Mezzacorona Teroldego, the “Tyrol’s Gold”

 

In Italy, more than 200 different indigenous grape varietals are cultivated, characterized by unique perfumes and flavors. Each has a distinctive profile, resulting from a special terroir that contributes to make them inimitable.  In Trentino, at the foot of the Italian Alps, people have been cultivating with passion and dedication several local grape varietals that here found the ideal place where to grow successfully and which now have become part of DNA of the region.

 

One of most representative grape varietals of Trentino is the Teroldego. It is a local red varietal characterized by a strong connection with the very specific soil of the area surrounding Mezzacorona: the “Piana Rotaliana”. It is a flat area located 20 km north of Trento, locked in between two rivers: the Adige (the second longest river in Italy after the Po), and the Noce, a smaller local river. The soil of this area is alluvial with an upper level of cultivable soil (50-80 cm) and a sandy, pebbly stratified skeleton. This soil is characterized by great freshness and an absence of water stagnation.

It is said that the origin of the name Teroldego comes from a combination of the German words “Tiroler” and “Gold”, literally meaning “Tyrol’s Gold”. The wine was poured in the Viennese courts during the Austrian-Hungarian ruling. Teroldego Rotaliano, a close cousin of Lagrein, was the first Trentino wine to obtain the D.O.C. appellation (denominazione di origine controllata)  in 1971, and was bottled by Mezzacorona.

 

Today the varietal has been refined according to our tradition, and continues to win over new consumers thanks to its  distinctive, intense colour and unmistakable fragrance and flavor that have made it famous.

Mezzacorona Teroldego pairs great with rich first courses like the traditional Italian lasagna and is perfect with roasted and grilled meats or aged cheese.

 

What are you waiting for? Mezzacorona Teroldego is definitely worth a try, you will love it!

 

 

 

How to improve the quality of red varietals

 

It’s already mid-September and here at Mezzacorona, we have finished harvesting the white varietals grown in our estates, mainly Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. Now it’s time for reds, either local varietals like Teroldego (literally “Tyrol’s Gold”, considered the “Prince” of red wines here in Trentino) or international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot cultivated in our vineyards close to the Lake Garda, in the southern part of the region.

 

Maybe not everybody knows that before harvesting the red varietals, in the final stage of maturation, it’s important to do a couple of operations (all performed by hand!)  in order to improve the quality of the wine: cutting the bunch tip and removing the bunches that have not completely ripened.

 

It’s evident that cutting the tip of the bunches (from 8 to10 cm) determines a reduction in the overall production (usually about 10%), but it is fundamental to improve the quality of the wine. As a matter of fact, the tip is usually characterized by the highest acidity level and the lower sugar content: removing it, the sugar content of the single bunch increases of 1° Babo (corresponding of about 5-6%) and other positive parameters, like polyphenols, improve.

 

The last operation that needs to be done in the pre-harvest is crop thinning in order to standardize the final production. If the farmers followed all the suggestions our vineyard managers gave them throughout the past year, just a few grapes will need to be removed from the vines. This operation takes about 15 – 20 hours per hectare, while cutting the clusters requires 50 hours of manual labor per hectare.

 

 

Both are clearly labor intensive operations, but here, at Mezzacorona, there is just one philosophy to be followed: Quality comes first.

 

Is there anything better than…?

Is there anything better than great food and wine shared with your favourite company on a relaxing Sunday? Oh well, there might be a few alternatives, but this sounds definitely good!

 

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, here at

the foot of the Italian Alps, and we decided to have lunch at Trattoria Vecchia Sorni (www.trattoriavecchiasorni.it), a lovely family run restaurant, right close to the Mezzacorona wineries.

 

We were sitting outside, with a breathtaking view on the Adige valley, enjoying the mild September sunshine. The chef, Lorenzo Callegari, spoiled us serving a surprising pasta with octopus and gazpacho, followed by a great trout fillet. A chilled glass of Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio could not miss to complete this moment..absolutely perfect! Enjoy!!

