Some of you may recall a reoccurring segment on VintageTexas from several years ago called Cyclopedia of Wine that ran for a few years after I started the blog. Well, get ready, we are going to bring it back starting with this installment on the grape variety Teroldego.
Teroldego is a lesser known Italian grape from the Trentino region of northern Italy. It is used to make deeply colored red wines. Teroldego has more color, body and character than most of the light-bodied red wines made from red grapes in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Italy. Why is it important to know about this grape?
Well, it’s found its way into Texas. I’ve seen recent Facebook postings from Texas wineries indicating that Teroldego is being grown here and wine is being made.
At a recent Pedernales Cellars Wine Club pickup party, members tasted Teroldego with the winemakers Dave Kuhlken and Joanna Wilczoch in the cellar. John Rivenburgh and the folks at Kerrville Hills Winery posted on Instagram that they are “getting it (Teroldego) dialed in” and finding it even darker than Tannat. Steve and Cindy Newsom and their Newsom Family Farms in Levelland, TX, has it listed as one of the grapes they grow in their Texas High Plains vineyards.
Besides making deeply pigmented red wines, Teroldego has an intensely fruity character. In Italy, it is made into wines that are soft and need very little aging, usually being drunk one to three years of bottling, though it can cellar well for longer periods. Teroldego is often used to add color to red wine blends and is planted in the Italian regions of Tuscany, Vento and Sicily for this purpose. It is also found to a limited degree in California where some say its characteristics are compared to Zinfandel. Other states in the USA were it is grown and used for wine include Colorado, New York, and now Texas.
A little more history…
Teroldego is an ancient grape variety, and has been cultivated in Italy for hundreds of years. DNA testing shows that Teroldego is a sibling of Dureza (from the Ardèche department of south central France in the Rhône-Alpes region), which is a parent of Syrah. It is also possibly related to Pinot Noir.
Lead photo credit: https://www.cellartours.com