Culturonda® Wine 12 ways to explore and enjoy South Tyrol’s wine culture
Cultural Experience One: Read Directions for a tour through this brochure: 1. Leaf through it like a picture book. Flip forwards or backwards â€“ there are no rules. 2. You will notice that wine culture in South Tyrol goes far beyond pretty vineyards and elegant wine tastings.
3. Now letâ€™s deepen the experience. On the following pages, youâ€™ll find useful website links and recommendations for further reading. 4. The map at the end of the brochure shows 41 cultural points of interest that testify to just how important enjoying South Tyrolean wine is to the cultural history of the region.
Cultural Experience Two: Enjoy
Culturonda® Wine 12 ways to explore and enjoy South Tyrol’s wine culture South Tyrol (Südtirol in German and Alto Adige in Italian) is a classic “small but beautiful” winegrowing region. Although the province comprises only 0.7 per cent of Italy’s winegrowing area, Alto Adige wines garner top awards year upon year and enjoy a much higher profile than one would expect given such a small area of cultivation. The South Tyrolean Wine Road meanders from Nalles/Nals to Bolzano/ Bozen, continuing as far as the province’s southern border. As the wine road crosses rolling vineyard-covered hills, it runs past picturesque wine villages, castles, manors and magnificent wine estates. These vineyards comprise 85 per cent of South Tyrol’s total winegrowing area. Exquisite, fruity white wines grow at elevations of up to 1,000 metres in the cooler, peripheral cultivation areas in the Isarco/Eisacktal and Venosta/Vinschgau valleys. Here the ripening season extends well into the autumn; warm days alternating with cool nights result in wines with intense aromas, lively acidity and Mediterranean mellowness. Lagrein, Vernatsch and Gewürztraminer – three grape varieties that are native to South Tyrol – have become emblematic of the province’s wine culture. For decades, trials have been carried out throughout the region’s
central valleys to determine which grape variety performs best on which soil and in which microclimate. Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, near Ora/Auer, explores the principles of sustainable winegrowing. Nothing is left to chance – apart from enjoying a Glasl Wein, as the South Tyroleans put it, in good company. Even the wine elves of local legend would have had nothing against that! South Tyrol is one of Europe’s oldest winegrowing regions. It was here that the Romans learnt how to store and transport wine in containers made of wooden staves held together by iron hoops. Way back in the early Middle Ages, monasteries in southern Germany established wine estates in South Tyrol. The Great Vine at Hampton Court is none other than South Tyrol’s native Vernatsch. South Tyrol, in fact, has its own equivalent: a 350-year-old vine known as the Versoaln, which grows in the village of Prissiano/Prissian between Merano/Meran and Bolzano. It still yields up to 800 bottles of white wine per year. At Merano’s Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, South Tyrol’s old grape varieties are preserved from extinction. In South Tyrol, wine is steeped in culture. The purpose of Culturonda® Wine is to pass on this unique cultural experience. To this end, we have selected twelve themes, each with three points of interest. Wine enthusiasts who wish to go beyond simply enjoying wine and become acquainted with the history and stories behind the vineyards and cellars will find Culturonda® Wine a useful and succinct introduction to South Tyrol’s diverse cultivated and cultural landscape. www.suedtirol.info/culturonda_wine
| Picturesque vine-covered hills and steep vineyards: www.meranodintorni.com
| Melding the traditional and avant-garde: www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it
| South Tyrolâ€™s multiform vineyard areas: www.altoadigewines.com
| Three original South Tyroleans: www.bolzanosurroundings.info
| Vine trellising methods in South Tyrol: www.wein.kaltern.com
| In the winemakerâ€™s laboratory: www.altoadigewines.com
| Of Rhaetians, Romans and wine casks: www.museo-del-vino.it
| The first masters of wine in South Tyrol: www.abbazianovacella.it
| The eternal relationship between inspiration and patronage: www.meranodintorni.com
| A wine list for South Tyrolâ€™s Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine: www.suedtirol.info/foodandwine
| Of Nรถrggelen elves and secret cellars: www.castelfeder.info
| A holistic South Tyrolean experience: www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it
| January | February | March | April > WineSafari along the South Tyrolean Wine Road (upon request): www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it > Bolzano/Bozen Wine Tasting: www.altoadigewines.com > Eisacktaler Kost – Alpine cuisine in the Isarco/Eisacktal Valley: www.eisacktalerkost.info > Cortaccia/Kurtatsch Wine Expedition (April–October, upon request): www.kellerei-kurtatsch.it > Asparagus Season in Terlano/Terlan: www.terlan.info > Appiano/Eppan Wine Day: www.appiano.com > Explore Experience Enjoy – a day devoted to wine and walking, Caldaro/Kaltern: www.wein.kaltern.com