 

Cold tagliolini with octopus and gazpacho

Ingredients:

400 gr cooked and cooled egg pasta tagliolini

300 gr cooked octopus

 

For the gazpacho:

1 red pepper without seeds

2 tomatoes

3 leaves of fresh mint

7 basil leaves

1 clove

half peeled onion

1 peeled cucumber without seeds

1 chilli pepper

Olive oil

Thyme and marjoram

Salt

 

Whisk all the ingredients and let them stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Chop the octopus in cubes and add the cold tagliolini and the gazpacho. Mix and add salt and pepper to your taste!

 

Trout fillet with potatoes, green beans and basil sauce.

 

Ingredients:

4 trout fillets without bones

2 peeled potatoes

150 gr green beans

1 basil wisp

Olive oil

 

Grate the raw potatoes in strips and prepare little cakes.  Cook both sides in a pan for 2 minutes until they are crispy. Add salt to your taste.

Cut the trouts in 2 and marinade them in white wine and lemon juice for 30 minutes. Take them out the marinade and flour them only on the skin side.

Heat the pan and add the olive oil. Brown the fillets on the skin side first for 3 minutes over a medium flame. In the end put them in the oven at 320°F (160°C) for 5 minutes.

Peel the beans and cook them in salted hot water for 10 minutes. Sauté them with oil and garlic.

Whisk the basil with the olive oil. Sprinkle the basil on a plate, then put the beans on the fillets and in the end the potato cakes. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Mezzacorona among the top 10 Pinot Grigio producers in the world!

 

Just today,  we visited some of our farmers during the Pinot Grigio harvest. A morning breeze welcomed us in the fields while the first rays of sun began to light the valley here in the middle of the Alps.  In order to pick the grapes at their best, the harvest starts quite early in the morning –preserving all the crispness and the fragrances that make Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio unique.

 

 

When we arrived, the farmer, together with his family, were already working in the vineyards. Everybody helps during these days:  grandparents, wives and children. They are all happy to be part of these joyful days and hold in their hands the results of their efforts spent over the past months. The grapes look wonderful this season, and everybody seems to be happy about the quality of the grapes and have great expectations for the new vintage!

 

While waiting for the 2012 Pinot Grigio release, we have been informed that Snooth,  the largest social media of wine, has rated Mezzacorona among the Top 10 Pinot Grigio producers of the world! (www.snooth.com)

 

An important achievement that, together with the 90 points the Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio Riserva 2010 received from Wine Enthusiast, confirms once again the commitment, dedication, and passion of Mezzacorona in producing elegant and consistent quality wines, with the Pinot Grigio being our pride and joy, throughout the years.

  

 

 

We thank you, our fans, for your continued support!

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!

The practice of “leaf pulling” in Trentino viticulture

 

“A good wine starts from a good vine.” This isn’t just a fun rhyme. Healthy, productive vines are essential to the winemaking process. At Mezzacorona we are lucky to have a passionate team of vineyard managers fully dedicated to their craft. They work side-by-side with wine growers, sharing their experience and knowledge to get the best  grapes from their vineyards and maximize their vines’ production.

 

In the immediate post-flowering phase, the vineyard managers suggest the grape growers to remove the excess leaves from the vines. This practice, called “leaf pulling”, is crucial in facilitating sunlight exposure and airflow around the grapes, making the clusters less susceptible to harmful fungal diseases. Furthermore, removing some of the leaves enables to vines to dry quickly, protecting the plant from bunch-rot infection.

 

This practice is extremely labor intensive, requiring from 80 to 100 hours per hectare, but it is absolutely necessary for a higher quality fruit production.

Do you know when the harvest begins?

 

Today our vineyard managers explain how to determine the beginning of harvest with a simple rule. “If you know the time of full bloom, it is possible to predict with good accuracy the time of harvest of any grape variety.”


In the vineyards cultivated around Mezzacorona, the vines blossom around the third week of May, taking about 95 days for Chardonnay to be ready for harvesting. Comparatively, Teroldego, an indigenous red varietal whose name means “Tyrol’s Gold”, grows 112 days until harvested.

 

 

In 1987 the Chardonnay flowering began on June 14th and the harvest followed on September 16th. In 2007 the bloom started on May 14th and the harvest in mid-August. Thus, we are now harvesting a month earlier than we were only 20 years ago.

 

Clearly, the secret is out, something is changing in our climate.

Sweet July 4th! What’s better than a chocolate touch?

