Teroldego Wine Profile
Ok, ok, ok, we admit it: Teroldego is not exactly a commonly known wine grape. In fact, this might be the first time you’ve ever heard of it and that’s entirely reasonable. That said, it’s a personal favorite and we’re hoping it grows in popularity because it’s approachable, food-friendly, and just plain delicious.
Teroldego hails from Northern Italy in the Südtirol and Trentino-Alto Adige regions. The name Teroldego is believed to be linked to either “Tirol”, the region in Germany just to the north of Südtirol, or to tirelle, which is a vine training system. Authority Jancis Robinson has posited that it actually was adapted from Alle Teroldege, a place in northern Italy where Teroldego was documented as having been sold in the 1400s. Needless to say, Teroldego is a long-standing favorite in Northern Italy, and for good reason!
The Tasting Notes of Teroldego
As a wine, Teroldego Rotaliano is a DOC when produced in Trentino. Since the grape is deeply colored, it has historically been blended for hue and depth to wines throughout Italy. Despite its dark color, Teroldego produces wines that have bright fruit notes, like cranberry and pomegranate, blended in with blackberry and raspberry. Expect spicy pepper, a hint of cinnamon or anise, and black earthiness in there as well. The acidity is also bright but it’s not overly astringent on the tannic front. Teroldegos are remarkably approachable early on and show well within three years of bottling. Higher end bottles can age well too — for a decade or so.
Teroldego Food Pairings
For pairings, lean towards cured meats and dishes that include bacon or guanciale. Teroldego would do well with spaghetti carbonara, for example, because it would both cut through the richness and compliment the bacon and pepper notes. Boeuf bourguignon would work well, as would coq au vin (chicken-braised with wine) for the same reasons. Roasted game with wild rice would also work beautifully.
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Wine Growing Regions for Teroldego
Since it is so closely linked to Südtirold and the Trentino-Alto Adige regions, that is where Teroldego can primarily be found. In fact, Elisabetta Foradori in Trentino is largely credited with the renaissance of appreciation currently underway for this esoteric little grape. Teroldego is grown throughout Italy, including in Tuscany, in the Veneto, and in Sicily where it is mostly used in blends for color.
Beyond Italy, Teroldego is being cultivated more and more by experimental winemakers. In California, it can be found in Yolo County and around the Central Coast. It has been successfully vinified around the Finger Lakes in New York State as well. In Australia, it seems to thrive around the Margaret River and McLaren Vale.
Although Teroldego isn’t likely to explode in popularity overnight, we do hope more New World winemakers undertake experimentation. Its easy-drinking and approachability makes it a worthy cause!
Check out some of these Teroldego wines from around the world:
- Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano, Trentino, Italy
- Lechthaler Teroldego Rotaliano, Trentino, Italy
- Bottega Vinaia Teroldego Rotaliano, Trentino, Italy
- Urban Legend Cellars Teroldego, Clarksburg, Yolo County, California
- Red Tail Ridge Winery Teroldego, Finger Lakes, New York
- Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Teroldego, Adelaide Hills, Australia
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Written By Jamie Metzgar
Jamie Elizabeth Metzgar began her career in wine by pouring in a tasting room on the East End of Long Island, NY. After moving to New York City, she landed a position at Chambers Street Wines where she was encouraged to pursue wine education at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She earned Level III certification there and has since earned California Wine Appellation Specialist and Certified Specialist of Wine certifications as well. After way too many moves, she has recently landed in Northern California where she is compiling an unofficial roster of dog-friendly tasting rooms.
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Bright Fruits, including Cranberry and Pomegranate. Secondary flavors and aromas of blackberry and raspberry.
Earth & Additional Complexities
Cracked pepper, hints of cinnamon and/or anise. Forest Earth tones. Brighter acidity and moderately astringent.
The Structure and Style of Teroldego Wines & Blends
Acid Medium - Plus