Visiting Val di Cembra has been like discovering one of those places you like at first glance, just after the first bends of the street that fom Lavis, about 20 km north of Trento, rises up to Cembra. It surprises you with a landscape that you don’t expect: an uninterrupted succession of vineyards, which climb here, supported by miles of dry walls, up to more than 800 meters above sea level, on the steep green slopes excavated by the erosion of Avisio River, that runs through the valley.
A lesser-known territory but no less beautiful than most noble destinations in Trentino.
The friends of the ATP Altopiano Pinè and Val di Cembra
and Cembrani DOC
, a consortium of 7 cembrane companies producing wines and grappas, made us discovering with enthusiasm and passion, during a beautiful sunny weekend, walking among the vineyards and tasting exceptional wines.
There are no flat vineyards in Val di Cembra and the thousands of pergolas on the slopes make you understand why viticulture here is called “heroic”.
The composition of the soils of the Val di Cembra is porphyry type, a rock of volcanic origin, extracted from the caves that you can spot on the side of the valley less exposed to the sun, where deep squats of red stand out among the green of the forests. The peculiarities of the terrain, combined with the climate and the strong thermal day and night excursions, have created the ideal conditions for the production of exceptional wines: at lower points the Chardonnay and over 500 meters the Müller Thurgau, a vine originally from Germany.
In Cembra, the main city of the valley, every year between the end of June and the beginning of July takes place an international wine show : Rassegna Vini Muller Thurgau
(in 2017 will be from 29th of June and 2nd of July) , dedicated to this white wine grown in this mountain, characterized by a strong aromatic nature, accentuated by the particular climate of Valley. This is an opportunity to discover the natural beauty and the enogastronomy of this corner of Trentino, perhaps by bike. Val di Cembra is not only the land of great wines, but also of great cycling: it was on the streets of these hills were the famous Francesco Moser and Gilberto Simoni started their career.
The vineyards of the Val di Cembra are the ideal destination for a relaxing, not too demanding trekking, which cross the interpodal roads and reach some towns of the valley, climbing half way in the hills. Among the various itineraries you can start from Palù di Giovo and arrive at Ville di Giovo, known for the Torre della Rosa (Rose Tower), 24 meters high, the one remaining of a larger fortified noble residence. You can climb it by using a moving iron staircase, which is supported through the hinges obtained from the ceilings of the various floors.
After a short flat walk, the path continues uphill and arrives at the votive church of S.Floriano, dedicated to the saint protector of the fires. The little church stands on the small hill having the same name, from where the viewpoint spans across the entire valley of Cembra, the Piné mountains and in the distance to the Dolomites.
Back from hiking, to enjoy the wines of the Val di Cembra, you can visit one of the many small cellars (here called caneve) often dug into the rock where wine growers keep the wine produced by their vineyards, featuring a collection of wines produced with grapes still picked manually, due to the rough terrain that does not allow mechanization. In caneve you will definitely try another typical wine of the valley, the Schiava, a very special red ruby wine, perhaps accompanied by the excellent local cured meats, including a local salami, the luganega cembrana.
For dinner, in the historic center of Palù di Giovo, we find one of the oldest agritours in Italy, Agritur el Volt
, located in an old house of the ‘500. Before you can enter the dining room, Marcello, the son of the owner, will surely make you stay in one of the cellars where he offers some wine tastings and after dinner, a very good liqueur produced with cranberries gathered in the valley.
There are many reasons to visit the Val di Cembra both in the summer season, for naturalistic trekking and food and wine, cycling tours, fishing in the waters of the Visio river or in its lakes, and in winter because you are half an hour drive from wonderful ski trails of Val di Fassa and Val di Fiemme.