Cantina Toblino is located in Trentino in the hearth of Valle dei Laghi, a portion of territory between the northern part of Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites with a centuries-old winemaking tradition.
It was born in 1960 from a group of passionate winemakers, at the time devoted to the production of Schiava and Nosiola, which decided to join forces to confront an increasingly competitive reality. From that moment, the link between social cooperation, people and territory remains essential. Precisely for this reason, wine growers seek to enhance more and more Nosiola, the only variety of autochthonous white berry grapes of Trentino: a real hidden treasure.
This grape variety is especially used for the production of a traditional sweet wine called Vino Santo Trentino, which received the Platinum Medal (97 pts) in the Decanter World Wine Awards. In the early 70s, Cantina Toblino bottled its first vintage of Vino Santo Trentino 1965. Since then the production has never stopped and every year about 200 bottles are set aside to represent the historical memory of the cellar. It has always been produced in the same way.
The Nosiola grape is harvested in October, at the peak of a long maturation on the plant. Once picked, the bunches are spread on ancient racks, called “arèle”. Here, the grapes undergo a slow but continuous natural withering, the longest in the world (6/7 months). During this phase, the noble rot (Botrytis Cinerea) develops inside the berry, which enriches it and accentuates dehydration, favoring the concentration of sugars and losing 80% of their weight. As per tradition, the withering continues until Holy Week, from which the Vino Santo takes its name, when it is pressing. The very sweet must is left to rest in small oak barrels that refine its characteristics. Once a moderate alcohol content is reached, the slow fermentation stops naturally (2/3 years), leaving the wine with a significant residual sugar and the typical bouquet of the precious ‘Passito dei Passiti’. Then the wine remains in refinement for over 10 years in French oak barrels. During 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. Indeed, it is defined as ‘the wine of waiting’. It is the wine we have to wait for: both when the Nosiola grape is in the vineyard and must become ripe, golden, and when – placed on racks – it will have to patiently wait for Holy Week to be pressed. For further waiting.
As Carlo De Biasi said: “It is a wine that we take care of and that we will proudly leave at future generations, relaunching the fascinating secret of Vino Santo: the patience. It has the charm of exclusivity, a rare, unique, memorable nectar.”
In the glass it offers all the facets of passing time, both on the nose and on the palate.
Vino Santo is a never ending story. It can further refine in the bottle for decades, thus proving to be one of the most long-lived wines ever, capable of giving emotions to wine collectors even 50 years after the harvest.
Vino Santo is the true heritage of Valle dei Laghi, a rare and unique wine, and Cantina Toblino wants to carry on this tradition focusing more and more on the native Trentino grape Nosiola.