Biodynamics in the Dolomites with Azienda Agricola Foradori #winepw

Wine Pairing Weekend Group Cooks Up Biodynamic Pairings
This month, our Wine Pairing Weekend blogging group is highlighting biodynamic wines from around the world. Take a look farther down in this post for a dozen great wine pairing ideas for biodynamic wines! For my post, I went to Italy.

Südtirol and Vini Dolomiti
The Trentino – Alto Adige regions have an interesting history, being considered part of the Austria-Hungary empire until being ceded to Italy after World War I. The region still shows its’ Tyrolian influence and is often still referred to as Südtirol. In fact, the regions are still self-governed.

Azienda Agricola Elisabetta Foradori is located very near Mezzacorona between Trento and Bolzano, in the northern section of the Trentino region. Map courtesy of Decanter.com

Wine enthusiasts are familiar with the region as Trentino – Alto Adige. However, while Alto Adige has many artisan producers, Trentino is largely given over to larger, high volume operations. Established back in 1901, the Foradori winery is located near Mezzacorona. As a family operation, the winery was handed down from generation to generation, mostly guided by the men of the family. However, in 1976, patriarch Roberto died and his wife Gabriela took over. In 1984, daughter Elisabetta finished wine school and took over operations at the winery. She became fascinated with the Teroldego grape, believing it could do great things in this region of the Dolomites.

Theo came by to explain the history of the flagship Granato.

Azienda Agricola Elisabetta Foradori
Under Elisabetta’s guidance, the Foradori winery continued on its’ path of artisan wines. Viticulture was moved to biodynamics in 2002 and Demeter certification was achieved in 2009. Interestingly for our topic today, the Demeter label doesn’t appear on the wine bottle, as the winery uses biodynamics because they believe in the approach, not for marketing purposes. While the world knows of Elisabetta, the operation involves much more than one person. Chief viticulture, winemaking and promotional activities are now handled by the younger generation.  I had the opportunity to meet Theo Zierock, one of Elisabetta’s sons, while he was on a winemakers visit in Minnesota. He had some interesting insights into the challenges of a winery when the key figure is one person.  How does the operation move ahead into the next generation? Whatever the challenges are, the family seems to be up to the task, as the wines continue to be both unique and of the highest quality.

One of Elisabetta’s early discoveries includes the Teroldego grape. She certainly didn’t discover it, as it’s grown widely in this region, but most producers were stressing quantity over quality. Elisabetta worked to find the higher quality (lesser production) clones, and shifted her vineyards and practices to push for ever higher quality.

Teroldego from the Morei vineyard of Azienda Agricola Elisabetta Foradori

Azienda Agricola Elisabetta Foradori Teroldego “Morei” Vigneti della Dolomiti IGT 2014 12.5% abv ($29 at Sunfish Cellars or online here)
This wine is 100% Teroldego grape from the Morei vineyard. The wine is fermented and aged for 8 months on the skins in clay amphorae
Eye: Hazy, medium ruby with a garnet edge. Barely stained legs.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity. Barely ripe blackberries, violets, pine needles, wet gravel.
Mouth: Dry, medium intensity flavor. Medium+ acidity, medium tannins. medium body, medium alcohol. Lean texture.  Deepest darkest tart blackberries, pine and rosemary, stony elements. medium+ finish of lingering blackberries with wet gravel. This wine will age beautifully (having sampled some older vintages), so don’t be in a hurry to open it.

Steak with Chermoula Sauce, Tomatoes and Potato Dominoes
Chermoula is a middle east relative of Chimichurri sauce. While it isn’t even remotely from Italy, it was a great flavor enhancer for the steak (and truth be told, the potatoes too). The wine is clearly food oriented with ample acidity and a medium body, not super heavy. One of the fun items in the meal was the potato dominoes. I stumbled on the recipe in Francis Mallmann’s Seven Fires cookbook while working on another project involving fire… They’re easy to make and fun, so give them a try the next time you’re looking for something new to do with potatoes.

Food Pairings with Biodynamic Wines
Do biodynamic wines require special foods? No! Take a look below at all the good ideas our wine pairing writers have cooked up. If you see this soon enough, please join our chat on Twitter. We meet on Saturday morning, April 13 at 10am CDT. Just search on the #winePW hashtag and join the conversation!

Here’s who is writing about what:

Chermoula Sauce for Grilled Meats


Chermoula sauce can be thought of as a Moroccan cousing of Brazilian Chimichurri sauce. I don’t know if they’re actually related, but the similarity is there. There are lots of recipes for this sauce, I based mine on one in Epicurious. We like our sauces and dressings more acidic than usual, so amounts have been adjusted for that preference.

Ingredients

  • 3/8 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3/8 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 handful mint leaves

Instructions

  • Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat just until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.
  • Place the seeds, garlic, EVOO, lemon juice, lemon zest, paprika, salt and red pepper flakes in a blender or mini-food processor. Blend well
  • Add the cilantro, parsley and mint leaves, chop until semi-smooth, leaving some texture.  Add additional EVOO if needed to reach the desired consistency.
  • The sauce is best if mixed a few hours before serving, to allow the flavors to combine. The sauce will be good for 1 week if kept in the refrigerator.

Comments
22 Responses to “Biodynamics in the Dolomites with Azienda Agricola Foradori #winepw”
  1. Pinny Tam says:

    Azienda Agricola Elisabetta Foradori Teroldego “Morei” Vigneti della Dolomiti IGT seems to have all the texture, flavors and complexity to pair with the mouth-watering grilled steak!

  2. Wine seems food friendly, and the pairing looks amazing. Can’t wait to try the Chermoula sauce!

  3. An interesting wine! I don’t recall have had a Teroldego before. Curious about the self-governance aspect of the region, I hadn’t heard that before.

  4. wendyklik says:

    What a lovely looking dinner. That sauce sounds amazing.

  5. Can’t say I’ve tasted many wines made from Teroldego, so I’m eager to track down a few based on your description. How cool that you got to chat with one of the family members in Minnesota. And the chermoula sauce sounds absolutely delicious – love those spices!

  6. I’m a fan of Teroldego, ,though ironically, I’ve never had one from Italy. I must try your Chermoula sauce. It sounds and looks awesome!

  7. Such a beautiful display and pairing. Glad to see teroldego featured and some other Italian wineries.

  8. Jill Barth says:

    Jeff, so beautiful as always. I am not short on a fantasy ‘wine’ team for my biodynamic drinking dreams!

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