Born of fire: Terlano’s vineyards nestle like sun terraces in red porphyry rock of volcanic origins. A type of Bolzano quartz-porphyry, it comprises a sequence of acidic lavas and volcanic eruption products with intermediate sediment layers. The mainly quartz-rich rocks are composed of minerals like quartz and feldspar embedded in a fine-grained to glassy matrix.
In Terlano the near-vertical rock face consists of various formations such as ignimbrites (rhyolites and glowing avalanche deposits), tuff, conglomerates and lava flows. As a result of repeated mudflows along the Rio San Pietro, the erosion products of this geological succession were transported down to the valley, forming a debris fan that now constitutes the subsoil for the Terlano vines.
The topsoil in Terlano contains a high proportion of coarse grains of siliceous stone and sand. With its skeletal character, the soil quickly warms up. The relatively limited fine-grain fraction is mainly sandy to sandy loam.
pH: neutral to slightly acidic
Carbonate content: low to moderate
Soil type: mainly sandy to sandy loam
Soil depth: high (>2 m)
Skeleton fraction: very high
Rock: predominantly siliceous (porphyry)
Field capacity: minimal to low
An extraordinary terroir
It has long been known that the terroir of Terlano is based on a prehistorical secret of the Earth. Geological investigations have now provided scientific data to confirm this ancient knowledge, which has been preserved by Cantina Terlano for more than a hundred years.
Soil samples have been taken from the three sites and analyzed using modern methods. The tests revealed the presence of a subvolcanic body around Terlano, which differs in composition from the classic volcanic rock. Over millions of years, a special crystal cuvée formed with a mineral content that is unusual for this type of rock: a unique feature of the Terlano terroir, Nature’s gift to the vines, which defy the meager soil by sending their roots deep down where they find the nutrition they need in the mineral treasures of the earth. A rich storehouse for the synthesis of the polyphenols, which are one of the explanations for the unique character of Terlano’s white wines.
The research was performed to investigate the natural geological properties of a number of vineyards that can influence the characteristics of wines produced from grapes grown there.
With the methods applied, it was possible to identify, on a scientific basis, the fundamental physical, geochemical and mineralogical soil parameters that are relevant for the growth of the plants.
The results have made it possible to determine the geology of the vineyards and to identify the various factors that are characteristic of the vineyard soils.
The following investigations were performed:
- Landscape analysis using GSA systems (geospatial analysis = capture, interpretation, processing and
dissemination of georeferenced information)
- Climate and sunshine
- Hydrogeological investigations
- Geological tests with geostatistical soil sampling
- Agricultural chemistry (physical and chemical soil analysis)
- Geotechnical analysis (physical and mechanical properties of the soils)
- Petrographic and mineralogical investigations (investigations into rocks and minerals and their chemical
- Analysis of chemical composition at the molecular and atomic levels: x-rays (fluorescence XRF), scanning electron
microscope - mass spectrograph (SEM EDS)
The multidisciplinary research team led by Dr. Ferretti had ten members (experts, technicians, university and laboratory staff, etc.). They worked a total of more than 1100 hours.