The Castle, The Dragon and The Vine

The Castle, The Dragon and The Vine

Travel with us to a time long ago, and a place far away. The Castel San Gottardo was built in 1100 into an existing cavern in the sheer cliff, high above the town of Mezzocorona, in the kingdom of Trento in Northern Italy. Legend has it that a winged serpent called a basilisk lived in the ruins of the castle. This dragon-like creature’s body was covered by bony scales that were thought to make it invincible. It would spend its days swooping down into the village, eating the villagers and destroying their crops with its fiery breath.

Enter our hero, Count Firmian, who decided to battle the basilisk on his own, armed only with a shield, his armor and his own ingenuity. During the night, Firmian climbed up to the castle ruins and placed a pail of milk and a mirror by the entrance. When the basilisk awoke and went to drink the milk, it saw itself in the mirror and stood up straight to welcome his visitor. This gave Firmian the opportunity to charge the creature plunging his sword into its heart. The basilisk’s poisonous, purple blood dripped onto the Count, turning him into a pile of ash.

It is said that the location where Count Firmian’s remains (such that they were) were laid to rest sprouted the first vine of the Teroldego grape. Paying homage to this story and the region’s wine-making history, Azienda Vinicola Lechthaler uses the image of a dragon-like creature on its wine labels.

This coming Saturday—April 13, 2019–City Vino will be featuring Lechthaler Teroldego Rotaliano 2015 as part of our weekend tasting. The wine is made from 100% Teroldego, which has been proven to be a sibling of the grape known as Dureza, which is one of the parents of Syrah. The wine has bright fruit aromas of raspberries and blackberries, along with some fresh earth and young tobacco, and flavors of black cherries and raspberries paired with some earth, baking spices and a hint of char. The wine is fruity and bright with medium tannins.

Pair this wine with savory vegetarian, poultry, fish, pork and beef dishes, or your favorite tales of dragons, death, destruction and heroes.

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