The first letter of the “Trentodoc alphabet” introduces a valuable resource in terms of quality. This is because in Trentino 70% of the territory is situated at 1.000 meters above sea level and the grapevines are cultivated up until 900 meters: a unique and distinctive feature, since no other Metodo Classico sparkling wine has vineyards at such high altitudes. And you can imagine the splendid views from these vineyards, which give rise to unique bubbly, genuine sparkling wine from the mountains.
This term refers to the blend of grapes that can be used to make a wine. The base wine, processed according to the Metodo Classico to become a Trentodoc, can be made of: Chardonnay, Pinot nero, Pinot bianco and Meunier.
The letter “B” is dedicated to one of the most important steps in the production of Metodo Classico sparkling wine. The base wine (obtained from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Nero and/or Pinot Bianco and/or Pinot Meunier grapes) is bottled and yeast and sugar (the “liqueur de tirage”) are added. The bottles – closed with a crown cap – are then placed horizontally in the sparkling wine producers’ cool, dark wine cellars to age at a constant temperature of 11-13°C for a minimum of 15 months (but even for up to 10 years). It is here that the waiting starts and the magic begins… that of secondary fermentation with the “prise de mousse” that creates carbon dioxide, and which we call the “perlage” in the wine glass.
Brut is the classic version of sparkling wine. The fermentation process, lasting at least 15 months, makes it highly appreciated for its versatility. Trentodoc Brut is a dry sparkling wine with immediate appeal. Its territory of origin and its complexity are apparent in the very first sip.
C for cage Do you know what it is? Found on every bottle of Trentodoc (but also found on other wines in the sparkling wine category), it is a wire placed over the cork together with a metal capsule. It is used to secure the wine: just think that the pressure in the bottle can vary from a minimum of 3.5 to a maximum of 5 Bars… in comparison, car tyres have a much lower pressure of about 2 Bars!
Disgorgement is the removal of the no longer active lees, which, by riddling, collect towards the neck of the bottle. How is it done?
– Mechanically, using ice (à la glace): the neck of the bottle is frozen and the stopper is popped.
– Manually, (à la volée): the bottle is manually uncorked.
After disgorgement, the bottle is topped up with fine wine and sugars. Every sparkling wine producer has its own recipe and secret end ingredient, an important feature for the character of each Trentodoc wine.
Controlled Designation of Origin DOC is important certification in the winemaking field, guaranteeing the quality of the production process and the origin of the wine. Trento, the “mother city” of sparkling wines from the mountains, is combined with the suffix DOC, giving rise to Trento DOC. It was the first DOC wine to be acknowledged in Italy, in 1993, and one of the first in the world.
Quality, origin and territory. This is Trentodoc Metodo Classico sparkling wine.
A Trentodoc wine. The name Extra Brut indicates the final quantity of sugar in the bottle, which must be between 0 and 6 grammes per litre. The other “ingredients” of the recipe are the usual ones for Metodo Classico sparkling wines, required each time by the production regulations.
Extra Brut is appreciated for its dry and distinct character. It is especially for the more expert palates, for those who love unconventional sparkling wine.
This is the process by which wine is made and also the process by which carbon dioxide is developed in the bottle during the aging period in the wine cellar. This is why it is said that Metodo Classico sparkling wine is a secondary fermentation wine! Its bubbles are therefore the result of secondary fermentation, which has a precise name. Which? We will explain it to you under the letter “P”!
According to the production regulations, four grape varieties can be used to make Trentodoc Metodo Classico sparkling wine. The main grape variety in Trentino is Chardonnay, which gives wine its finesse, long life and aroma, along with Pinot nero, which gives it body and structure. Pinot bianco, which gives sparkling wines their fruity aromas, and Meunier, appreciated for its ability to adapt to various climatic conditions, are less used, yet present.
