Moselle, Saar and Ruwer. However, Riesling grown in Italy produces a straw-colored wine with greenish reflections. The bouquet is fruity, with hints of peach and apricot, and a hydrocarbon finish. In South Tyrol it is also cultivated in the Isarco Valley.

In the Bassa Atesina, at record altitudes such as those in the Favogna area, is cultivated Müller Thurgau, a typical grape of the Val di Cembra, but which also in this area creates interesting expressions in a glass and bottle.

This vine owes its name to a Swiss winemaker, Hermann Müller. At the end of the nineteenth century, in the canton of Thurgau, it crossed the pollen of the Riesling Renano with a little known vine, called Madeleine Royal. The first to implant it in Trentino were the researchers of the Agricultural Institute of San Michele. Typical of the Val di Cembra, it adapts well to the cold climate. It reacts well on the porphyritic soils of the Adige Valley and on the lean and sandy ones of the Val Venosta.

The Sylvaner is a white grape variety originating in some of the Styria region, Austria, for others in the middle Rhine valley. Widespread in the Isarco Valley and in the central area of ​​the Adige Valley, the Sylvaner takes its name from the Latin word silva, which means wood. Recent DNA studies have shown that the vine comes from a cross between traminer and Austrian white. A straw yellow wine with greenish reflections is obtained. A pleasant dry wine with slightly bitter notes, it is flavored with the right acidity.

The Kerner is another of the vines that enrich the Isarco Valley. It is a semi-aromatic white berry vine. It was created in 1929 by August Herold, in Germany, crossing Schiava grossa (a variety also known as Trollinger) and Riesling. It owes its name to the German doctor and poet Justinus Kerner, who wrote numerous poems about this vine. D.o.c. Alto Adige since 1993, the Kerner it is a wine that appears straw yellow in the glass with golden reflections. It has an intense aroma that turns towards the Muscat. Fresh and fruity, it has less acidity than Riesling, a characteristic that makes up for with more body.

Although it is not a native vine, the region is suited to the cultivation of Chardonnay, which is well suited to the continental pre-Alpine climate. On its own it represents about a third of the entire regional production. This type of grape is used as a base for the production of Spumante Trento Doc classic method. It is grown in the central area of ​​the Valle Dell'Adige.

In the Adige Valley, between Bolzano and Merano, another international grape variety is grown, the Sauvignon. It is a white grape variety from the French area of ​​Bordeaux. The name derives from the French word sauvage (meaning "wild"), in homage to the origins of a native plant of the south-west of France. It is one of the most widespread vines in the world. The wines created with Sauvignon grapes must be consumed quickly. Aging in excess of one year does not give any improvement effects on the organoleptic characteristics.

The best wines to pair with fish

THE dishes based on fish they are celebrated worthily by all South Tyrolean white wines.

Thanks to its aromatic bouquet, the Gewürztraminer goes well with the sushi classic and sashimi, accompanied by a few slices of fresh ginger. It is also good in combination with raw fish, one barbeque or one Tempura of crustaceans. Perfect with the classic fillet of baked sea bream. Salmon, tuna, smoked herring, sardines and roasted stockfish are also incredibly valued by this aromatic wine.

The Müller Thurgau it goes perfectly with fish first courses such as pappardelle with fresh tuna and cherry tomatoes, penne prawns and zucchini and other shellfish sauces. Also perfect with grilled (or boiled) fish, accompanied by grilled vegetables.

The Kerner it goes well with dishes based on shellfish and appetizers of seafood. Also perfect with grilled fish accompanied by vegetables.

The Pinot Bianco it goes perfectly with fish terrine, trout and salami char slightly smoked.

The Riesling perfectly accompanies dishes based on monkfish and recipes with protagonists clams.

The best wines to pair with meat

Among the South Tyrolean wines to pair with meat, the still stands out Gewürztraminer, also very suitable for more refined dishes like the Foie gras (which also goes well with the Kerner). This wine enhances the exotic in an exceptional way chicken with curry.

The Sylvaner goes well with specialties of White meat, but also with mushrooms and spicy dishes. However, the perfect encounter is with the asparagus.

The best wines to pair with aperitifs

During an aperitif we can come across both small baked goods, foie gras and small crustacean tarts, and a rich selection of cheeses. For the latter type of dish the best South Tyrolean wines to serve are the Sauvignon, the Müller Thurgau, the Kerner and the Riesling (species combined with goat cheese).

