I first discovered sparkling wine from Trento made by Methode Champenois when someone gave me a bottle of Ferrari. I tried other producers from the region and have been a fan of the sparkling wine ever since.
The story of Trento DOC sparkling wines begins with Giulio Ferrari, a young wine maker, when he was a student at the Instituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige.
During his study trips in France he noticed a similarity between the Champagne region of France and that of Trentino.
He became convinced that the local terroir of Trentino was perfect for the Chardonnay grape and that by using the metodo classico (Méthode Champenois), he could make great sparkling wine. He became the first person to plant Chardonnay in Trentino and in 1902 he began his company and it became very successful.
As the methode classico wines of the region became more important the collected trademark Trento DOC was created. It now represents 45 sparkling wine producers and Trento DOC can be found on their labels. There are strict production regulations: meticulous selection of grapes, only from Trentino, secondary fermentation in the bottle, prolonged contact with yeasts and subsequent aging. Chardonnay and Pinot Nero are the principle varieties but Pinot Bianco and Meunier are also used.
Borgo dei Posseri “Tananai” made from 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. There are 7,000 vines per hectare and the vineyards are at 520 to 720 meters. The training system is guyot. The wine remains in stainless steel for 8 months and 38 months of aging on the lees. It has hints of white peach, white flowers and a hint of honey.
Cantina Rotaliana at Mezzolombardo (cooperative) “Redor” Riserva made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The winery is located in the small village of Mezzolombardo at the foot of the Dolomites. The training system is Trentino pergola. The soil is dry of medium consistency, limestone and chalk. Harvest is by hand the third and fourth week of August. There is a soft pressing of the grapes with fermentation of the must both in steel and in small oak vats. In spring a second fermentation takes place in the bottle with prolonged contact with the lees for at least 80 months. After aging remuage is followed by disgorgement and addition of liqueur expedition. After disgorgement the wine remains in bottle for 3 months before release. Residual sugar 6.0 g/l. It has fresh citrus aromas and flavors with a touch of cinnamon.
Cantine Ferrari In 1952 Bruno Lunelli took over the winery and today the third generation of the family runs the company.
Perlé Trento DOC Method Classico Vintage Blanc de Blancs 100% Chardonnay. The grapes are harvested by hand in the middle of September from a hillside owned by the Lunelli family around the Trento vineyards. The vineyards are 300 to 700 meters above sea level with a southeasterly or southwesterly exposure. The wine remains for about 5 years on the lees. It is a crisp dry wine with hints of apple, almonds and a touch of toast.
They also produce the Giulio Ferrari Riserva Del Fondatore which is one of my favorites. The grapes are picked at the end of September in the Maso Pianizza a vineyard owned by the Lunelli family. The vineyard is in the commune of Trento and is between 500 and 600 meters above sea level with a southwesterly exposure. The wine spends at least 10 years on the lees. They do not make this wine in every year.
Maso Martis The winery is located at the foot of Mount Calision (aka Mount Argentario) surrounding Trento at 450 meters. The winery was established in 1986 and they have 29.6 hectares of vineyards.
Brut NV made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30 Chardonnay. The training system is vine trellising: guyot, there are 5,000 vines per hectare, organic cultivation with ICEA certification. The grapes are picked in clusters gently crushed. After fermentation the wines are drawn off the gross lees, and the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are blended. The wine is stored partly in steel tanks and partly in barrels, and is bottled the following spring together with cultured yeast. After 52/60 months on the fine lees, the bottles are manually riddled and the wine is disgorged and bottle. Residual sugar 6.00 g/l. This is an elegant wine with nice fruit and hints of yeast and brioche and good acidity I was very impressed by all of their wines.
Brut Rosé NV made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vineyards are at 400 to 500 meters. The grapes are hand selected from our wine growers and brought into the cellars. The training system is the double Trentino Pergola. The wine is vinified in stainless steel (no oak) with selected yeasts. The wines are aged in stainless steel until February, then processed according to the champagne method with maturation on the lees in the bottle for at least 24 months. Only the Chardonnay basic wines are subject to malolactic fermentation in order to smooth down the acidity of the Pinot Noir and increase the roundness. The wine has hints of blackberry, cherry and raspberry with slightly yeasty notes.