| May | June > Isarco/Eisacktal Valley Fine Cuisine Festival: www.valleisarco.com > South Tyrolean Pinot Noir Days in Egna/Neumarkt and Montagna/Montan: www.bolzanosurroundings.info > Vino in Festa â€“ South Tyrolean Wine Road Weeks: www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it > Wine Tasting Event: Kalterersee-Charta Wines, Caldaro/Kaltern: www.wein.kaltern.com > International GewĂźrztraminer Symposium in Termeno/Tramin*: www.gewuerztraminer.info > Stars Castles Mountains in Merano/Meran and Environs: www.stars-castles-mountains.meranerland.com > Termeno & one famous wine region*: www.tramin.com > Wine Cellar Night along the South Tyrolean Wine Road: www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it > Caldaro All in White: www.wein.kaltern.com
| July | August > Vahrner Weis(s)e: a tasting of the white wines of Varna/Vahrn: www.valleisarco.com > Wine Street Festival in Termeno/Tramin: www.tramin.com > Wine Culture Weeks in San Paolo/St. Pauls: www.appiano.com > Presentation of the wines of the Isarco/Eisacktal Valley: www.valleisarco.com > Paulsner Hofkuchl, a gastronomic event in San Paolo: www.weinkulturwochen.com > Night of St. Lawrence in Bolzano/Bozen: www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it > Montiggl Weis(s)e, a white wine tasting festival in Monticolo/Montiggl: www.suedtirol.info/events > Wine Summer in Cornaiano/Girlan: www.appiano.com
| September | October | November | December > Vinea Tirolensis in Bolzano/Bozen: www.fws.it > Caldaro/Kaltern Wine Days: www.wein.kaltern.com > VinoCulti in Tirolo/Tirol: www.suedtirol.info/events > Termeno/Tramin Autumn Day: www.tramin.com > Wine & Cuisine in Caldaro: www.wein.kaltern.com > Riesling Days in Naturno/Naturns: www.naturns.it > Last Load of Grapes Festival in Cornaiano/Girlan: www.appiano.com > Termeno Wine Alleyway: www.tramin.com > Merano Grape Festival: www.merano.eu > Merano WineFestival: www.meranowinefestival.com
*every two years
Acidity R efers to a component of taste naturally occurring in grapes. It becomes an important factor in the wine’s flavour and taste. Natural acids are tartaric, malic and citric acids. More acids develop during fermentation (lactic acid, formic acid, succinic acid, volatile acidity). Aftertaste The lingering or duration of a wine’s taste in the mouth after the wines has been swallowed. Alcohol Is the product of the alcoholic fermentation of sugar (fructose and glucose) by yeast. The reaction of yeast upon sugar results in its conversion to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Aroma One of the scent elements of a wine. Astringent The stringent effect on the palate of a wine containing a high amount of tannins. Balance Various components of the wine add to a harmonic combination. Blind tasting Tasting of wines without knowing what wine it is by simply covering the label. Body A tactile sensation describing the viscosity or ‘weight’ of wine in the mouth. Bouquet Rich floweriness of a mature wine. Clarity Wine clarity refers to the absence or presence of suspended particles or sediment in a wine. Complex A wine that exhibits many different odours and flavours. Cuvée Blend of different grapes into a new, possibly even better wine. Dry Lacking any perceptible taste of residual sugar. Fruit Group of aromas reminiscent of different fruits (berries, pip fruit,
stone fruit, citrus fruits). Intensity The concentration and power of the smell and taste of a wine. Late harvest Indicates that the wine was made from fully ripened, late-picked grapes. Purity Describes the clarity of aromas without the influence of unhealthy, half-rotten grapes or ancillary tastes, which are influenced by fermentation or through the maturing process in wooden containers. Residual sugar Glucose and fructose left in the wine due to the interruption of the fermentation process or due to high must weight. Ripeness Age and stage of development of a wine. Sediment deposit Deposit or sediment of red wines which have been aged in a bottle. These sediments are precipitated tannins and colour pigments. Tannins Tannin is an important, rather bitter component of red wines. The tannins leave a dry, puckered sensation in the mouth. Tartar crystals Harmless crystals of tartaric acid. Taste Sensory input which is felt on the tongue. We distinguish between four sensations: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Japanese wine drinkers also sense umami (taste of glutamate). Tears The viscous, tear-like tracks that run down the inside of a glass after it has been swirled. Transparency Transparent colour structure. Varietal Pressed from a single type of grape.