With the letter “H”, only one word comes to mind: Hospitality. What does this have to do with Metodo Classico sparkling wine? Hospitality is one of the greatest sources of pride for Trentodoc sparkling wine producers. They happily welcome guests to their wine cellars and vineyards and they love to present and explain, to those who are interested, the excellent qualities of the sparkling wine they produce. A visit to a wine cellar, among the colours, flavours and aromas of our Trentino, is an experience not to be missed…
“L” for lees. What role do lees play in the Metodo Classico sparkling wine process? Lees are responsible for the essential secondary fermentation of the base wine, developing carbon dioxide (the bubbles!) and extending the range of aromas. Once their action is over, they settle in the bottle to be subsequently removed (we will explain how in the following letters of the alphabet). To make a Trentodoc, the lees need to remain in contact with the wine for a long period to enhance and refine it as much as possible.
Waiting and patience, this is the secret of an excellent Trentodoc.
“M “as in Millesimato, the Trentodoc wine that is obtained after 24 months on the lees (see the letter “L”).
The term has its origin in the word “millesimato” that refers to the vintage year of the grapes, which is shown on the bottle label. It distinguishes Metodo Classico sparkling wines made from wines of a single vintage. Millesimato is made when there are special and important vintages. A toast with Trentodoc Metodo Classico Millesimato has a unique flavour, for a vintage to remember!
“N” for nature, where everything has its origin. Its generosity provides the Trentino region with special grapes for Metodo Classico sparkling wine.
Trentodoc is the direct expression of an impressive geological conformation, altitude and climatic variety. The skill and love of Trentino winemakers and the dedication of sparkling wine producers do all the rest.
“O” OF TRENTODOC
“O” like the two “O”s of the Trentodoc brand, which represent one of the essential steps of the Metodo Classico process, i.e. riddling. The bottles, placed upside down on typical wooden racks (called “pupitres”) are rotated by a quarter of a turn so that the sediment slowly descends towards the cork. The residual particles are then removed during the disgorgement stage. Originally, this operation was performed manually, but now sparkling wine producers can also use automated machines called “gyropalettes”.
PRISE DE MOUSSE
The “Prise de Mousse” is another important step in the Metodo Classico sparkling wine process. The base wine is enriched with carbon dioxide, which creates the perlage and mousse that is formed when pouring a Trentodoc into a wine glass. During this period, the bottles are stacked horizontally, in a dark, cool place so that the lees transform the sugar added to the wine during the “liqueur de tirage” stage into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. This stage takes place over a period of about 60 days, when the pressure in the bottle reaches about 6 atmospheres.
A special climate, a unique territory in the world, Trentino and its mountains. This is how nature helps to create the quality of Trentodoc. But the territory alone is not enough: to make an excellent Metodo Classico sparkling wine, the expertise, passion and patience of winemakers are also required. This is also why Trentodoc is acknowledged by the most prestigious wine guides and by major wine contests.
A Trentodoc Riserva must be at least 36 months old, which gives the sparkling wine more developed and intense aromas: of ripe apple, nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts, candied fruit, citrus fruits, honey, sometimes pineapple and delicate notes of yeast and pastries. Riserva sparkling wines must indicate the year of production of the grapes on the label.
SPARKLING WINE PRODUCERS
Sixty-one sparkling wine producers are affiliated with Istituto Trento Doc and comply with the provisions set out in its production regulations. Each producer makes sparkling wines from the mountains, respecting fundamental principles to protect the ultimate quality of each unique Trentodoc wine, which must be made exclusively from grapes grown in Trentino and using the method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. If we then add their passion and an ideally suited territory, the result can be tasted and remembered.
Sugars are the protagonists of two stages in the Metodo Classico winemaking process.
The first stage consists of adding sugars and yeasts to the still base wine, which is then bottled. The second stage is when the bottle is refilled with sugars and quality wine.
The exact content is a precious secret of each sparkling wine producer and makes each bottle of Trentodoc unique.
The Territory is not only a combination of natural, physical, chemical, geographical and climatic characteristics. But it contributes to creating a wine, making it more identifiable. This is what “wine linked to the territory” means.