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Fratelli Pisoni Winery
Under Doctor's Orders:
Fratelli Pisoni Organic Winery

Story and photos by Tom Weber

a vineyard of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Pisoni in Valle dei Laghe, Trentino, Italy

fter 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.

co-owner Marco Pisoni conducting a tour of the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Pisoni

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 Pisoni.

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.

wine cellar at the Fratelli Pisoni Winery

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.

Marco Pisoni at the Fratelli Pisoni Organic Winery cellar

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.

scenes from the Fratelli Pisoni Organic Winery

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.

bottles of wine on display

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.

wineglass and a bottle of Pinto Nero and Sarica

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 hotel.

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 Imports of Chicago, the exclusive importer into the U.S. of Pisoni wines and spirits.

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 its English-language website.

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.

Related Articles:
Skiing the Dolomites; Traveling in Northern Italy; The Little Village Atop the Hill; Piovene Rocchette; Sutri: A Canterbury Trail

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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

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Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

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Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: Thanks for stopping by and commenting..


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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal

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