Category Archives: Winemaking

AUTUMN IS COMING AND THE GRAPE HARVEST IS UNDERWAY

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The grape harvest is a very demanding task at the Mezzacorona vineyard – hard work, precise attention to detail, patience, and the occasional glass of wine are all required!

 

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In the weeks before the harvest, our agronomists and winemakers evaluate every single field to understand the level of ripeness of the grapes, taking into account sugar content, acidity, ph and many other factors.

A few days before the harvest, the grapes are evaluated a second time to verify that they are ripe enough to be harvested. It is also important to sample and taste the grapes to assess the phenolic maturation.

 

 

 

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In our beautiful region, surrounded by the Italian Alps, grapes are harvested completely by hand since the use of mechanical grape harvesters is not possible on the steep hills.

This allows us to very carefully handle the grapes in the vineyards. Only the best and most ripened bunches are collected, guaranteeing only the finest grapes to be used in our cellars.

 

 

 

This year’s harvest began on August 21st. During the first weeks we gathered Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay grapes starting in the flat areas of the vineyard and finished with the cliff-hanging vines. In mid-September we will continue with red varietals such as Merlot and Teroldego for ending with Moscato and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

 

Join us in raising a glass of Mezzacorona wine for a successful harvest in 2014!

 

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HARVESTING AT MEZZACORONA, ONE BIG FAMILY

 

 

Autumn, with its amazing colors and flavors, has finally arrived and the harvest at Mezzacorona is almost over. Our farmers are still harvesting the latest red varietals, Teroldego grapes in the Rotaliana valley, in the north of the Mezzacorona estates, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the vineyards located more south, close to the Garda Lake.

 

This year we could not have hoped for a better harvest here in Trentino. September 2013 was characterized by perfect weather conditions: beautiful, warm, sunny days and cold nights allowed for a perfect, ideal ripening of the grapes, especially for our Pinot Grigio, plus the ideal environment for our farmers to work in the fields.

 

In our region, grapes are harvested all by hand since most of the vineyards are planted on steep hills and the use of harvest machines is impossible. In many other wine regions in Italy, where vineyards are planted on flat and wider areas, harvest is all mechanized, allowing a huge saving in terms of time and labor costs. Here, at the foot of the Italian Alps, the territory configuration allows only manual harvest.

 

During this time of the year, we like to invite our customers to the vineyards to show them how grapes are harvested here at Mezzacorona. All families are on the field to help, from the white-haired grandfather to young nephews; all generations are involved during this important time of the year. The enthusiasm and happiness in the air during those days, walking through the vineyards and at the winery, is amazing.

 

It is the priceless reward for a year full of commitment, sometimes worry, but always passion, which we all put in our job. It gives back the family dimension that it is sometimes hard to recognize beyond the size of a company like Mezzacorona, but it is exactly what we are: a big family, committed and in love with its homeland, working hard to give the next generation the treasure preserved since 1904.

 

Raise the glass and toast with us, waiting for the 2013 new releases of Mezzacorona!

HARVEST 2013 KICK OFF

 

We are finally close to kicking off the 2013 harvest season at Mezzacorona in September! Chardonnay is normally first out of the gate, however, the start date this year is 10-12 days later than normal due to a cool spring.

 

Here in Trentino spring 2013 was pretty cold and longer than usual, causing a significant delay for the beginning of the harvest. However, the months of July and August were characterized by hot and stable weather that have guaranteed a consistent and perfect ripeness for all varietals.

 

Quantities are expected to be great and the quality will be impressive, even though this year the strong weather conditions put everyone through the wringer.

 

The heavy rains during spring made it a tough job for our farmers and vineyard managers, but thanks to hard work and meticulous attention throughout the year, the vines developed properly and the grapes have grown healthy and in great quantity.

 

Ultimately, these last summer days, characterized by moderately warm days and cold nights, have been ideal to help the grapes reach an intense aroma profile and the perfect acidity.

 

Despite a year of strong weather, the grapes are ready and our farmers look forward to start picking them.

 

We wish the entire Mezzacorona team a great harvest for 2013!

 

 

Harvest Report 2012

 

Next week, in the Mezzacorona state-of-the-art facilities, the first bottles of the new vintage 2012 Pinot Grigio will be bottled. The new vintage production is always exciting: all of us cannot wait to hold in our hands the result of the harvest that just passed.

 

Harvest 2012 began around middle August. This early beginning of the harvest has become quite normal recently, but it was quite different in the past. As we discussed in one of our previous posts, the beginning of harvest is calculated about 90 days after the time of vine blossoming. In 1987 the Chardonnay flowering began on June 14th and the harvest followed on September 16th. This year the bloom started around mid May and the harvest began in mid-August. Thus, we are now harvesting a month earlier than we were only 20 years ago. Clearly, something is changing in our climate.

