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The wines of Trentino

Yesterday I attended a tasting of Trentino wines, the wine tutor having recently returned from a trip there. It’s not a region I know well and that I know it at all it is for political reasons as there is an independence movement there harking back to its Austrian governance.

It is situated north of the Italian lakes around the river Adige. The soil is hard and so it’s not a naturally fertile wine growing region.

Further because of the rain the vineyards are protected by pergolas. 25% of  the wine is produced by small independent estates, 75% by cooperatives.

White red, and sparkling wines are produced, some of distinction, (and grappa) but not in a volume that makes them good value.

Many regions have this problem. Sussex is one. The wines produced are first rate, notable the sparkling wines of the Nye Timber Estate near Goodwood and the Ridgeview Estate near Ditchling Beacon.

We tasted whites, red and sparkling and my favourite was the Ferraris Brut Rose Perle.

Guilio Ferrari started the family business in 1902 using Champagne methods to produce his sparkling wine. The business was sold to the Bruno Lunelli family in 1952 and the third generation runs it.

It’s a typical story of a well run family business. This pink sparkling wine has 14 hours of skin contact and 5 year fermentation period.

I was struck by its intense bouquet of red berry forest fruit with just a hint of orange  peel. Not cheap at £29.40 but an interesting and elegant sparkler. None of the other wines impressed me as much and at prices between £14.50 and £35 you can find better value elsewhere. It is the sort of wine that the adventurous might buy by the glass in a restaurant and be pleasantly surprised.

With this hot summer going on seemingly for ever it’s time to drink chilled rose. My favourite is the Rosalie Sainte Victoire.

The Provençal rose vineyards are badly affected by the severe mistral wine blowing 129 days a year.

The terroir that produces Rosalie is 600m above sea level so it avoids the worst of the wind.

The wine has a touch of vermentino which gives a bit of sweetness. Whispering Angel is all the rage and Miraval, produced on an estate owned by Brad Pitt, popular too but Rosalie is £5 cheaper and every bit as good.

About Algy Belville

We are delighted to add Algy Belville to our team of writers. Algy was a director of family film Bodgers and Belville , Wine Merchants of St James. He will be contributing a column on wine. Algy lives in Amberley Sussex , is captain of his Crown Bowls team and a local Councillor. More Posts