 

You are sitting outside in your porch, a soft breeze gently ruffles your hair. You’re finally getting a rest after a long, hot day of entertaining. The kids have gone home and all the leftover mess from the party has been cleaned. The fireworks begin to light the summer sky, and your lovely other half brings a spoon of pure sweetness in your mouth..

Do you think it’s just a dream? Of course not! It’s just the perfect ending of a great July 4th! With the help of Lorenzo Callegari, chef at Trattoria Vecchia Sorni (www.trattoriavecchiasorni.it), who presents  a special dessert to celebrate a special occasion!

 

Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound of chocolate

4 cups whipped cream

1 glass of cognac

1 egg

1 lemon

a few strawberries

a few mint leafs

raspberry sauce

sugar

 

First, melt the chocolate 70% of the way. Place in a container and mix energetically with a glass of heated cognac, an egg, and 3 spoonfuls of whipped cream.

Now add the rest of the whipped cream and stir it delicately from bottom to top. Let it rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the strawberries into small pieces and mix with sugar, raspberry sauce, and lemon juice.

 

Put a spoonful of strawberries on the bottom of a large glass. Add the chocolate mousse, and complete with some more strawberries. Put a mint leaf on the top to decorate. Accompany with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

 

Finally, pour a chilly glass of Mezzacorona Moscato and toast July 4th 2012!

 

The Beauty of the Dolomites, a World Heritage Site

 

Imagine some good friends of yours from Northern Italy invited your for a vacation in the heart of the Italian Alps. You look forward to do nothing but relaxing and having some good chats with your old classmates you haven’t seen in years, all while tasting some great Italian food and wine.

 

Suddenly, you are kicked out of bed at 3 o’clock in the morning and you think there might be something wrong. You are taken for a long walk, on a steep trail, in the middle of nowhere –deep in the darkness. No one will tell you where you’re headed. You start getting worried when.. all of a sudden.. all around you.. the most dramatic show you have ever seen in your whole life begins:  Sunrise on the top of the Dolomites.

 

Your hair blows from a chilly, gentle morning wind.  Below you, a soft cloud looks like a giant pillow where the angels sleep while the peaks of the mountains begin emerging in colors of orange, red and purple shades. Your heart is filled by pure happiness and you feel the peace all around you. Nothing any word could ever explain.

 

No one could remain immune to the extraordinary magic of the Dolomites, a unique nature masterpiece declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site exactly two years ago on June 26th 2009.

 

In order to be included in the World Heritage List, a potential eligible site must possess “outstanding universal value”. Therefore it has to be extraordinarily representative of the cultural and natural riches of our planet, to the extent that it represents an essential point of reference not only for the territory in which it is situated, but also for the whole world. Italy, with 44 properties, is the country with the greatest number of World Heritage sites. Currently almost all of these are inscribed to the list as cultural properties, while just two are listed as natural property: the Aeolian Islands and the Dolomites.

 

 

 

The uniqueness of the Dolomites, as recognised by UNESCO, lies in their value in terms of geology and landscape, considered as the most profound and most vivid expression of the area’s identity, bringing together man and the environment over the course of centuries.

 

 

 

The nine mountain systems making up the Dolomite region are contained within five provinces (Belluno, Bolzano/Bozen, Pordenone, Trento and Udine) in Northeastern Italy, for an area of approximately 142,000 hectares.

 

The Dolomite region is characterised by around one hundred peaks exceeding 3,000 meters and a large number of small glaciers. Vertical cliffs of incredible height (from 800 to 1,600 meters) combine with deep canyons (from 500 to 1,500 meters) and amazing meadows, offering a morphological diversity which enriches the natural beauty of the Dolomites.

 

The name “Dolomite” derives from the dolomite mineral which was discovered here by the French scientist Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801). Due to the specific structure and composition of the Dolomitic rock, during the day the rock faces react dramatically to changes in the light. They are characterised by strong warm colors at sunrise and sunset and evanescent in the midday light, while at twilight and in the moonlight the mountains become of the same colour of giant icebergs.


The inclusion of the Dolomites in the World Heritage List is an extraordinary form of recognition, but it also implies a strong commitment and responsibility for the safeguarding and sustainable development of this wonderful region.

 

Mezzacorona could not ask for a better frame for our winery and vineyards to be presented in!

 

www.dolomiti-unesco.org

www.visitdolomites.com