Culturonda® Culturonda® 12 ways to explore culture and South Tyrol’s way of life
Culturonda® 12 ways to explore culture and South Tyrol’s way of life
Culturonda® Dolomythos 12 ways to explore culture in the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites
Culturonda® Dolomythos 12 ways to explore culture in the unesco World Heritage Dolomites www.suedtirol.info/ culturonda_dolomythos_en
Culturonda® South Tyrol/Südtirol Culturonda® Dolomythos Culturonda® Wine Apps for iPhone and Android www.suedtirol.info/culturondaapp_en
Winepass The Winepass combines two offers: participation in an attractive wine programme along the entire South Tyrolean Wine Road and unlimited use of South Tyrol’s integrated public transport network. Choice of three-day or seven-day pass. Information at www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it/winepass
PHOTOGRAPHY: South Tyrol Marketing Group/Alex Filz, Clemens Zahn, Frieder Blickle, Stefano Scatà; Export Organization South Tyrol/Frieder Blickle, Marion Lafogler; Merano Marketing/Frieder Blickle; Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau/Alberto Campanile, allesfoto.com, Tappeiner Ag; Valle Isarco Tourist Bureau/Andre Pöhlmann; South Tyrolean Wine Road/allesfoto.com; Appiano Tourist Bureau/allesfoto.com; Cantina Tramin/Florian Andergassen; Manincor Winery/Niedermayr TEXTS: Gabriele Crepaz | TRANSLATIONS: Cassandra Han Viti | PRINTING: Karo Druck
Wine & Landscape
Wine & Architecture
Culturonda® Wine Wine & Terroir
12 ways to explore and enjoy South Tyrol’s wine culture Vernatsch, Lagrein, Gewürztraminer
Wine & Vine
Wine & Wineries
Wine & History
Wine & Monasteries
(in all winegrowing areas)
Wine & Art
Wine & Dine
Wine & Legends
Wine With All Five Senses
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www.suedtirol.info/gettingthere Südtirol Map – Standard Getting There
Wine & Legends
Lodging Comprehensive database of lodging in South Tyrol, including establishments that accept online bookings: www.suedtirol.info
Staying at a Winery South Tyrolean vintners that provide lodging: www.fws.it www.redrooster.it Relaxing Holidays 30 four-star spa hotels focussing on wellness, fitness, beauty & healthy cuisine: www.belvita.it Idyllic Places 13 properties linking tradition with contemporary life: www.idyllicplaces.com
Eventful Days – Relaxing Nights
Points of Interest: >> An outing to Hadeburg Castle, overlooking Salorno/Salurn, in a wild and romantic setting: According to legend, a robber baron dwelling there loved to tipple with the Nörggelen. His cellar was always well supplied: in fact, an inscription declared “Haderburg Castle will remain safe as long as it holds wine from Salorno”. Indeed, no enemy ever did manage to destroy the castle. >> The Appiano/Eppan Eislöcher, or ice holes, can be reached by following a very manageable trail. The ice holes are famous for the microclimate they generate: the plants that thrive here, at an elevation of just 500 metres, are normally only found in the high mountains. Legends speak of a submerged city whose wine casks are hidden in the Eislöcher. >> Since the nineteenth century, a fairytale garden has been enthralling visitors to the Tiefenbrunner wine estate in Niclara/Entiklar. Josef Tiefenbrunner (1828-1907) laid out the garden himself, incorporating figures from Greek mythology, the Old Testament and South Tyrolean mythology.
Farm Holidays Official portal for farm holidays in South Tyrol: www.redrooster.it
Of Nörggelen elves and secret cellars By the Middle Ages, wine had become an important commercial product in South Tyrol. A litre of wine cost as much as a casual labourer earned in a day. No wonder, then, that the winegrowers, estate owners and cellar masters jealously guarded their wine, for thirsty thieves lurked everywhere. In local legends, they were the Nörggelen: elves who pilfered the new wine at harvest time and guzzled it with relish. Other stories recount the desire to concoct a wine that would never run out. Time and time again, there were secret cellars discovered. Wine adulterators fared badly, for they were revealed and punished by the Nörggelen.
South Tyrol Budget Good quality and convenient lodging; maximum of 15 rooms or apartments: www.southtyrolbudget.com
Info: Castelfeder Tourist Association, Ora/Auer, phone: +39 0471 810 231 · www.castelfeder.info Eppan Tourist Association, phone: +39 0471 662 206 · www.appiano.com Tiefenbrunner – Castel Turmhof Wine Estate, Niclara, phone: +39 0471 880 122 www.tiefenbrunner.com
Wine With All Five Senses
A holistic experience of South Tyrol Wine experts turn the drinking of wine into an elaborate ritual. First, the glass is held up to the light. Then its contents are swirled, sniffed, rolled over the palate, “chewed”, and the aftertaste savoured after swallowing. Only then does the connoisseur feel qualified to pass judgement. Tasting wine really does involve all the senses. The eyes and above all the nose and taste buds are indispensable, though the senses of hearing and touch also provide information, for example on opening the bottle, and by touching the glass to test the temperature. It seems that a mere love of wine is not always enough to really understand it. Points of Interest:
>> The new South Tyrolean Wine Academy, which is housed in the historical Pach Manor in Caldaro/Kaltern, offers courses – there and in other places in South Tyrol – on the subjects of wine production, wine appreciation, and wine culture.
