Fratelli Pisoni Organic Winery
Story and photos by Tom Weber
days of soaking in H2O, via my two-a-day thermal baths at the Grand
Hotel Terme (GHT) in Terme di Comano, I toweled off and joined a small
group of my fellow "patients" and hotel staff and went in
search of another liquid that can also do the body good: prized grape
found along one of the Strade del Vino (Wine Roads) in
the Trentino side of the Trentino Alto Adige region of northern Italy.
Destination? A VIP tour of Azienda Agricola
Fratelli Pisoni in Valle dei Laghe.
This visit to the estate, which lies between
Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites, and the degustazione (tasting)
that followed, was organized by GHT, but expertly conducted by co-owner
Marco, who has a striking resemblance to
American film, TV and theatre actor John Lithgow, is an expert in viticulture
and enology who readily poured forth his knowledge of the family business
and its award-winning line of wines, sweet santo, spumante,
grappas and liqueurs.
As Marco explained, "The family winery
dates back to the Middle Ages and served as the sole supplier of fine
wines from its cellar for the Council of Trent," the Catholic Church's
all-important ecumenical gatherings during the mid 1500s.
Since 1874, all family members have attended
the very prestigious Istituto Agrario di San Michele all'Adige
(School of Enology). This requisite education is a Pisoni tradition
and a then young Marco was no exception, as his well-earned parchment
attests to his knowledge of and passion for the grape.
Today, the underlying mission of Azienda
Agricola Fratelli Pisoni is simple: respect the environment in order
to produce a more genuine product. And that is why every bottle of wine
and spirits produced come from organically grown grapes hand picked
out of its vineyards at Pergolese di Lasino in the province of Trento.
Our tour stopped next to rows of well-manicured
vines, inside the grappa distillery, down into the underground cave
where the spumante classico rests quietly along a long, low-lit
corridor, and ended with a walk through the centuries-old cantina where
little casks of sweet santo continue to age alongside some very
large and impressive oak barrels.
Above ground again, we moved into the enoteca
(wine house) for a fabulous tasting of the Pisoni labels complimented
by regional finger foods of the Trentino.
Of the five whites and four reds that Marco
made available for our group's degustazione, two bottles really
grabbed my palate: Sarica a stunning Syrah-Pinot Nero
blend and the cellar's award-winning Pinto Nero varietal.
These two aromatic, ruby reds really moved
me AND my wallet; I bought a case of each to savor back home, and ordered
both at the GHT, too, to compliment my remaining dinners at the spa-wellness
If you live in the United States, you,
too, can enjoy the great micro-vineyard wines and grappas produced by
Marco and his family. They're available through Cora
of Chicago, the exclusive importer into the U.S. of Pisoni wines
Should you ever find yourself in the Trentino,
do yourself a favor and head for Azienda Agricola Fratelli Pisoni and
request a guided tour of the estate with fratello (brother) Marco.
And if you visit, be sure and tell him that John Lithgow sends his regards.
For complete information on the Fratelli
Pisoni estate tours, tastings and direct sales just go
To find out more about the seven Wine and
Flavor Roads of the Trentino for vino, organic fruit,
vegetables, cheeses and meats just log on to the
Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A. website.
To book a spa-wellness vacation at the
Grand Hotel Terme di Comano, visit the
luxury hotel's English language website.
See you next time when I put on an apron
and head into the kitchen of the Grand Hotel Terme to see how Chef Christian
Ventorini and staff create their culinary magic.
the Dolomites; Traveling
in Northern Italy; The
Little Village Atop the Hill; Piovene
Sutri: A Canterbury Trail