We pick and harvest!

The fruits of Trentino autumn

Each territory has its fruits and each fruit has its season. Trentino in autumn beats its best time, that of the most precious crops.

The harvest season in Trentino, as in ancient times in every peasant community, is an open celebration that requires everyone’s effort and contribution. Crops need months-long care, but harvest time isn’t too long. When the fruit is ripe at the right point, it must be picked before it falls away from the plant!

The fruits of the Trentino autumn have to be picked by arms and hands, often because of the heroic nature of slopes and terraces. The “bad” news is that it involves knowledge that must be learned. The good news is that, in Trentino, you can learn how to do it. Not everywhere, but among the experiences you can enjoy in Trentino in autumn, you will try some rewarding ones.

Autumn harvests

Grab the first Apple!

If apples didn’t exist, one would have to invent them! Today apples are grown in abundance in the Trentino valleys, but perhaps not everyone knows that not even the area that is best suited for apple growing here, the valleys of Non and di Sole, has always been so.

About two centuries ago, where today there are rows of apples as far as the eye can see, the main crops were vines, mulberries and rye. Not that some apples weren’t there, but they grew spontaneously in the private gardens of some manor house.

In the second half of the 19th century, a phylloxera infestation killed the crops, after which many families were forced to emigrate to save themselves from death by starvation, until someone had an intuition: if apples grow spontaneously, why not try to cultivate them?

And the bet gave its rewards! The climate and terrain were perfect and the landscape and the agricultural economy changed forever. Trentino boasts many varieties of apples. Come and discover them along the Trentino Apple and Flavours Route, take part in the MelaColgo experience, picking your own apples, or Adopt your own apple tree and come and collect the fruits of your tree between September and October!

Autumn harvests

It’s chestnut time!

Chestnuts have always grown spontaneously in our mountains. For centuries they have been the bread of many generations who consumed them in every way, a very nutritious “bread” available from August to November, which was then dried to obtain a flour available in the months to come. Over time, man has tamed this variety and the result has been marroni, tastier and larger in size. In Trentino, the time for harvesting chestnuts is one of the most evocative moments of the year, because centuries-old chestnut groves are wrapped in yellow and orange hues.

There are many autumn festivals throughout the Trentino area dedicated to this mountain “grain”, and there are many chestnut groves where you can combine a wonderful walk immersed in autumn colours with harvesting, but it is in some valleys that you will find particularly valuable varieties of this fruit.

The Marrone di Albiano, a native variety recovered in the early 2000s, grows in Val di Cembra. Chestnuts here were grown on porphyry soil. In the 1960s, following a deep economic crisis, hundreds of centuries-old chestnut groves were uprooted to make way for quarries from which volcanic stones were extracted. The most imposing chestnut tree, the “king of Marigiat” needed a charge of dynamite to be felled, a burst of pain that was heard throughout the valley. Then, about twenty years ago, the rebirth.

A rigorously organic variety grows on the Trentino Upper Garda, in Campi, a hamlet of Riva del Garda. The Marrone di Campi is a very precious quality and protected by detailed regulations that define harvesting, to be done strictly by hand.

Finally, we mention the Marrone di Castione on the Brentonico plateau, which is a protected variety, and the “podet”, a very ancient variety of chestnut that grows in Valle del Chiese, around the hamlet of Riccomassimo.

Autumn harvests

Let’s go harvest!

In Trentino there are more than 10,000 hectares of vineyards. The grape harvest here is a very serious business that involves hundreds of families and companies. Many of these, between September and October, open the doors of cellars and vineyards to let you experience their work firsthand.

For example, in Piana Rotaliana, or in Val di Cembra, two areas of excellence with very different soils, you will find events that allow you to hold ripe grapes in your hands. To be sure, here each valley has its own vine variety and, by extension, wine. Vines here thrive at any altitude, from 200 to 1000 metres, which makes Trentino a genuine continent of wineries developed in height rather than width. According to the cooperative spirit of this land, wineries here have organised themselves into Consortia and Cooperatives.

A particularity of our vineyards is the “Trentino pergola”, under which you will often walk during your experiences in the vineyard along the Trentino Wine and Flavours Route. It is a cultivation method that manages to leverage the maximum surface even on steep slopes and, at the same time, to capture all the possible light while keeping the bunches safe from water and disease. These horizontal crops require manual harvest and the replacement of the previous branch every year.

The low level of mechanisation requires a lot of manpower... a job that is amply repaid every year by the quality of the production that grows harvest after harvest.

Autumn harvests

Olives - daughters of the wind

Lake Garda in autumn witnesses a second harvest, that of the olives, from which the highly prized PDO oil is produced, the northernmost extra virgin olive oil in the world!

In this season, you will happen to see expanses of olive groves filled with golden berries, perhaps surrounded by nets on the ground, but, above all, you will see them surrounded by arms, hands, hard work and smiles that make even the tallest fruits fall from monumental stairs.

There are over 100,000 olive trees that on 500 hectares of land produce a golden green oil that tastes of almond, artichoke and wild herbs.

What has allowed the olive trees to thrive in Trentino for two thousand years is the wind. The peculiarity of the Mediterranean climate of Garda is guaranteed by two winds in particular, the Ora and the Pelèr. These winds blow daily, as punctual as clockwork. The Pelèr is a tramontana wind that blows from the north, from night until noon, when it gives way to the Ora which, coming from the south, blows uninterrupted throughout the afternoon.

In November you have a unique opportunity to visit the open mills of the area. You will have the opportunity to learn, smell and even taste the first pressing of olives.

The recipes of Trentino autumn

The recipes of Trentino autumn

Published on 12/08/2023