Italy is renowned for its rich and diverse wine culture, with regions like Tuscany and Piedmont stealing the spotlight. However, there are hidden gems in the country’s vinicultural landscape that deserve recognition. Two such wines are Schiava and Aglianico, lesser-known red varieties that showcase the unique terroir and winemaking traditions of Italy. Let’s delve into the characteristics and allure of these captivating wines.
The Delicate Elegance of Schiava
Schiava, also known as Vernatsch or Trollinger, hails from the northern Italian region of Alto Adige, nestled in the picturesque Alps. This red grape variety thrives in the cool climate and rocky soils of the region, producing light-bodied, refreshing wines with a captivating pale red color.
Schiava wines are known for their delicate elegance and vibrant acidity, making them perfect for warm summer days or as an aperitif. The aromas and flavors of Schiava wines often evoke red berries like cherries and raspberries, with floral undertones and a subtle hint of spices.
Discovering the Charm of Schiava
To truly appreciate the charm of Schiava, one can explore the renowned sub-regions of Alto Adige, such as Santa Maddalena and St. Magdalener. Here, the local winemakers craft exceptional Schiava wines that beautifully capture the essence of the grape.
If you’re looking for a wine that pairs well with traditional Italian dishes like antipasti, light pasta dishes, or cured meats, Schiava is an excellent choice. Its bright acidity and soft tannins complement the flavors without overpowering them, creating a harmonious dining experience.
The Bold Sophistication of Aglianico
Traveling south to the picturesque regions of Campania and Basilicata, we encounter Aglianico, a red grape variety that boasts bold flavors and a rich history. Often referred to as the “Barolo of the South,” Aglianico produces complex, full-bodied wines with intense aromas and firm tannins.
Aglianico wines are known for their deep garnet hues and a mesmerizing bouquet of dark fruits, such as blackberries, plums, and black cherries. These wines often exhibit notes of spices, leather, and earth, adding layers of complexity and intrigue.
Exploring the Treasures of Aglianico
The regions of Taurasi and Aglianico del Vulture are the prominent producers of Aglianico wines. Here, the volcanic soils and warm Mediterranean climate lend a distinct character to the wines, showcasing the grape’s true potential.
Aglianico is a wine that demands patience and benefits from aging. With time, its tannins soften, and the wine develops a remarkable finesse and elegance. It is a perfect choice to accompany hearty dishes like roasted meats, stews, or aged cheeses.
Unlocking Hidden Gems
Exploring lesser-known wines like Schiava and Aglianico allows wine enthusiasts to broaden their horizons and discover the hidden gems within Italy’s diverse wine landscape. These wines captivate with their unique characteristics, reflecting the terroir and winemaking traditions of their respective regions.
Whether you seek the delicate elegance of Schiava or the bold sophistication of Aglianico, these wines are a testament to the depth and richness of Italy’s vinicultural heritage. Expand your wine repertoire and embark on a journey of discovery with these exceptional Italian red wines.