The best table wines

Among the best wines to be enjoyed throughout the meal, from appetizers to desserts, there are definitely the Müller Thurgau and the Sylvaner.

The best dessert wines

The Gewürztraminer also exists in version raisin: with this wine you will build a winning combination even with desserts typical of the South as the Neapolitan pastiera.

Never South Tyrolean sweet wines they are numerous. In this land are produced Yellow Moscato Passito D.o.c. and the Moscato Rosa D.o.c. and blends built with Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco and Gewürztraminer. Each cellar offers its best expression to combine with cakes, pastries and pastries.

The best wines for aging

The South Tyrolean white wines that lend themselves best to aging are born in the Valle dell'Adige, between the municipalities of Terlano, Nalles and Andriano. The vines, fed by red porphyritic lands, produce Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Riesling, Müller Thurgau is Sylvaner.

The best wines to give away

Among the South Tyrolean wines to give the "prince of the cart" remains the aromatic and seductive Gewürztraminer, to give dry or passito. To amaze your guests, bet also on lesser known vines and all to be discovered like the Müller Thurgau, the Riesling "Made in Italy" and the Sylvaner.

What does autumn taste like in South Tyrol? – Italian Cuisine


Here's what to do in South Tyrol when it's autumn: take part in a real Törggelen, drink new wine and taste speck and chestnuts

What does autumn taste like in South Tyrol? Until you participate in a Törggelen you may not know it. It is indeed one of the most important South Tyrolean traditional festivals there is, where the main goal over time has never changed: being together, drinking new wine and tasting the products of the autumn season. During a real Törggelen it never fails Speck Alto Adige PGI, which is rigorously served whole on a cutting board and freshly cut and a chestnut bonfire to finish.

What exactly is the Törggelen?

From October 5 until Advent, more than twenty taverns open their doors for the Törggelen on the Chestnut Trail from Brixen and Bolzano. The Törggelen is atypical custom of South Tyrol, which consists of meeting up with friends and relatives in the cellars or farms to taste the new wine. The term, in fact, derives from the Latin torquere, that is, to twist, rotate the wooden presses with which once upon a time the crushed grapes were crushed. The Törggelen indicates precisely this moment of conviviality, when friends and relatives tried the new wine in the cellars, along with other homemade products, all with long maturation times, such as speck and chestnuts. Today the Törggelen is not so much changed from the past, with the difference that by now it is no longer an intimate party only between friends and acquaintances, but open and shared also with many tourists who come from everywhere, for an unforgettable party with music and songs until late at night.

To all Speck, the king of the table

If it is true that Speck Alto Adige PGI is the undisputed protagonist of South Tyrolean gastronomy throughout the year, it is even more so in the autumn period, when a real feast is also organized in his honor, in Val di Funes. In these days, all dedicated to the snack of the farmers of the past, is presented in many preparations, to highlight in different ways its flavor savory, spicy and slightly smoked. During this event, which every October attracts many enthusiasts and admirers, cooking classes are held continuously, with the peasant ladies who prepare simple dishes based on this delicacy all day: from canederli with speck and cabbage to other recipes of fingerfood, which visitors can then taste, taking home tips and tricks. You can also go on an excursion with Hans Mantinger, the fastest speck slicer in all of South Tyrol, to discover the traditional farms where it is produced. Last but not least, the Speck Alto Adige Festival can boast the brand GreenEvent: the event, in fact, is organized according to sustainability criterià aimed at protecting the environment and the climate; during the event, great attention is given to the use of organic products, intelligent waste management, energy saving, noise reduction and general social responsibility. But Speck Alto Adige is not the only and only protagonist of autumn in South Tyrol.

Chestnuts in all forms

Autumn in South Tyrol begins when the first ones are shared chestnuts in company, whether toasted on the fire or in other forms. In fact, from the chestnuts, the undisputed protagonists of the South Tyrolean table, we also obtain the flour that is used for numerous preparations: from gnocchi and fresh pasta to mousses and cakes. The important thing is that chestnuts are never missing, as a typical product of local traditional more ancient. We leave you with our recipe based on chestnut flour and we are waiting for you in South Tyrol!

