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Discover with us  the magic of Italian wine heritage


krater-wineOenotria, “land of vines”, this was how the ancient Greeks called  Italy. Its variety of landscapes and climates, from the Alps to the shores of Sicily through  chains of hills, mountains and volcanoes, offers an astonishing range of grape varieties that have been cultivated for thousands of years  in their terroirs.

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Under the Romans,  vines were planted throughout the Empire, grapegrowing and winemaking techniques became more advanced, the varietals that best matched soil and climate were selected to improve  quality.

The concept of vintage already existed, as the ancient books report that the fabled Opimiam wine of 121 B.C., an excellent vintage of Falernum, was aged and drunk decades later. 

This red thread that leads to modern times was never cut, though invasions, wars and fights split the country into city states, duchies, kingdoms along two thousand years of entangled events . 

Enjoy a glass of History!


Don’t miss the Merano Wine festival!
by Catherine

merano6It’s really different from the others. First, the stunning venue: not the usual anonimous hangar or hotel artificially lit, but a huge Art Nouveau hall with domed ceilings and large windows up to the roof that let in daylight.

weeping staircases lead to smaller beautiful Jugendstil rooms with lovely chandeliers, an opulent lobby welcomes you into this evocative place where you can have a feeling of ‘900 aristocratic Mitteleuropa. Glamorous ! Makes you feel nostalgic for old-world opulence. ( even if you know that probably your ancestors were not at all familiar with this grand lifestyle! )


If you want to breathe some fresh air after many wine-tastings and let your palate stand in order to have more, get out and take a walk along the banks of the river Passirio and its tall trees, or
enjoy  window browsing in the historical town centre  just outside the Kurhaus.

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I usually step in some mouth-watering bread shops or elegant delicatessen.

Oh, yes, you are likely to put on some weight if don’t walk. But Merano is a paradise for walkers, and if you stay a day longer, don’t forget to walk up to the Botanic Gardens of Trauttmandorff Castle, where Empress Sissi liked to rest, or trek the Tappeiner Trail up to Gratsch. If you are lazy, then just sit on a bench and contemplate the Alpine scenery.

In the evenings, you can go the public thermal baths, opened till late, if your hotel doesn’t have a private spa.

And in case you are forced to carry on drinking and eating by your mates, there are quite a number of outstanding restaurants where you can taste the specialities of Trentino Alto-Adige, a gorgeous region.

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Wines ? Oh yes, wines, of course…Rocco has already said a lot about them, and I would like to send you to taste my favorites. But it wouldn’t be fair towards the others, because if they are there it means they are all good to say the least. There are always some wines to discover or re-discover that you will hardly find in any shop or restaurant unless you track them down at the Festival.The selection is tough, and even for the visitors the rules are very strict : when tickets are sold out, there is no way to get in. So hurry up and book, you won’t regret it!

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Catherine Rainato

 
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