Trentino

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The Trentino-Alto Adige consists of the provinces of Trent and Bolzano, which are located in the Northernmost part of Italy. Positioned as a major route linking northern and southern Europe, it has been strongly influenced by the numerous civilizations passing through. As a result it is now home to a huge number of varities. Trentino-Alto Adige ranks 11th among the regions in size and 16th in respect to population. Aproxiamately 55% of the regions wine is DOC and more than 35% of the production is exported.As Italy's northernmost region it is enveloped by the alps which cover 90% of the area with only about 5% of the land below 500 metersGrape growing and wine making were practiced in the valleys of the Adige and Isarco even before the Romans began to promote such activity, a fact highlighted by artifacts found in the region. In fact when the Roman conquered the region it was the Tirolers who taught their new masters how to train vines on wooden frames as opposed to growing them up trees. They further introduced to them the use of wooden barrels for shipping and transporting.The History of the two provinces was identical for many centuries, beginning with the Romanization of the region, which was initiated in the third century BC. Around 1000 Trent and Bolzano began to go their separate ways. Alto Adige was subjected to German domination, a development that culminated in the foundation of the Tirol in 1248 by Albert II von Tirol. In the middle ages, advances in wine making were achieved as result of the efforts of Monastic settlements, in fact during the reign of Charlemagne some 12 bishops and 60 monasteries in southern Germany chose the region as a source of wine, giving tremendous impetus to the production of wine.

German still exists today in the region as an alternative language. The region in fact is sometimes compared to Alsace as it also has many vines in common ie. Riesling, Pinot Blanc etc. Also it is said that Traminer, a clone of which became Gewiirztraminer in Alsace, took its name from the south Tyrolean village of Tramin.

Traditionally the white wines of these regions were often sold as blends, but varietal wines of some quality are now widely exported. The most successful white varieties are commonly recognized as being Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.