Brown roll

Ingredients
300 g brown jam
150 g mascarpone
125 g granulated sugar
75 g flour
20 g cocoa powder
2 eggs
Maraschino
butter for the pan

Method
Whip the egg yolks with the sugar, add the sifted flour together with the cocoa powder and complete with the egg whites until stiff. Spread the mixture on a greased plate covered with baking paper, also greased, forming a rectangle, and bake it for about 10 minutes at a temperature of 180 °. Take the biscuit out of the oven and let it cool down; brush the entire surface with Maraschino and water in equal parts, then spread with the brown jam, perfectly mixed with the mascarpone. Roll up the cake on itself, then cut it into 24 slices.

Speck: the smoky taste of South Tyrol – Italian Cuisine

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There are products intimately linked to the territory and to the population that inhabits it, born of ancient traditions that still survive today, almost unchanged. The South Tyrolean speck is one of these products. It is easy to define it: speck is a boneless, spicy, smoked and seasoned pork leg. However, each of these steps must be performed in a workmanlike manner so that the mark of the sausage can be stamped on the meat Protection Consortium which, for over twenty years, identifies it as Speck dell'Alto Adige Igp.

An ancient history
Like many typical products, speck comes from the need to be able to consume a food, in this case pork, even months after slaughtering the animal. The technique originates in the farms of Dolomiti: small self-sufficient microcosms where the farmers cultivated and raised all that was necessary for their livelihood. Next to cows and chickens, pigs were never missing, animals that were not expensive to maintain and of which, as is well known, every part can be exploited. Salting, spicing and smoking were the easiest way to keep the cuts for a long time, especially the prized part of the leg. Thus, each family had its own recipe and its secret ingredients. The extra touch was given by the surrounding environment, the fresh alpine air, the microclimate that was created in the cellars and, not least, the woods collected in the woods, in particular those of Beech tree, little resinous and ideal for obtaining a delicate smoke, but effective for conservation.

A modern product
Even today, the inhabitants of the valleys often slaughter their animals and produce their meats in a traditional way (not only bacon, but also other cuts, such as belly and back). They are joined by the industrial sausage factories that still maintain i traditional procedures, only updated with the help of modern technologies. Faithful to the dictates of the Consortium, they produce for local and national markets, but also for foreign ones (especially Austria and Germany). A visit to one of these establishments, such as the one in Soprabolzano (BZ) which is part of the group Citterio (here we work the classic Tagliofresco and the Speck Bio), confirms that the production process does not differ much from what the farmers of these areas did 100 or more years ago.

177315The basic rules
The selection of the raw material is fundamental. To respect the criteria of the Consortium, open and boneless pork legs, which are called "baffe", must respect precise values ​​concerning thepig breeding, the ratio between fat and lean, even the pH of the meat (which, if too high, would compromise drying). Once trimmed according to a traditional technique, the thighs come salted and corned using a "tanning" that can vary from one producer to another but generally includes pepper, laurel, juniper, coriander, rosemary, garlic and other aromas such as pimento (also called peppercorn or Jamaica pepper) and marjoram.

After a first rest (it takes even 3 weeks for the tanning to penetrate well into the meat), and a second passage of a few weeks in special refrigerated rooms, it is time forcold smoking, 5 days during which the smoke of beech wood, which never exceeds 20 °, aromatizes and contributes to the preservation process. Finally, it's time for seasoning which, according to the initial weight of the baffe, can last from 18-20 weeks up to over 30. In this phase, a natural layer of mold is formed on the outside of the speck that rounds off the taste and is removed at the end of the seasoning.

On the table and in the kitchen
The cycle is complete: the speck is ready to be sold whole, in slices or in slices. In the case of slices, the typical cut is the counter-fiber one that allows to obtain slices with a right amount of fat, which is essential to balance and sweeten the flavor of the salami. Thus presented, it is the protagonist of the typical South Tyrolean snack with Schuttelbrot (low and crunchy rye bread) and red wine, while the classic slices, cut in the sense of the fiber, make up cutting boards with valerian, pickles, black bread and horseradish sauce.

The cubes are inevitable in the dough of the dumplings, the large spherical bread dumplings with chives and parsley that can be enjoyed in broth or simply seasoned with butter and sage. Lastly, strips and matches are perfect in barley soups and risottos: whether combined with the sautéed or added at the end of cooking, cut very finely, so that the fat melts in contact with the heat of the dish and the speck releases all its scents, remaining soft. As tradition wants.

Francesca Romana Mezzadri
July 2019

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