Cantina Toblino celebrates this Christmas with an important award to the most iconic wine of its tradition
Cantina di Toblino’s Vino Santo DOC 2003, a true heritage wine of Valle dei Laghi, was named best sweet wine of the year 2020 by the Italian magazine Gambero Rosso. A great recognition for Cantina di Toblino’s Vino Santo Trentino DOC 2003, which, after the Tre Bicchieri, now also receives the award “Best Sweet Wine of Italy”.
This wine was forgotten for a long time, perhaps for lack of knowledge of what lies behind it: the best expression of Nosiola, a unique grape variety of Valle dei Laghi. “This wine has survived over the years: in the past decades Nosiola has been cultivated less and less, preferring the ideal varieties for the Classic Method of Trento” explains Carlo De Biasi, Cantina Toblino’s general manager. “Our winery has never stopped betting on this native Trentino vine”.
In fact, Nosiola is the only indigenous white grape variety of Trentino region, used to produce dry white wines and the sweet wine “Passito dei Passito”, or Vino Santo Trentino DOC.
This wine is produced with the grapes of the most suitable vineyards in Valle dei Laghi, where a suitable microclimate meets the best exposed, dry and gravel-rich soils. Only one tenth of the vineyards in Nosiola is suitable for the production of grapes used to produce Vino Santo Trentino DOC.
Vino Santo represents a heritage of the valley and has always been made by the families who live here: “It was an elixir, it represented the tonic of the population. A tradition that was lost in the period between the two wars, but was revived in 1965 by Cantina Toblino” explains De Biasi.
“Our past director Giancarlo Ciurletti strongly believed in this wine”. Since then the production has never stopped and about 200 bottles are stored each year to become the historical memory of the winery.
Vino Santo has been produced in the same way since ever: grapes must be very ripe in the vineyard and after picking they dry in the fruit cellar until the following spring. The berries dehydrate, evolve, but lose 80% of their weight. The sweetness is concentrated, the fermentation starts, then the wine ages for many years, at least 15. Throughout this period it goes through the oxidative phase, but everything is helped by the acidity that keeps the wine vital, dynamic and ready to face a long aging.
“Vino Santo can be defined the wine of patience” concludes De Biasi. A long wait for the winemakers, in the cellar, and for consumers. We now bottle 5 to 7 thousand bottles of Vino Santo. It is little more than one percent of our bottled production, but for us what matters is continuing the true tradition of our Valley “.
The waiting for Christmas has almost finished and Cantina Toblino wishes a Merry Christmas to everybody with a sweet glass of Vino Santo.