The history of winemaking in Ticino goes back a long time but peaked in the first half of the 20th century when vineyards were replanted according to new quality-based criteria. Within the space of just a few years, the Merlot grape, first planted in 1906, radically changed wine-making in the Canton. Thanks to excellent results during the experimentation phase, Merlot soon became the most widely grown grape in Ticino, replacing other varieties unwisely selected at the end of the 19th century in the wake of untold damage wrought on European vineyards by diseases. These had inadvertently been imported from the Americas and also caused enormous damage in Italy. Grapes usually mature in Ticino towards the end of September and are medium-sized and spherical in shape with black – blue coloured skin. The fermented grapes give an intense ruby red colour to the wine with a balanced body and pronounced character. Depending on the terroir, and the winemaking process used, Merlot can accompany first courses with rich, flavoursome sauces, grilled red meat, roast or braised meat, wild boar and venison and superlative cheeses produced in the many Ticino mountain pastures. It also ages very well in small oak barrels. Merlot should be served at a temperature of 16° – 18° in large glasses. Ticino has two distinct types of terroir, corresponding geographically to the Sopraceneri and Sottoceneri districts; the types of wine produced are therefore characterised by these two areas. In order of importance, the following grape varieties are grown: Merlot (82%), Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, Gamaret, Bondola and Pinot Nero. White grapes constitute only 8% of the total, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Bianco standing out. Despite its rather limited surface area, Ticino produces a sizeable volume of white wine thanks to the "white" Merlot vinification process. This method ensures particularly fine wines which are also delicate. In fact, in 1997, Ticino Merlot obtained the DOC quality standard in recognition of the quality of wine produced.
By Alessandro Pesce, journalist and Daniela Linder-Basso (UCT – Unione Contadini Ticinesi)
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Family business where the soil of each vineyard benefits from the greatest care. Flora and fauna are strictly respected. You are very welcome for a wine tasting. They personnally grow and vinify all their grapes. They offer you a choice of Merlot or Pinot noir, as well as sparkling wine made out of “Uva americana”, white wines or “Rosés”, “grappa” and “nocino”. They can also organize a private wine tasting for you.
The product offering includes the constant search for quality accompanied by the professional courtesy of our staff. The modern conception of the ancient is the new business that would like to accompany all our guests.
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Vibrant wine company, managed by Patrick Ballabio and Adrien Stevens. Cantine Riva Morcote is situated in the historic area of Morcote, known for its wine cellars, and encompasses a total of 7 hectares of vineyards in Castel San Pietro, Breganzona, San Vittore and Lugano.
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