 

Looking beyond these climate changes that involved the whole world, we need to say that here in Trentino spring 2012 was pretty cold and contributed to the reduction in the overall yield. However, summer has been great, characterized by hot and stable weather that guaranteed a constant and perfect ripening of all varietals.

 

Red wines appear well structured, vivid and elegant, with a great fruitiness, while white wines stand out for their intense aromas, softer acidity and larger palates –especially our Pinot Grigio.

Thanks to a proper vineyard management performed throughout the year (which is the practice of leaf pulling to increase the sun exposure, a constant monitoring of the vines to prevent diseases, etc.) and the warm weather contributed to give the Pinot Grigio grapes an intense aroma: the traditional hint of pear is still present but the notes of white flowers and camomile are substituted by delightful notes of green apple, honeysuckle and peach.

The acidity is softer, but it preserves the crispness that has made our Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio so unique.

 

Looking forward to taste the new vintage? Don’t worry, it will soon be on its way to the States, with a huge surprise for the new year, but we will tell you more later on..stay tuned!

Harvest time!

 

Excitement is in the air at Mezzacorona, today the harvest has just begun!

 

Here, at the foot of the Italian Alps, 1,500 families have started working in their vineyards at full steam and are busy picking the first bunches of grapes: all by hand!

 

Finally, the efforts, that thousands of people made all over the year, starting from the farmers all the way to the vineyard managers, who assisted them day by day, and the oenologists and many others, are paid off.

 

You can see the great satisfaction in the eyes of the farmers when they bring the grapes to the winery and show the result of the hard work.

 

The weather has been good, the grapes look wonderful and we have great expectations for this vintage! So, we keep our fingers crossed and wish Mezzacorona a great beginning of harvest!

Refresh your summer with Mezzacorona Moscato!

 

Another week has flown away and it’s time to think how to spend the weekend! Actually you need just a few ingredients for a successful day: get your family together, convince your friends to get rid of all their appointments or ask your

special one for a romantic date. Upload your favourite music on your ipod, fill your picnic basket with delicious finger food and don’t forget the wine!

 

Any suggestions? Mezzacorona Moscato of course!

 


After all there must be a reason why the 2010 vintage received 87 points by Wine Enthusiast and it’s Wine Spectator’s Top Rated Moscato under $13!
“This wonderful sipping wine from northern Italy is not as sweet as most bottlings of Moscato, and that’s what makes it so good. Rather than fighting off excess sugar, the palate is treated to an array of fruit flavors — white peach, apricot, pear, guava and even a hint of pineapple — that are seemingly sprinkled with baking spices and finely crushed almonds.” (winelinesonline.com)

 

Many Moscatos appear under the “Dessert” heading on restaurant wine lists. Mezzacorona Moscato goes beyond this.

 

 

Of course it is great with pastry, but with its refreshing taste, it is ideal as an aperitif and pairs well with vegetable pastas, grilled chicken and cheese. The perfect wine you cannot forget in your picnic basket for a great summer outing!

 

Have a great weekend!

A Taste of Mezzacorona Cabernet Sauvignon, from Lake Garda

 

Summer is upon us, and the getaway season has officially started! Are you still wavering between hiking in the mountains or go sailing? Well, if you come and visit Lake Garda (www.gardatrentino.it),  in the heart of the Italian Alps, you can do whatever you want in a matter of a few miles.

 

The choice among the outdoor activities is incredibly wide. You can go sailing, windsurfing or kite surfing. Water sports not quite your thing? You can climb the cliffs overlooking the lake or simply relax through the panoramic footpaths for passionate of  Nordic walking and trekking. You will enjoy the view from one of the many bike routes surrounding the lake, and maybe get lost in the middle of the vineyards close by.

 

 

Here, many grape varietals are grown, especially the ones that prefer milder temperatures, like Cabernet Sauvignon.  Thanks to the presence of the lake, there is an exceptional microclimate that contributes to create a Mediterranean corner right in the foothills of the Alps.

 

 

 

Mezzacorona cultivates its own grapes right here, to the north of Lake Garda, obtaining a wine of great personality and structure. Characterized by a deep ruby red color, Mezzacorona Cabernet Sauvignon has an intense and complex bouquet, with spicy notes reminiscent of eucalyptus and sweet fruits, well integrated with the distinctive fragrance deriving from the maturation in oak. This wonderful wine is the perfect companion for a variety of food pairings: red meats, flavourful roasts, game and aged cheeses.