>> Roner Distillery in Termeno/Tramin has put together the Gallery of the
Sensorium, located in the village of Fiè allo Sciliar/Völs am Schlern. A qualified wine advisor helps participants to fine-tune their sense of smell and taste. Info: South Tyrolean Wine Academy, Caldaro, phone: +39 0471 964 609 www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it Roner AG Distillery, Termeno, phone: +39 0471 864 000 · www.roner.com Blindprobe Sensorium, Fiè allo Sciliar, phone: +39 335 254 780 · www.blindprobe.com
Info: Erste+Neue Cooperative Winery, Caldaro, phone: +39 0471 963 122 · www.erste-neue.it Alois Lageder Winery, Magrè, phone: +39 0471 809 500 · www.aloislageder.eu Kränzel Manor labyrinth garden, Cermes, phone: +39 0473 564 549 · www.labyrinth.bz
Wine & Dine
A wine list for South Tyrol’s Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine In South Tyrol, Alpine tradition meets Italian joie de vivre. This goes for attitude towards life – and for restaurant menus. Here, a good glass of wine is an incontestable accompaniment to a good meal. A light red wine goes best with hearty Tyrolean Knödel dumplings. Top-level cuisine, which is rather more Italian-Mediterranean influenced and embodies South Tyrol, is at its most enjoyable when partnered with one of the region’s finest wines. Wine and food are even more intimately connected at special times of the year such as asparagus season in spring and the autumn Törggelen festivities, an ancient local tradition in celebration of the chestnut and new wine that is thought to have originated in the Isarco Valley. Points of Interest: Puntay Cellar, the Erste+Neue Cooperative Winery, Caldaro
12 ways to explore and enjoy South Tyrol’s wine culture
Senses: here, enthusiasts can see, smell and feel all the subtleties found in grappa and other spirits.
>> Seminars and tastings take place in complete darkness at the Blindprobe
Points of Interest: >> To celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Erste+Neue Cooperative Winery in 2000, artist Robert Scherer painted the Puntay cellar in Caldaro/ Kaltern with biblical, mythological and modern-day scenes. Wines belonging to Erste+Neue’s premium Puntay line mature beneath the cellar’s vaulted ceiling in small, French oak casks. >> At the Alois Lageder Winery in Magrè/Margreid, international contemporary artists interpret the relationship between nature, culture and technology. Each year, the winery commissions one young musician to compose a new piece; the work is premiered at the estate. >> The garden of Kränzel Winery at Cermes/Tscherms, near Merano, provides an ambience conducive to meditation and introspection. The heart of the complex is a labyrinth with hedges comprised of ten grape varieties. Count Franz Pfeil offers tastings of his estate-grown wines to visitors.
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Manincor Wine Estate, Caldaro
Wine & Art
The eternal relationship between inspiration and patronage It dates back to antiquity and is permitted by the Bible: wine is steeped in culture and enjoys cult status. The word “wine”, in fact, is said to occur two hundred times in the Bible. Christian art has been inspired on countless occasions by parables involving wine. From the twelfth century onward, the Christ in the Winepress motif appeared in Tyrol in panel paintings, woodcarvings and paintings in general. Wine-drinking vessels and wooden vineyard implements are often decorated with carvings. Frescoes and artistically carved casks decorated for festive occasions embellish South Tyrol’s wine cellars. Beautiful pictures often do not suffice in modern art, which tries to understand the processes in winegrowing and to contribute towards the awareness of themes such as sustainability.
Wine & History
Of Rhaetians, Romans and Wine Casks South Tyrol was once part of the Roman province of Rhaetia and produced wines that, according to Pliny, were Augustus Caesar’s favourite tipple. While the Romans stored and transported wine in earthenware amphorae, the Rhaetians used containers made of wooden staves held together by iron hoops – that is, modern casks. In 2002, an amazing discovery was made in Bressanone/Brixen: wooden casks that date back 2,500 years – the oldest in the history of winegrowing. When the Romans conquered the area in 15 BC, they found a flourishing wine culture here. Tyrolean wine had become a much sought-after commodity by the Middle Ages, and the authorities repeatedly appealed to wine producers to maintain the highest standards of quality. The technological revolution in the twentieth century brought about a revolution in wine production as well, and old equipment and techniques subsequently became obsolete. An archaeological find of a Roman villa in San Paolo-Appiano/ St. Pauls-Eppan is another vestige of viticulture during Roman times. South Tyrol’s largest wine press can be found at Trostburg Castle, above Ponte Gardena/Waidbruck, in the Isarco/Eisacktal Valley.
