Schiava, Alto Adige, Italy, (750 ml)
Schiava (also called Vernatsch or Trollinger) was actually the region’s most planted grape for many years – with 60% of total vineyard area – until Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay began to supplant it. That’s too bad, because the light, crisp, and juicy red wines this local grape makes are fun to drink and pair well with a wide range of foods. Reflecting the cultural and linguistic diversity of Alto Adige, the Schiava grape is called “Kalterersee” in the local dialect of the region around Lake Caldaro.
Grapes for this beauty grew on loamy, limestone gravel soils at 230-450 meters above the Lake and were fermented and aged entirely in tank. A delicious farmhouse red, loaded with red berry fruit, a hint of smoke, aromatic rose petals and a bright gentle finish. Kind of like a ripe Chinon (but without the herbal notes), this is delicious with a light chill and shines with everyday foods and cured meats. A refreshingly great value!