ALTO ADIGE : Italian’s South Tyrol white wines

South Tyrol is certainly one of the oldest areas in Europe in terms of wines production, from the year 15 century BC. when the current region became part of the Roman Empire. Today, small and severals winemakers (more than 5000) and 218 companies very often family-run lead terraced vineyards at different altitudes; vines fits into the mountains, and areas if lying in the sun.

A precise viticulture become charisma and identity in the glasses, this territory in recent decades has increasingly a lot imposing itself on the wine market, conquering more and more space with fruity, very fragrant wines and above all. In this region when we talk about white berries and with great potential for ageing, which can be observed through verticals that the great little vignerons have made available to us in a special journey. The human component is at the centre, the wine sector represents a large part of the social fabric, making wine is so good for the entire community. Since the 1980, many cooperatives, with great organizational attitude and cohesion, support and involved families connected to their terroirs. Alto Adige makes in five thousand hectares of vineyards a total of 40 million bottles (60% white and 40% red) which 70% dispatch by small wineries and managed in a cooperative, 25% by estates and only 5% by independent vignerons. It is also important to
underline the importance of the internal market, just 30% is destined for export.

Since its constitution, the Consorzio Vini Alto Adige had assumed a crucial role, it supports the production of grapes, whether destined to be conferred or transformed. What about terroir? Varied and full of slopes, from those of the Val Venosta, the sunniest hills of the Bassa Atesina or the most alpine vineyards of the Isarco Valley. Within a radius of forty kilometres and a
climate that forms a complex mosaic, a myriad of vineyards with different exposures, from 200 to 1000 meters above sea level, for a myriad of microclimates. A condition that allows the cultivation of 20 different grapes varieties. From the point of view of the soils, we face to volcanic porphyry and metamorphic rock of quartz and mica, limestone or dolomitic, and marl. The vine
tends to develop very long roots by nature which can penetrate deeply, resisting better even to prolonged periods of drought. Other vineyards, on the other hand, are located on slopes or terraces where morainic sediments prevail. Thanks to research, crops have been optimized, Lagrein then gives its best in warm gravelly or sandy soils, while Gewürztraminer prefers clayey and very calcareous ones.

Furthermore the influence of the Dolomites is perceived when we tasting the wine whites which presents power, good body and minerals layers.

Among the most planted cultivars, there is certainly Pinot Grigio, followed by Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon. Special mentions then for Kerner, a frost-resistant vine, and ”Sylvaner Green”, a casual cross between Traminer and Österreichisch present in Alto Adige since 1880. Both, Sylvaner and Kerner grows in high altitudes, where the wine acquires a full-bodied structure and a good acidity, her baceous and spicy hints.

Tiefenbrunner Turmhof Sauvignon Blanc 2018
It was born on the porphyry between 400 and 800 meters above sea level; the limestone gives to wine power and length; all screened with warm citrus, grapefruit, musk and rock sensations.
Score : 16.5/20 (93/100)

Tiefenbrunner Feldmarschall Von Ferner 2016
This Muller Thurgau whit its residual sugar, equal to 3.5, shows off amplitude, density, sensations of hydrocarbons. The sip is complete and filling.
Score : 17/20 (94/100)

Falkenstein Riesling Südtirol Vinschgau 2014
In Val Venosta, in six hectares, at 600-900 meters above sea level an expressive, voluminous, rich sip, plenty of power and freshness; its lifts making the fruity part start over and over again.
Score : 17.5/20 (95/100)

Falkenstein Sauvignon Südtirol Vinschgau 2018
High-altitude interpretation of a grape that takes you back to the Loire but in this glass, it returns the typical notes of the Cal Venosta valley with elderberry and lime notes. Very elegant, silky and full of tension.
Score : 15.5+/20 (91/100)

Schreckbichl Colterenzio Sauvignon Lafóa 2015
Great incisiveness and persistence. Balance and dynamism, with officinal herbs and balsamic notes, a vibrant tension between the fruit and the part given off by the wood. The evolutionary potential is still great. The name of the vineyard is now an icon of the winery’s journey towards an ever better qualitative path, which began in the eighties.
Score : 16.5/20 (93/100)

Schreckbichl Colterenzio LR 2017
”LR” stands for the initials of Luis Raifer, the president and director of the winery. This blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon gives a multifaceted soul, persistent with fruity notes of hawthorn and ripe cedar wrapped in a sensation of tobacco and grass almost freshly cut.
Score : 16.5/20 (93/100)

Schreckbichl Colterenzio Cantina Terlan R 2008
“R” stands for “Rarity”special White bottles, aged at least for ten years on the yeasts. And there is no denying it in this vintage, between hints of hydrocarbons, cream, vanilla, ripe peach, there is a feeling of elegance and satisfying fullness, remains in the
final grip that amplifies all the aromas. Amazing freshness.
Score : 17/20 (94/100)

Schreckbichl Colterenzio Vorberg 2011
This reserve comes between 450 and 650 meters above sea level, it is an exciting and collectable Pinot Bianco. By the aeration, it develops sensations of white pepper, magnolia and hints of rocks. Its powers unravel and expand in the palate. Great label at a very affordable price (€ 25).
Score : 18/20 (96/100)

Kircherhof Aristos Valle Isarco Kerner 2019
It comes from almost a thousand meters above sea level on loose soil; the palate is salty, dense, fruity and moved by nice explosiveness. Good acidity still presents in the aftertaste. The winery is 2015 has started to map its vineyards to understand better and better the peculiarities of the soil.
Score : 16/20 (92/100)

Novacella Abbey Kerner Praepositus 2011
In one of the oldest monasteries in Tyrol, still today there are the vineyards that give rise to great whites like this Kerner which nose recalls the ginger, graphite and saffron. The palate is caressing, it stretches and refreshes the drink leaving a fresher trail like menthol.
Score : 16/20 (92/100)

Novacella Abbey Sylvaner Praepositus 2013
Intense white fruits, balanced but dense and powerful sip, with a great freshness that leaves the most citrus scents free at the end of the mouth. The density and aromas of sweet apricot close a portentous sip.
Score : 18/20 (96/100)

Nals Margreid Pinot bianco Sirmian 2013
Cultivated in the region for 150 years, the Pinot Bianco Sirmian borns at 600 meters above sea level close to Nals village. It is deep, material, with hints of chamomile, herbs and an incessant mineral background. Intriguing and already satisfying.
Score : 16/20 (92/100)

Weingut Obersterin Lapis 2016
From the Latin “pietra”, a Pinot Bianco that exactly never misleading, it shows the meaning of its name: minerality, sensations of rock, great structure for a wine that ages in 500-litre barrels. Enveloping, tonic with a great personality.
Score : 16/20 (92/100)

by Erika Montovan

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