Info: South Tyrolean Wine Road/Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0471 860 659 www.bolzanosurroundings.info and www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it The wein.kaltern Initiative, Caldaro, phone: +39 0471 965 410 · www.wein.kaltern.com Isarco Valley Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0472 802 232 · www.valleisarco.com Merano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0473 200 443 · www.meranodintorni.com
Info: Augustinian Canons Regular abbey at Novacella, phone: +39 0472 836 189 www.abbazianovacella.it Muri-Gries Monastery Cellars, Bolzano, phone: +39 0471 282 287 · www.muri-gries.com Braunbach Wines and Sparkling Wines, Settequerce, phone: +39 0471 910 184 www.altoadigewines.com
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Vine trellising methods in South Tyrol DOC wines need a little bit of coddling. This begins in the vineyard, where cultivation is subjected to rigorous quality controls and the farmer must work with a delicate touch. The vines are pruned in January, after which the
Info: Consortium for the Protection of Alto Adige Quality Wines, Bolzano phone: +39 0471 945 773 · www.altoadigewines.com Independent Winegrowers of South Tyrol (FWS), Bolzano phone: +39 0471 238 002 · www.fws.it Association of South Tyrolean Sparkling Wine Producers, Bolzano phone: +39 0471 978 528 · www.bollicinealtoadige.it
heart of South Tyrol’s classic Lagrein vineyards. Augustinian Canons Regular rebuilt the former castle as a monastery. Benedictine monks, who had been evicted from Muri Abbey in Switzerland, moved into the monastery in 1845. Winegrowing flourished under them, and the monastery is now best known for its muscular Lagrein. >> In 1991, the Von Braunbach estate acquired the defunct cellars of the Teutonic Knights monastery at Settequerce/Siebeneich near Terlano/Terlan. The estate has been making Lagrein from the monastery’s vineyard since then. The historical building, which was originally bestowed on the order in 1200 by the bishop of Bressanone, combines original and modern-day elements yet retains its contemplative aura.
Wine & Vine
Points of Interest: >> There are 13 cooperative wineries, which press grapes supplied by their member-growers; the 38 commercial cellars produce wine from their own vineyards and from grapes bought in from individual winegrowers. Through a rigorous selection process, they succeed in producing some of the region’s top wines. The entire range of wines produced in South Tyrol mature in these cellars. >> There are 90 grower-winemakers who produce wines exclusively from their own vineyards and have joined together under the name Free Winegrowers of South Tyrol (free in the sense of independent) to promote their products, pool resources etc. Most offer regular tours of their vineyards and cellars. >> Delightful bubbly made from Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir: each year seven producers make around 240,000 bottles of South Tyrolean sparkling wines according to the classic method, in which secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle.
is an active community. Wine has been made here since the abbey’s founding in 1142, and their white wines are among the finest in South Tyrol. Bookings are available for guided tours of the monastery complex and for wine tastings.
>> Muri-Gries Monastery, on the outskirts of Bolzano/Bozen, is situated in the
Info: General: www.suedtirol.info/foodandwine and www.altoadigewines.com Terlano Winegrowers’ Cooperative, phone: +39 0471 257 135, cantina-terlano.com Valle Isarco Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0472 802 232 · www.valleisarco.com PUR Südtirol specialty market, Merano, phone: +39 0473 012 100 · Brunico, phone: +39 0474 050 500 · www.pursuedtirol.com
Info: Alto Adige Wines, www.altoadigewines.com South Tyrolean Wine Road/Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0471 860 659 www.bolzanosurroundings.info and www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0471 307 000 · www.bolzano-bozen.it The wein.kaltern Initiative, Caldaro, phone: +39 0471 965 410 · www.wein.kaltern.com J. Hofstätter Wine Estate, Termeno, phone: +39 0471 860 161 · www.hofstatter.it
Wine & Wineries
The winemaker’s laboratory Back when the plight of winegrowers in southern Tyrol was growing desperate, a number of farmers joined together to form cooperative cellars that would make and market their own wines. The first were established in Andriano/Andrian and Terlano/Terlan, near Bolzano/Bozen, in 1893. Today winegrowers’ cooperatives press 65 per cent of South Tyrol’s annual grape yield; private wineries process another 25 per cent. The remainder comprises a group of winegrowers who make small quantities of very distinctive wines from their own grapes. Traditional methods and instinct have long given way to highly specialised expertise and state-of-the-art technology.
Points of Interest:
>> The Augustinian Canons Regular abbey at Novacella/Neustift, near Bressanone,
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best-known Vernatsch wines. Santa Maddalena grows on a hill of the same name in Bolzano/Bozen, where the Oswald Promenade meanders through the city to the wine village of St. Peter. Lago di Caldaro wines, the area of origin of which is located around Caldaro Lake, must measure up to the quality standards of the Lago di Caldaro Charter: strict guidelines govern yield, cellar work, sites, and the vines. >> Bolzano is the metropolis of Lagrein. A walk from Muri-Gries Monastery into the main square of Gries (a suburb of Bolzano) leads past vineyards up to the Guncina/Guntschna Promenade, from where the view of the Lagrein vineyards is superb. With 27 wineries within its municipal area, Bolzano is South Tyrol’s third largest winegrowing municipality. >> Termeno/Tramin has a natural connection to Gewürztraminer. The winery of the J. Hofstätter estate has set up a display Gewürztraminer vineyard where visitors can learn intriguing facts about grapes and viticulture. One of these facts is that Gewürztraminer is a diva. The significance of this is discussed at the biennial International Gewürztraminer Symposium.
