Thu 14 Jan 2010
Ciao Bolzano! or should I say Halo Bozen?
Bolzano or Bozen is one of the two provinces that make up the region of Trentino-Alto Adige, in the northernmost part of Italy. Südtirol as it is known in German, has a long history. The south of the region around the city of Trento has always been Italian, while Alto Adige, in the north around Bolzano, was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since 1918 the whole region has been officially Italian, but 75% of the population still speaks German.
Alto Adige is mostly in the Alps, where only 15% of the land is suitable for cultivation. Wine-making is limited and challenging, and yet, it is the region that exports the highest proportion of its production. Such conditions reflect in the price, but the quality is generally worth it. The style is usually light, dry and high in acidity, with varietal labels of native and international varieties.
On the southern counterpart, Trentino is a major source of commercial Pinot Grigio from much less challenging slopes. Both regions also produce small amounts of reds from local black grapes. On our way to the Veneto we had lunch in Bolzano, or Bozen, in a nice traditional ristorante. It was my first time in Italy, but it didn’t feel like it until we crossed Trento.
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