Vescovi-Ulzbach – Teroldego Rotaliano
The Vescovi family has been tending vines and farming apple orchards in the Piana Rotaliana area of Trentino since the XVIII century. Mention of the De Vescovi and their feuds is found in chronicles from the XVII century, and an eponymous fortress towers over the village of Mezzacorona, making for an eloquent proof of the family’s deep-rooted origins.
Teroldego is the region’s finest native red wine grape, apt to produce robust, richly colored reds with a layered bouquet of crushed blackcurrants, blue flowers and herbs. The Vescovi began vinifiying and bottling the estate grown Teroldego grapes in the first decade of the XX century. After WWII the grandfather of today’s owner Giulio Vescovi discontinued the bottling activity and opted for selling the grapes to a local coop cellar for a couple decades.
In recent years Giulio Vescovi resumed the family tradition for estate bottling, taking full advantage of his graduate degree in Viticulture and Enology at the Istituto San Michele all’Adige. To value the historical background of his family estate, Giulio included the ancient Austrian surname of his ancestors: Ulzbach (literally ‘Walnuts creek’) is a toponomastic nickname related to Rio Noce, the alpine creek springing from the Dolomite mountains that flows across the Piana Rotaliana area.
Thus, the complete name of the winery is now Vescovi-Ulzbach (www.devescoviulzbach.it). Estate vineyards amount to 10 Ha., planted entirely with the native Teroldego grape and concentrated in two prized sites, Rauti-Camorz and Fron. About 5 Ha. are planted with 50 year old Pergola.
To tame the innate vigour of the Teroldego grapevine, low-fertility mountain-side soils are required: while most vineyards in the Piana Rotaliana lie on fertile flatlands whose superficial humus soil is 100 to 150 cm of depth (a mix of post-glacial gravels and loamy sand), in mountain-side sites such as Rauti-Camorz and From the superficial fertile topsoil is far thinner (about 50 cm only). As a result, the latter sites enable the grower to naturally limit Teroldego’s exuberant vigour and high grape yields.
The soil composition in the Rauti-Camorz and Fron sites is Dolomite limestone covered by a layer of loose alluvial gravels. Teroldego presents three main genetic attributes that are evident in the resulting wines: 1) a high amount of total anthocyanins (about as high as Sagrantino or Tannat’s); 2) naturally high acidity that requires to be softened through low yields, selective hand-picking and malolactic fermentation (freshly crushed Teroldego musts in the first stages of the alcoholic fermentation easily score as high as 9-10 gr/lt. of TA); 3) hard-to-ripen grape stems and seeds. Because of these genetic traits, the De Vescovi-Ulzbach Teroldegos combine organoleptic features that are quite unique: rich inky purple colour + lively acidity + zesty/spicy bouquet reminiscent of crushed black currants intermixed with herbal nuances and stony minerality.