Info: South Tyrolean Wine Road/Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0471 860 659 www.bolzanosurroundings.info and www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it The wein.weg Initiative, Caldaro, phone: +39 0471 965 410 · www.wein.kaltern.com Cortaccia Educational Wine Trail, phone: +39 0471 880 100 · www.suedtiroler-unterland.it Cortaccia Winegrowers’ Cooperative, phone: +39 0471 880 115 · www.kellerei-kurtatsch.it
South Tyrol’s first masters of winemaking According to medieval chronicles, monks of the day consumed a litre of wine per day – each. Religious establishments to the north of the Alps acquired vineyards in southern Tyrol to supply themselves with table wine and Communion wine. Mention is often made of donations, as though the Tyroleans wanted to buy their way out of Purgatory. In 1300, around forty monasteries in southern Germany carted wine northwards from their Tyrolean estates. The prince-bishops of Bressanone/Brixen and Trento also invested in winegrowing. Well-read monks became expert winemakers. The improvement of South Tyrol’s wines over centuries must consequently be credited to the monasteries. Even today, monasteries still produce some of the region’s finest wines.
press”, begins with a walk and finishes with savouring the new wine, farmhouse fare, and roasted chestnuts. The tradition is especially enjoyable along the Chestnut Trail (Keschtnweg) in Valle Isarco, which runs from Novacella/Neustift Monastery, near Bressanone/Brixen, to Runkelstein Castle in Bolzano.
>> The PUR Südtirol speciality shop in Brunico/Bruneck and at the Kurhaus in Merano/Meran, carries an assortment of 1,500 products that either come directly from South Tyrol’s farms or are processed in South Tyrol. Designer Harry Thaler designed both locations, using pure materials from South Tyrol in its construction, of course. Tastings take place regularly inside the shop’s rustic wine cellars.
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Points of Interest:
>> Santa Maddalena/St. Magdalener and Lago di Caldaro/Kalterersee are the
Points of Interest: >> The wein.weg trail begins in Caldaro/Kaltern, the Vernatsch stronghold, and winds down to Caldaro Lake and back. The route passes idyllic vineyards and historical wine farmsteads. Ancient vineyard sites are marked in the ground in white limestone. >> The wine education trail in Cortaccia/Kurtatsch has been designed to follow the life cycle of the vine from planting to tasting of the wine. Almost every wine cultivated in South Tyrol is grown here, at elevations of between 200 and 900 metres. Visitors can try to detect typical wine aromas in clay amphorae. As a companion option, Cortaccia Winery offers a full-day, guided wine expedition from March to November that runs through the best of Cortaccia’s vineyard sites. Tastings of single-vineyard wines are given en route. >> The wine trail starting at Chiusa/Klausen, which runs along the mountain atop which Säben Monastery is perched, passes through the cultivation area of Klausner Laitacher, which is the only red wine produced here and is also known as Eisacktaler. The trail sheds light on the history of winemaking in South Tyrol, the various grape varieties grown around Chiusa, and viticultural practices.
Wine & Monasteries
>> Autumn is Törggelen time. Törggelen, from the Latin word torculum or “wine
Vernatsch, Lagrein, Gewürztraminer
Three very original South Tyroleans Vernatsch, Lagrein and Gewürztraminer are emblematic of South Tyrol’s wine culture. All three were documented as growing here in the Middle Ages and are consequently native South Tyroleans. The high-yielding Vernatsch dominated until the 1980s; Lagrein was made almost exclusively as a rosé (called Kretzer); by 1900, Gewürztraminer had become almost extinct. Around 15 years ago, though, South Tyrol’s wine producers began to revive their native varieties. Today, Lagrein has become the flagship red wine, with Gewürztraminer as its white counterpart. Yield reduction and the propagation of high-quality sub-varieties have resulted in a renaissance for Vernatsch, South Tyrol’s light yet fruity red wine. Vernatsch still accounts for 30 per cent of South Tyrol’s winegrowing area, and just about every wine estate cultivates it. Lagrein and Gewürztraminer account for eight per cent each.
fruiting canes are tied to the trellis wires in March. Buds burst forth in May, and excess foliage is removed in summer. As soon as the clusters begin to change colour, the grapes are thinned out to ensure the optimum yield per vine. The harvest begins in early September. Interesting trails have been laid to enable wine enthusiasts to deepen their knowledge of South Tyrolean wines, varieties, sites and trellising methods.
Info: South Tyrol Wine Museum, Caldaro, phone: +39 0471 963 168 · www.museo-del-vino.it Museum of People Through Time, at Hof am Orth, Cortaccia, phone: +39 0471 880 267 www.museumzeitreisemensch.it Village museum of Termeno, phone: + 39 328 56 03 645 · www.bolzanosurroundings.info The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, Merano, phone: +39 0473 235 730 www.trauttmansdorff.it
Valley, defined by the villages of Terlano/Terlan, Vilpiano/Vilpian and Settequerce/Siebeneich. By late March, the first white spears are ready to be harvested. The farmers are members of the Terlano Winegrowers’ Cooperative, which supplies the ideal wine to accompany asparagus: the aromatic Sauvignon Blanc.
