The autochthonous Vernatsch grape is one of the most frequently grown and most characteristic wines of the Wine Road
Already in 1370 "Vernatschia" was mentioned, the well-known South Tyrolean red wine variety from which the Kalterersee Auslese (Caldaro D.O.C) is made, which is grown south and north of Caldaro, as well as the Santa Maddalena wine (Colli di Bolzano D.O.C.) on the slopes northeast of Bolzano and the Merano hills around the spa town of Merano. The South Tyrolean Vernatsch, on the other hand, may originate from all of the country's cultivation areas. The Italian name in common use today, Schiava, even appeared earlier: In notarial documents from the 11th century onwards, a "vineis sclavis" was mentioned under the Longobard rule.
There are three known Vernatsch grape varieties: Schiava Grossa, which is mainly cultivated in the surroundings of Merano and is known as Trollinger in Germany, Schiava Gentile, grown above all around Bolzano and the villages of Caldaro and Appiano, and Schiava Grigia. The grapes yield a red wine with a mild and fruity aroma and a hint of bitter almond. Vernatsch wines are light or ruby-red in colour and go well with starters, white meat and South Tyrolean delicacies such as the local bacon called "Speck", sausages, mild mountain cheese and fresh bread.
Serving temperature: 14 to 16 degrees C