HE OR SHE
The story of Vernatsch and Schiava: Peter Sölva Südtiroler Il Vigneti Vernatsch
I took my glass and swirled the wine, watching the light inside.
“Hey, what are pouring today?” The tall guy in a gray suit asked Kevin.
“Northern Italy: Vernatsch, sometimes called Schiava. Wanna try?”
“Yes, sure! So…” a big sip landed in a big throat. “Is it HE or SHE?”
“You mean this wine?”
“That’s exactly what I mean.” The guy put his glass on the table.
“Does it matter? How do you like it, by the way?” Kevin smiled.
“I’m surprised a bit. It looks like a rosé. I hate rosés, you know. Rosés are for girls. But it tastes good, really good. I will take 6 bottles.” He looked at Kevin once again. ” And yeah, for me it matters if it is HE or SHE, sir.”
I laughed. The Gray Suit stared at me.
“Love is love, Monsieur. Words are not important. Only the taste.” I winked.
He took his bottles and grinned. “Maybe this time.”
“This time” we tasted one of the wines I love: Südtiroler Il Vigneti Vernatsch from Peter Sölva.
This wine comes from northern Italian Trentino-Alto Adige region: bordered by the Alps in the north and Veneto and Lombardy in the south. Telling the truth, they are two wine regions: Trentino (in the south, Italian speaking), and Alto Adige (in the north, with German as a primary language). Before World War I, Alto Adige (Südtirol) was a part of Austria.
Vernatsch is one of the flagship wines of the region, though in the southern part, Trentino, is called “Schiava”. HE or SHE: words don’t matter for it is made of the same grape variety.
The vineyards of Peter Sölva are the ones of the oldest in Caldaro – northern part of the region. Ten family generations since 1731. Nowadays they produce 3 lines of wines: “I Vigneti”, “De Silva”, and “Amistar”.
The Vernatsch we tasted comes from the first–“I Vigneti” line which presents typical varieties of Alto Adige. It is made from 35-year-old vines and fermented in steel tanks with 5 months maturation.
It is lightly colored, “almost rosé.” Delicate and elegant wine. What’s the most important: it is unbelievably fresh wine: both in aromas and taste. Very fruity: cherries, strawberries, some floral notes, like violets, and good minerality. Superbly balanced, with a good finish. Ideal for appetizers, mild cheese, and fish. BUT: very dangerous. You just can’t stop to drink it. You want more, and more, and more…
It’s definitely an artisanal wine and it will give you unforgettable impressions. Yet you don’t care about words, names, and genders. Only about the taste and feelings.
I tasted this wine in Astor Wines and Spirits in New York City (check the calendar for the next tastings there)
I was invited for the tasting by Kevin Hedges from Vignaioli Selection, who superbly presented all the wines.