Info: Alto Adige Wines, www.altoadigewines.com South Tyrolean Wine Road/Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0471 860 659 www.bolzanosurroundings.info and www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it Isarco Valley Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0472 802 232 · www.valleisarco.com
Grape harvest time is Törggelen time
>> Special occasions: South Tyrol’s asparagus triangle is located in the Adige
Points of Interest: >> Tradition and modernity meet along on the South Tyrolean Wine Road. In Caldaro, the wein.kaltern initiative tells the story of farms, wineries and squares. Modern highlights include the winecenter and Manincor Winery. Schreckbichl Winery in Cornaiano-Appiano has what is literally a new look: the material and design of the façade is reminiscent of oak barrels. The centrepiece of the Cantina Terlano winery is its cellar, which is clad with fine and rough-hewn porphyry rock. The Cantina Tramin winery stands in stark contrast to the surrounding countryside: shaped like two arms, it is evocative of vines in both form and colour. Top winemaker Elena Walch’s garden pavilion is a hot spot for wine lovers to meet for a tête-à-tête with architecture and flavour. >> The Cantina Valle Isarco winery at the foot of South Tyrol’s first bishop’s see, Säben Mountain near Chiusa/Klausen, takes on the theme of terroir through its rough, earthy plaster of the façade; the Bordeaux-red metalwork façade accents are another evocative wine reference. Inside, a lovely museum explores the wine culture in the Isarco/Eisacktal Valley, going all the way back to prehistory. >> The renovations of the winery cooperatives in the holiday area of Merano and Environs embody a pioneering spirit and strength of image. The annex of Nals Margreid Winery stands next to the church in Nalles/Nals and is strikingly yet harmoniously integrated in the fabric of the village. Merano Winery also offers good prospects: the glass pavilion on the upper floor of the building has unobstructed views of the vineyards of the Merano Valley Basin.
Points of Interest: >> Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon are grown all over South Tyrol, with the exception of the Isarco/Eisacktal Valley. Pinot Blanc yields magnificent, fruity wines on clay, lime and gravel in South Tyrol’s largest winegrowing municipality, Appiano/Eppan, where it grows at elevations between 400 and 600 metres. Sauvignon performs best in slightly warmer hillside vineyards. >> Pinot Noir produces wines of Burgundian finesse with an unmistakable varietal character at Mazon and Montagna/Montan on west-facing mountainside terraces at medium elevations overlooking the Adige Valley above Egna/Neumarkt. Soils here are well drained and rich in calcium carbonate; the afternoon wind cools the vines. International experts rave about the Pinot Noir grown here. >> Sylvaner and Kerner have become grape varieties characteristic of the Isarco Valley. Both thrive here, between Chiusa/Klausen and Novacella/Neustift, in soils comprising eroded primary rock, quartz, slate and schist, which retain water, a useful quality in this dry area. The large fluctuations between daytime and nighttime temperatures at elevations from 500 to 700 metres result in intensely aromatic wines with firm, fruity acidity.
visitors to delve into the rural traditions and wine culture of the southern part of South Tyrol. The museum in Termeno even boasts a collection of international Gewürztraminer bottles, going all the way back to 1886. >> The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle cultivate fifteen local grape varieties in order to protect them from extinction: Blatterle, Jungferler, Fraueler, and Gschlafener are just a few. These botanical gardens offer vineyard tours in autumn, including to the Versoaln vine at Katzenzungen Castle, Prissiano/Prissian. The Versoaln, a true rarity, is the world’s largest – and presumably oldest – vine.
Wine & Architecture
Where tradition meets the avant-garde The villages along the South Tyrolean Wine Road owe their delightful appearance to history and a culture of architecture: Appiano/Eppan boasts the highest density of manors and castles in Europe; the archways of Magrè/Margreid give it a decidedly urban feel; it is rumoured that in Cornaiano-Appiano/Girlan-Eppan the surface area of its subterranean wine cellars is larger than the aboveground surface area; and Caldaro/Kaltern, last but not least, is South Tyrol’s quintessential wine village. Merchants from Italy and northern Europe have been meeting to do business in Bolzano/Bozen since time immemorial, and a mélange of the Italian and Germanic lifestyles and cultural traits developed in southern Tyrol as a result. This is apparent in the architecture of the winegrowing area to the south of Bolzano, which stretches from Appiano to Caldaro. Wine farmsteads and noble manors were built in this area between 1550 and 1650 in an architectural manner embracing elements of the German Gothic and the Italian Renaissance styles: there are bay windows, loggias, flights of external stairways, and double lancet windows. South Tyrolean architects have long developed their own contemporary style, taking over where their predecessors from Venice and Lombardy left off. Projects based on new, innovative ideas that are brought to fruition in harmony with the surroundings and that maintain unqualified respect for the old walls are highly regarded. Several wine estates have carried out exemplary work in this respect.
wine history through archaeological finds and exhibits about art history, popular piety, handicrafts and vinification. Old and rare varieties grow in the vineyard; in autumn, visitors may taste grapes directly from the vines.
