Trento DOC: Italy’s Classical Method Sparkler

For this Wine Wednesday, I’m continuing with my exploration of sparkling wine until the end of the year. Today’s post is about Trento Doc which is made using the classical method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. There are about 9 million bottles of Trento DOC made every year. Trentino is an amazing part of Italy and one I have visited in different capacities throughout the years. I also did a couple of projects for Trento DOC in the past five years so I am pretty familiar with the denomination. Trentino was recognized this year by the Wine Enthusiast as the region of the year.

My first wine festival was to Merano, my first ski trip in Italy was to Brunico and my first hike on a glacier was also in the Dolomites. This incredibly beautiful part of the country is surrounded by the Dolomites, which works for the wines of Trentodoc that are mainly trained using the Trentino pergola system. The vines grow at 200 to 900 meters with significant diurnal temperature changes which helps produce high quality grapes. The grapes are all picked by hand as well. The soils in this area have good drainage and are rich in limestone. The climate is a mix of Alpine, Continental and Mediterranean influences. The mountains and Lake Garda also influence the wines.

“Trento” D.O.C. status was obtained in 1993 for the first Metodo Classico sparkling wine in Italy. There are 57 sparkling wine producers in the Trentodoc group and their tag line is sparkling wine from the mountains. Chardonnay is the principal grape variety here although Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Meunier are also grown.

Aging requirements for the different categories of wines differ from a minimum of 15 months for a Brut to a minimum of 36 months for a Riserva, and up to 10 years for more refined and mature Trentodoc wines. You can also find white or rosé wines in Brut, Millesimato and Riserva versions.

In terms of sweetness levels, Trentodoc can be classified as:

  1. Pas Dosè (or zero dosage): containing up to 3 grams of residual sugar per liter, without any sugar added after secondary bottle fermentation
  2. Extra Brut: the final residual sugar is between 0 to 6 grams per liter
  3. Brut: containing up to 12 grams of residual sugar per liter
  4. Extra Dry: containing 12 to 17 grams of residual sugar per liter
  5. Dry, Sec: containing 17 to 32 grams of residual sugar per lite
  6. Demi Sec: containing 32 to 50 grams of residual sugar per liter

Tasting Trentodoc I always find aromas and flavors of apples, pear, brioche and lees. Trento DOC wines are beautiful with just enough acidity and structure to stand up to a host of foods. There are some very well-known producers and a host of smaller wineries and all make fantastic wines. If you are looking for a good classical method sparkling wine, Trento DOC wines are always a good bet.

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