March 2021 Wine of the Month: Teroldego
One of the more interesting and unique wines in the Suhru Wines family, Teroldego is a Northern Italian red variety primarily grown in the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. With only one known planting on Long Island, we count ourselves lucky to have access to and be able to produce this robust and delicious wine.
Our 2019 Teroldego has quickly become a staff favorite at Suhru! With its deep color, rich red fruit notes and warm baking spices on the nose with delicious red pairs wonderfully with a wide range of dishes from grilled swordfish, roasted duck, teriyaki salmon, gamey poultry, apple pie, walnut goat cheese pear salad, or brisket just to name a few!
If you haven't yet had the chance to taste this tantalizing red, be sure to stop by the Tasting House this month, as it is featured on our tasting menu this March as our Wine of the Month!
A Note from our Winemaker, Russell Hearn
"I have always enjoyed the Alto Adige grape Teroldego as a consumer but never thought about its connection to our region. When Reagan Meador (previously the owner of Southold Farm + Cellar) produced wines at Premium Wine Group I was reminded of the varieties affinity to a cool climate region. When he sold his vineyard I made it a mission to lease/source fruit from this vineyard and in 2019 succeeded producing our first Suhru Teroldego.
Teroldego is one of many well suited varieties to our region but the beauty of this variety in particular is how early it ripens (early to mid October) meaning that is ripens before it becomes at risk from some of the later harvest natural weather events we experience such as hurricanes and early frosts."
A Closer Look at the Vineyard
When talking about grapes and winemaking we often find ourselves discussing a region or a vineyards "terroir". In case you're not familiar with this term, terroir refers to the influences of soil, climate and human intervention on the grapes. Each region and each vineyard has its own specific terroir that influences how grapes grow and taste. When it comes to the North Fork of Long Island, it is our maritime climate (proximity to the ocean which regulates our seasons and temperatures) and our sandy loam soils (the result of glacier deposits) that are some of the largest contributors to our unique growing conditions.
The soils of the North Fork differ very little in the loam/sand/silt composition however the highest variable is the sand. This changes how quickly summer rains percolate through and out of the root zone which is essential when we are looking at grapes. Grape vines are one of the few crops that prefers less rather than more rainfall as they do not like standing water in or around their roots.
Our cool Maritime climate is very suitable to the ripening requirements of Teroldego. Our Teroldego vineyard, located in Southold, is moderately high in the loam/silt content so retains water a little longer than others and the vines ripens more gradually. Vineyards with sandier soil compositions on the other hand ripen earlier as the sand heats up warming the ground and ripening the fruit.
Teroldego is an early ripening red (early to mid October) that does not like or need a lot of heat for maturity so the silt/loam soils content allows for slower more gradual ripening ensuring a fully ripened berry in the cooler months of the fall when the grapes can retain higher acidity.
This site is a little elevated versus its surrounding land so it receives all the wind generated from the land/water effect of a Maritime Climate. This helps decrease humidity by enhancing air movement to reduce 'fungal disease pressure'.