Grumo, Trentino (Lat: 46:16:25N Lon: 11:04:09E)
Brothers Roberto and Andrea Zeni have made wine together since their student days at the prestigious wine school in San Michele.
They understood early on that the future of the Trento was quality and not quantity and have taken their Grandfathers business, an Osteria and grape-growing, and turned it into a full winery and distillery.
The next generation has now also joined the business with Andrea’s son Rudi taking on the management of the new ‘Schwarzhof’ project.
Schwarzhof adds a third and very distinct terroir to the family holdings, it also takes on an irritating niggle, their name, which unfortunately is shared with an Internationally-known wine giant based in Bardolino. Just to be clear, the two companies are in no way connected - Zeni (Roberto and Andrea) produces around 15,000 cases a year and Zeni (Bardolino) millions of cases, making everything from Lugana to Amarone.
The heart of the business is Teroldego, an indigenous vine grown in the vineyards of Pini and Lealbere on the Campo Rotaliano.
The combination of mixed alluvial soils over deep gravel on a granite bedrock, and high summer daytime temperatures with cool nights is unique and Teroldego could not be more at home than it is here.
Teroldego di Rotaliano has had a DOC since 1971, the wines are highly prized in Italy (over 70% of Zeni’s sales are in Italy) and there is not that much for overseas markets.
The Rossara is also planted on the Campo Rotaliano in tiny quantities and, whilst it may be lovely, it is really kept alive for sentimental reasons.
The white grapes are planted off the Campo Rotaliano, mostly in Maso Nero, a 12 hectare vineyard which clings to a 1 in 2 slope on the Sorni hill (400m).
Roberto and Andrea bought this in 1988 and have completely re-terraced and re-planted using Guyot training systems rather than the traditional pergola. The soils are rich in chalk which suits white grapes for both still and sparkling wines.
The third terroir at their disposal is Schwarzhof, these vineyards are above Lavis and have clay top soils on limestone and the wines are very different, open and generous as opposed to the taught, freshness of the Campo Rotaliano.
The new wines have been an instant success.
All of the vineyard is farmed organically.
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