by Zachary Sussman
If one reason why we drink wine is because it communicates a “sense of place,” I can think of few places more worthy of communication than Italy’s Alto Adige.
No, really. Just enter a Google image search for the keywords “Alto Adige vineyards,” and you’ll immediately see what I’m talking about. Nestled high up in the Alpine slopes that run along the Austrian border, the area exhibits the sort of gasp-inducing Technicolor scenery that seems specifically designed for reproduction on a postcard. Who wouldn’t want to drink the vinous equivalent of a landscape like that?
But if I had to task just one of the region’s grapes with translating those fresh Alpine meadows and crystal-clear streams into my glass, it would have to be Schiava. Also called “Vernatsch” or “Trollinger,” depending upon the local vernacular, this indigenous red embodies everything I’ve come to love about the area’s elegant high-altitude wines.
Drinking Schiava, you can’t help but remember …