2 August 2022

Aging at an altitude of 2000m, an innovative method for the maturation of wine?

The event “From the igloo to the chalice, tasting at 2000m” took place on Saturday 9th July 2022 at the Petit Pierre refuge in Corno d’Aola organized by the Pontedilegno -Tonale Consortium with the support of the University of Milan, Cantina Bignotti and the Valcamonica IGT Wine Consortium.

The bottles of wine placed in the igloo last winter were analyzed and compared with the bottles aged conventionally on the valley floor. This experiment, thanks to collaboration between the Pontedilegno -Tonale Consortium, the University of Milan Centre in Edolo (UNIMONT) and two local companies: the Valcamonica IGT Wine Consortium and Cantina Bignotti, ended with a tasting in the mountains, at about 2000 m, at Corno d’Aola. The purpose of the experiment was to investigate how low temperatures and/or high altitudes could influence some characteristics of the wines.

On Saturday 9th July 2022, after the greetings of the director of the Pontedilegno -Tonale Consortium Michele Bertolini, the main results of the preliminary analyses conducted by UNIMONT researcher Davide Pedrali were illustrated. It would seem that white wines were influenced more by this “innovative” method of conservation, as the content of organic acids was lower than the corresponding samples left in the cellar. The trend for red wines was opposite, probably because they need longer for these environmental conditions to affect their composition. On the other hand, there were no variations in the values of acidity, alcohol content and pH. “These first analyzes must be repeated several times, for several years, including a greater number of samples, so that the experiment and the results acquire scientific worth,” added Davide Pedrali.

Pending future updates through appropriate scientific research, which could include a phase of the winemaking process directly in the igloo, this initiative is an example of a territorial marketing action, as highlighted by Michele Bertolini and Graziano Pennacchio, managing director of Visit Brescia.

Subsequently, the participants were guided by the sommelier Roberto Spadacini, a UNIMONT graduate, in a tasting itinerary, accompanied by the voice of the singer Kelly Joyce in a quartet.

Finally, some of the bottles aged in igloos were sold at a charity auction, the proceeds of which will go to the UNIMONT Centre to finance a scholarship for a young researcher. A demonstration of how collaboration and alliance between University and mountain territory is nowadays more important than ever to bring knowledge, innovation and practical results. The involvement of UNIMONT is in full coherence with the “mission” of the Centre: transforming the specificities of mountain areas into strengths rather than elements of weakness, through innovative approaches, also involving local forces, from Institutions to local people and, why not, tourists.

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