Trentino-Alto Adige is Italy's northernmost wine region, located right on the border with Austria. Production was once dominated by the local Lagrein and Schiava red grape varieties. Now white wines are now more important in volume terms. They are increasingly made from well-known international varieties such as Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
Reflecting its complex geopolitical history, Trentino-Alto Adige is composed of two autonomous provinces. Trentino is almost entirely Italian speaking, while Alto Adige has a predominantly German-speaking population. The latter know their province by the name Südtirol (South Tyrol in English). This is due to the region's former status as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from which it was reclaimed by Italy in 1919.
The region's population of more than a million people is divided fairly equally between the two provinces. As a whole, approximately two-thirds of them speak Italian as their first language. Looking at a map, Trentino-Alto Adige is divided almost perfectly, with Trentino in the south and Alto Adige in the north.
It is also bisected east from west by the Adige river, which gives Alto Adige (Upper Adige) its name. The valleys formed by the Adige and its tributaries are home to almost all of the region's vineyards. Outside of these areas, the terrain is generally too mountainous for viticulture. As it is many Alto Adige vineyards are near ski slopes winter sports venues.