Alto Adige / Sudtirol
our Alto Adige / Südtirol selection by Winemaker / Estate...
The Südtirol is a mountainous region in the Dolomites, commonly called by its Italian name the Alto Adige; often it is grouped with its neighbour and called the Trento-Alto Adige. I prefer to call it by its German name because that is the first language spoken here; it should never be grouped with the Italian speaking Trento.
The topography of the region is the result of the tectonic forces that created the Alps, volcanoes and glaciers. Gravel subsoils prevail on the slopes and alluvial on the valley floor. There is abundant granite, gneiss, slate and limestone, all ideal for winegrowing.
It is a region with a unique identity, the whites are fresh and long-lived, Pinot Bianco can be particularly impressive and the elegance of Gewürztraminer is rare. The reds from the local varieties are the most interesting, Lagrein is dark and full, Schiava light and fresh. Having said this, Pinot Noir is excellent when planted in the correct sites as is Cabernet and Merlot. For quality wine of minerality and structure this is a remarkable land.
The cooperatives are at the forefront in producing the best wines, they understood early on that quality is the key in this region of massive labour costs, and limited land. It is worth noting that though they are outside the top ten regions in terms of quantity of wine made, the Alto Adige is number 3 in the value of their sales (behind Piemonte and Toscana).