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 adopted 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 renown 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
Name under which they were known many black grapes different. The best known is from Veneto, now also in Trentino, Lombardy, Friuli and Emilia. Not by chance has many synonyms: Bassamino, Barzemin Berzamino, Berzemino, Marzemina, Marzemino Gentile, Marzemino d'Istria, etc. Capolo. The Acerbi, in 1825, showed eight biotypes Marzemino. Currently the existing biotypes are collected in two large groups, whose differences are detectable by the presence or absence of tomentum (hairs) in the underside of the leaf, the characteristics of the spine (herbaceous or woody), the texture and thickness of the berry epidermis. The two groups are represented by Marzemino Gentile or City and Marzemina or Marzemina Padovano.
Marzemino is found 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.
Follows, by region, a list of all DOC is allowed where the use of this vine.
Trentino - 85 to 100% (Trentino Marzemino)
Botticino - min. 20%
Cellatica - min. 30%
Capriano del Colle - min. 35%
Garda - 85 to 100% (Garda Marzemino)
Riviera del Garda Bresciano - 5 to 30%
Breganze - 85 to 100% (Breganze Marzemino)
Colli di Conegliano - min. 10% (Red), 9 5 to 100% (Refrontolo Passito)
Merlara - 0 to 50% (Red), 85 to 100% (Merlara Marzemino)
Colli di Canossa and Scandiano - 85 to 100% (Marzemino)
Viticulture and winemaking
Marzemino is very susceptible to various fungal diseases and can be prone to high yields and over cropping. The vine requires a long growing season and ripens late. Marzemino can produce light wines with lively acidity that can be slightly sparkling. In cooler climates, the acidity can come across as grass with light cherry fruit flavors. Some sweet passito examples of Marzemino, often blended with other grapes, can also be found throughout northern Italy.
It has medium leaf, pentagonal and three-lobed, rarely mentioned with 5 lobes; bunch long, cylindrical-pyramidal with one or two wings, medium compact, medium berry, spherical, thin skin, but consistent, with a lot of bloom, blue-black. During the summer, all the vegetation turns reddish purple. It 's a grape that finds its natural habitat in calcareous clay or basalt, well exposed and repaired, not very fertile, is very sensitive to powdery mildew, botrytis and sour rot on, while quite resistant to downy mildew.
Marzemino is known under a variety of synonyms throughout Italy. These include Balsamina Nera, Barzemin, Bassamino, Berzemino Calopico, Bossamino, Magnacan, Marsemina, Marzamino, Marzemin, Marzemino d'Isera, Marzemino gentile, Marzemino Padovano, Merzemina and Uva Tedesco