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Italy - Trentino - Alto Adige

The vineyards of Trentino-Alto Adige carpet the hills on either side of the fast-flowing Adige River. In Alto Adige, the northern part of the region, the valley is steep and narrow; in Trentino it is a little wider and gentler. The zone has sharp temperature swings, which tend to boost the grapes' aromatic elements. The wines are among Italy's most perfumed. Nearly all are made from single grape varieties, mostly of French, German and Italian origin. The range of altitudes account for the unique conditions suitable for a wide range of grapes. The wines usually have very pure toned varietal characteristics together with slightly restrained flavors.

It is the white wines of Alto Adige that best represent the area, although the reds are produced in much greater quantities. Labels of Alto Adige wines may well be in German as well as Italian since the province belonged to Austria until 1918. Germanic culture still runs strong.

Like Fruili, its best whites are Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Its original reds are quite outstanding and worth a search; Teroldigo and Lagrein are robust, flavorful wines with juicy, grapy flavors. Very good Pinot Noir is also made by a few, committed producers.

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