Engaged in research to prepare for a panel that I’m moderating this coming Tuesday in San Francisco on Alto Adige. Naturally this is the perfect opportunity to peruse my collection of 1950s/60s-era tourist guides to Italy.
Edition # 4 Italy: Veneto Trentino Alto Adige
The entire series is quite charming, filled with illustrations and old pictures (with hardly any scooters or cars; try finding that today!), but of course the information is dated (book #4 for instance carries no mention of Friuli in its title yet there are chapters on Gorizia and Udine, although the “Free Territory of Trieste” is omitted).
One of my favorite parts of these books is the section on regional eating and drinking, filled as you might expect with interesting historical tidbits about popular foods, wines and grapes. To whit:
And finally, all the way from the mountains to the sea there is a tasty and varied cuisine which varies according to the climate and the place.
The wine section for northeastern Italy:
Excellent wines are also produced, the red wines from the Garda district, the Lugana, Veronese wines, Bardolino, Valpolicella, wine from Val Pantena, Merlot and Caberuct,* both fine table wines. There are many brands of white wines: Gambellara frm Vicenza, Soave from Verona, Prosecco from the Conegliano hills, Cartizze from Valdobbiadene, the white wine from the Euganean Hills and from Collio, of which the best are the white <Sauvignon>, <Rhenish Riesling>, and <Tokay>, small vines which, transplanted in the first years of the 16th century, gave birth to the famous Hungarian <Tokay>. There are also first class wines from Friuli: the white and grey Pinot, Ramàndolo, Verduzzo and the Terrano from Carso; wines from Trent and Alto Adige, from Val d’Isarco; Téroldego from Mezzolombardo, Riesling, Terlano, Missiano, Traminer, and Kretzer. Then there are the sweet wines such as Piccolit from Friuli, Muscat from the Euganean Hills, Torcolato from Breganze; Vin Santo from Fregona and Casteltoblino, sparkling wines from Farra d’Isonzo, Conegliano, Valdobbiadene. In all they are a series of wines not as well known as they deserve to be.
A few things that caught my eye:
Kretzer is a term for a rosé of Lagrein, although it’s unclear from the context here if that’s what’s meant. It could just be Lagrein.
You don’t hear much about Torcolato these days (but in 1993 it was newsy).