>> The village museums of Termeno/Tramin and Cortaccia/Kurtatsch invite
Info: South Tyrolean Wine Road/Bolzano and Environs Tourist Bureau, Frangarto/Frangart, phone: +39 0471 860 659 · www.bolzanosurroundings.info and www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it Download the South Tyrolean Wine Road app (for iPhone and Android) at www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it/app-en Isarco Valley Tourist Bureau, Bressanone/Brixen, phone: +39 0472 802 232 www.valleisarco.com Venosta Valley Tourist Bureau, Silandro/Schlanders, phone: +39 0473 620 480 www.valvenosta-altoadige.info Merano and Environs Tourist Bureau, phone: +39 0473 200 443 · www.meranodintorni.com
>> The South Tyrol Wine Museum in Caldaro/Kaltern documents the region’s
Points of Interest: >> Wine is grown on hillsides straddling the South Tyrolean Wine Road, Italy’s oldest wine road. A wonderful way to explore South Tyrol’s most placid vineyard landscape is by bicycle. The route between Nalles/Nals and Salorno/Salurn runs through Bolzano, South Tyrol’s capital, and historical wine villages and passes sumptuous wine cellars and wine estates. >> In the Isarco Valley, vines flourish on spectacularly steep mountainsides. A very scenic circular hike starts at the Gasthof Wirt an der Mahr tavern and runs along the hills south of Bressanone/Brixen, passing vineyards and wine estates, all the way to Tschötsch. >> It took a Herculean effort to wrest vineyards from the meagre lower slopes of Monte Sole/Sonnenberg Mountain in the Venosta Valley. In the Merano Valley Basin, by contrast, the vineyards form an amphitheatre that encircles the town. The wine trail running alongside the Waal water channel in Lagundo/Algund, which supplies the vines with water even today, teaches hikers about old local varieties, the process of growing wine, and vinicultural traditions such as the Saltner figure who once guarded the grapes.
Points of Interest:
Wine & Terroir
The diversity of South Tyrol’s winegrowing areas Winegrowing in South Tyrol is extremely multifaceted. Vineyards are located at elevations ranging from 200 metres to 1,000 metres. Within this considerable range, the soils and microclimates vary enormously – often within the same vineyard. One thing they all have in common: 300 sunny days per year. This unparalleled diversity makes it possible to grow over twenty different red and white grape varieties and to provide each with the “quality of life” it needs. While the South Tyrolean varieties Vernatsch, Lagrein and Gewürztraminer have spread around the world from here, the French Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon and German Riesling were introduced here in the mid-nineteenth century and have acclimatised perfectly. Most vineyards are planted on hills and mountainsides where the soils consist of eroded rock, especially porphyry, and morainal debris deposited by glaciers. Depending on the site, one variety will perform better than it would elsewhere.
Wine & Landscape
Picturesque vine-covered hills and steep vineyards South Tyrol is miniscule in relation to many of Italy’s other winegrowing regions. When it comes to quality and international awards, however, the province (called Alto Adige in Italian) packs quite a punch. Italy’s most trusted wine guide, Gambero Rosso, confirms this: every year, the publication heaps praise on South Tyrol’s wines. In fact, a whopping 98.8 per cent of South Tyrol’s winegrowing area is registered for the production of DOC wines and is thus subject to rigorous quality controls. Around 60 per cent of the area is planted with white grape varieties, and few regions anywhere can match the diversity of white varieties and styles grown here. The character of South Tyrol’s lushest winegrowing area is subMediterranean. It extends across the rolling hills to the south of Bolzano/Bozen between Appiano/Eppan, Caldaro/Kaltern and Termeno/Tramin and is traversed by the South Tyrolean Wine Road. In the Isarco/Eisacktal and Venosta/Vinschgau valleys, vineyards cover the steep mountainsides – distinctly Alpine terrain. Here, dramatic swings between daytime and nighttime temperatures result in vibrant, aromatic white wines, slender, with a firm but ripe acidity.
The Wine Specialists in South Tyrol » Bolzano and Environs Holiday Area www.bolzanosurroundings.info » Isarco Valley Holiday Area www.valleisarco.com » Merano and Environs Holiday Area www.meranodintorni.com » South Tyrolean Wine Road www.suedtiroler-weinstrasse.it » wein.kaltern www.wein.kaltern.com » Alto Adige/Südtirol Wine Consortium www.altoadigewines.com » Eppan Tourist Association www.appiano.com » Tramin Tourist Association www.tramin.com
Südtirol Information Piazza della Parrocchia, 11 I-39100 Bolzano/Bozen phone: +39 0471 999 999 firstname.lastname@example.org www.suedtirol.info