Marzemino is a red Italian wine grape that is primarily grown around Isera, south of Trentino. The wine is most noted for its mention in the opera Don Giovanni of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ("Versa il vino! Eccellente Marzemino!"). The vine ripens late and is susceptible to many grape diseases including oidium. Wine produced from the grape has a characteristic dark tint and light plummy taste.
Ampelographers have long theorized that the grape originated in northern Italy. Recent DNA profiling conducted at the research facility in San Michele all'Adige revealed Marzemino to have a parent-offspring relationship with the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine grapes Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Teroldego which gives further evidence to its likely origins in this region.
This ancient grape found its new homeland in Vallagarina. In fact, it seems to have originated in the Austrian city of Marzamin, imported by Trentino soldiers at the service of the Republic of Venice. In any case, it is associated by everyone with the Trentino and it is so renowned that it is mentioned in "Don Giovanni" by Mozart and Da Ponte. There is evidence that this variety of grape has been grown in the Lagarina Valley since the 15th Century .
The most known Marzemino is from Veneto, now also in Trentino, Lombardy, Friuli and Emilia. Not by chance it has many synonyms: Bassamino, Barzemin Berzamino, Berzemino, Marzemina, Marzemino Gentile, Marzemino d'Istria, etc.
Marzemino is grown throughout northern Italy most notably in the Lombardia, Trentino, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region. In Lombardy it is often used as a blending grape, most often partnering with Barbera, Groppello, Merlot or Sangiovese. In Trentino, it is often made as a varietal wine. While it is believed to have played a minor role in the history of Chianti, today it is rarely seen in Tuscany.
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