Skip to main content

Is Italian Trentodoc Wine as Fun to Say as It Is to Drink?

Oh, Italy. The Mediterranean nation is overflowing with wine, from Sardinia to Piedmont and everywhere in between.

Some of the most dramatic terrain and wines come out of the north of the country, along borders shared by France and Switzerland. Amid the jagged points of the Alps, there’s a sparkling wine scene that has bubbled to the fore for more than a century now. It’s headquartered in the beautiful province of Trentino, in the foothills and high-set valleys around the Adige River.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The name Trentodoc is just a playful fusion of the official appellation otherwise known as Trento DOC. It was established as a sparkling wine hotbed and the second on the planet to officially gain that recognition, after Champagne. Here, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Meunier enjoy the crisp and cool air and favorable exposures. Winemakers finesse these grapes into lovely sparkling wines, both white and pink in nature.

Chardonnay made its way into the region sometime around the year 1900, brought by Guilio Ferrari, a vintner with French training. He saw the potential for cool-weather varietals to ripen slowly and hold on to the acidity necessary for delicious, bracing sparkling wine. Today, while still a relatively hidden gem, the Trento appellation is home to some 40 producers.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Like Champagne, Trentodoc has its own specific and highly regional winemaking approach. It’s called Metodo Classico (classic method), rightfully named given that it’s first documentation goes all the way back to 3,000 BC. But it’s about more than just the recipe in the cellar. It has to do with how the vines are grown, how the fruit is picked, and more.

In the cellar, a base wine is created from one of the above four varieties. A secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle (and bottle only) before the riddling and disgorging take place. The wines must age on the lees for certain extended periods of time depending on their classification (non-vintage, vintage, and riserva). The result is a remarkable sparkling wine beloved for its refined build, tremendous bouquet, and sheer smoothness on the palate.

Massimo Benetello is the vineyard manager for Cesarini Sforza, an Italian winery that launched in 1974. He says it all about terroir in this one-of-a-kind region. “Trentodoc is a direct expression of the land that produces it, Trentino,” he says. “Trentodoc contains the essence of it. From the highest peaks with an alpine climate, to the Mediterranean one of the gentler slopes mitigated by the Ora del Garda, to the continental climate at the bottom of the valley — each glass brings with it the uniqueness and character of the place of origin.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Benetello says the consistency and high quality in the vineyard can be attributed to a mashup of altitude, soil types, and climate. Some 70% of the region resides above the 3,000-foot elevation mark. “The temperature fluctuations, typical of the mountains, ensure that the grapes have the perfect degree of acidity to become a classic method-made sparkling wine,” he says.

Since 1984, the Trento DOC Institute has worked to preserve this unique wine and to keep raising the bar in terms of collective regional quality. Benetello notes that one of the things the organization preserves is the unique cellar approach, which involves prolonged yeast contact for added flavors and aromatics in the wine. He sees the immense value in the regional brand and is excited to help bring it to effervescent wine enthusiasts all over the globe.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
The surprising states that drink the most wine, beer, and liquor
Who drinks the most wine, liquor, and beer? Apparently the Northeastern states are doing something right
true crime podcast

It seems that where you live has a lot to do with what you drink and how much you drink. It also seems that, according to recent data, New Hampshire is a pretty fun place to be. Who knew?

The numbers listed below represent how much of the three categories of adult beverages — beer, wine, and spirits — people consume per capita in their state. And we have to say that the results were pretty surprising. Of course, there are factors to consider that one might not immediately think about. State liquor taxes, for example, vary from state to state, and people who live close to a border may very well cross state lines for a less expensive bottle of brew. New Hampshire's comparably tiny liquor tax probably has something to do with their eyebrow-raising presence so high on each of the three lists. But, of course, frugal, border-crossing shoppers can't possibly make that big of a difference. The only reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that the good people of New Hampshire are just doing life right.

Read more
My Favorite Neighbor is changing up the artisan wine game
A bottle of My Favorite Neighbor wine next to a glass with casks in the background.

This content was produced in partnership with My Favorite Neighbor.
Think back to the last time you were perusing the shelves of your local store for your next bottle of wine. You certainly looked at the different types of wine, and probably paid some attention to which part of the world this or that bottle came from -- but how much did you think about the vineyards, their farming practices, and the people making the wine? My Favorite Neighbor is cultivated from the idea that winemaking should focus on community and wellness as well as quality, with the result being artisan wines without prohibitive pricing or pretense.
Shop Wine

My Favorite Neighbor was established in 2006 with an emphasis on organic farming methods, pure wine with no additives, community investment, and environmentally-conscious farming. Farmer-winemaker Eric Jensen named the wine after his neighbor and mentor, winemaker Stephan Asseo of L'Aventure Winery. Every time Jensen would call his friend, Asseo would answer and refer to himself as Eric's "favorite neighbor." Since then, one neighbor has become many, and My Favorite Neighbor now partners with neighboring "A+" vineyards to source the grapes for its wine.

Read more
The Most Influential Black Voices in Wine
Simonne Mitchelson profile pic on Jackson Family Wine Facebook.

Wine is not fair. Despite a diverse American population, only roughly 1 in every 1,000 winemakers in this country is Black. The percentages are a little better for the industry at large, but not by much. The wine tides are changing, thankfully, but there's much work to be done in the name of creating an inviting, diverse, and dynamic community.

The drinks industry is evolving and there are more and more Black voices entering the conversation. Wine has been particularly slow to shift, perhaps because it's always been so bound to tradition and has a history of elitism. Fortunately, it's shifting towards a younger, broader core audience, just ask boxed wine and Pinot Gris in a can. A major part of that shift involves having the wine scene actually reflect the landscape it inhabits.

Read more