 

Don’t miss the next article to be featured on blog.mezzacorona.it, there’ll be a delicious recipe to be paired with Mezzacorona Cabernet Sauvignon!

 

See you there!

A Taste of Mezzacorona Merlot

 

Merlot is one of the most widely planted red grape varietals in the world. Originally cultivated in France in the Bordeaux region, it was planted in northern Italy at the end of the 19th century. Merlot adapts to a very diverse range of growing conditions, but performs better in warmer climates. This is the reason why Mezzacorona cultivates the Merlot grapes in its estates close to the Garda lake.

Garda is the largest Italian lake, located just 40 miles south from the winery. Despite the fact that the lake lies right in the middle of the Italian Alps, the surrounding area is uniquely characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Lemon and olive trees surround the lakeside, contributing to create a landscape worthy to be painted over and over again –which explains the thousands of tourists from Europe who flock here yearly to take in the scenary. Thanks to the lake’s influence, summers are warm and winters mild, creating the perfect conditions for the ripening of Merlot, especially in terms of aromas.

In fact, this varietal requires a good amount of sun to lose the herbaceous character and to full express the fruity aroma of cherry and blackberry. In order to reach the ideal maturation of the grapes, Mezzacorona also places much attention on the vineyard management. Leaves are carefully removed from the vines to allow the clusters to receive all the sunlight they need. All the grapes are hand picked and quickly processed at the Mezzacorona facilities. Most undergo alcoholic fermentation for around 10-12 days at 77-79 °F (25-26°C). During this time, the fruity aromas and the tannins that will build the structure and body of the wine are extracted from the grapes. Part of Merlot matures in stainless steel tanks and part in oak, in order to smooth down the tannins and give more complexity to the wine.

Ruby red in color, the Mezzacorona Merlot presents an intense bouquet and a delicious array of aromas, including red fruits and plums, and a powerful but delicate structure with tannins that are velvety, but still present. It pairs best with red meats, cheeses and flavourful soups.

 

What else could there possibly be to learn? Why not watch the video with one of our winemakers, Lucio Matricardi, and find out! And while you’re at it, raise your glass and toast us with your Mezzacorona Merlot! Cheers!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9zoq5lb5fg

 

Alpine Crispness with Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio


Discove

r why the Trentino region, in the heart of the Italian Alps, is the best suited region to grow Pinot Grigio.

 

What does a Pinot Grigio grape look like? Probably not as you’d expect! Pinot Grigio variety actually derives from Pinot Noir grapes. As a matter of fact, the Pinot Grigio skins are characterized by a dark colour, ranging from copper grey to light red, and the clusters are very small and tight. This distinguishing shape tends to remind people of pine cones –or “Pinot,” as they’re called in French!

 

Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio is a full expression of the unique combination of climate, soil and people you’ll find at the foot of the Italian Alps in the Adige Valley. The combination of these three key elements makes the Pinot Grigio grown in this area exclusive from anywhere else and exemplifies why Mezzacorona is the world’s leading producer of this variety.

 

Climate. Pinot Grigio is a variety that yearns for particular environmental conditions: large temperature swings between day and night (which help preserve the acidity of the grapes), and constant winds. Here in the alpine area in the North-East of Italy, those conditions are perfectly replicated. A fresh breeze comes from the glaciers peaking at over 9,000 feet in the North of the region, while gentle mild winds blow from Garda Lake in the South. Together these conditions allow the perfect aromatic maturation of the grapes, while not subtracting from their perfume and fragrance.

 

Soil. Pinot Grigio is cultivated in favourable soils with optimum fertility, both in deep valleys as well as in the hills. The Dolomitic landscape adds crispness and minerality to the classic, delicate and elegant aromas of Pinot Grigio. The typical “pergola” trellising system allows the grapes to hang free with maximum exposure to air which helps prevent mildew. Moreover, the leaves above the grapes protect them from the sun’s harmful rays (Coppertone SPF 45 failed to do the trick) . All green management and harvest activities are performed by hand, allowing the farmers to carry out the finest selection in the vineyard. As a result, the grapes arrive at the winery in perfect and healthy condition.

 

People. Originally known with as the German name Ruländer, Pinot Grigio has been cultivated in the Dolomites since the 1950’s. The successful cultivation of vines in a steep and difficult environment has been possible thanks to the great determination of the local grape growers & their ability to join forces and work together. We believe Mezzacorona parallels the strong character its workers:  Able to cope with difficulties and create strengths out of weaknesses.

 The result of our triple-threat combination?  An elegant Pinot Grigio characterized by a unique crispness and minerality, perfect as an aperitif and excellent with local and International cuisine. Salute!