Trentino Alto Adige is located in the southern Alps, right up against the Po Valley and the Veneto. The area is almost entirely mountainous and extremely diverse, in terms of layout and climate, even from one vineyard to the next. Thanks to factors, such as low population density, vast isolated spaces and various protected natural reserves, numerous species of animals and plants have been preserved. The region (also known as Trentino-Sud Tirol) consists of two provinces, Trento (Trentino proper) and Bolzano/Bozen (Alto Adige). Italian is spoken in Trentino, while German is spoken in Alto Adige. Once part of the Austrian Empire, the region borders Austria’s Tyrol to the north, and Switzerland to the northwest and Lombardy and Veneto respectively west and south. The Empson wineries are concentrated in Trentino, a rocky landscape covered by vast forests and crossed by the Adige River. The quality standards in the region are among Italy’s highest in spite of its smaller size – only 15,380 hectares (38,000 acres) are under vine, producing 1.36 million hectoliters of wine per year.