Years of research and intense work have seen Cantina Tramin establish itself as the home of Gewurztraminer, the winery’s iconic wine
Willi, as he allows us to call him, in September this year reached thirty years as an oenologist, corresponding to three decades of study, dedication and successes both for himself and for the cooperative winery.
His proactive spirit led him to undertake a new and exciting challenge which, after studying Gewürztraminer in every facet, led him to analyze Chardonnay, exploring all its potential and peculiarities: first as the main element in the Stoan cuvée, then in pure Troy and now in Glarea, a new, more immediate version of the classic line.
“I was born and raised in Termeno – Tramin in German – and during my studies at the Agricultural Institute of Ora I approached the world of viticulture and fruit growing, also because my father had a hectare and a half to rent, for which we worked in the family At the same time I was fascinated by the building engineering for which I had enrolled at the University of Innsbruck.
In 1990 i completed my professional training in Germany, where I specialized in oenology and viticulture, having first done a year before short experience at Cantina Tramin, since the previous oenologist was close to retirement.
After having attended university for a year when I returned to my family, in August of ’91, the place was still available and so I entered, since then, in the Cantina Tramin team “begins Stürz.
“For the Gewürztraminer – continues Willi – we were not among the first to invest in new plants, clones and rootstocks, since we already had them with the traditional pergola system, but we have chosen to make a gradual process of change in the vineyard.
So already from my first years in Tramin I started replanting of vineyards by evaluating clones and rootstocks, with the aim of obtaining grapes of the highest quality, to be enhanced in winemaking to sublimate the prerogatives of the territory, and to start a sort of renaissance especially of the vine.
In those years we focused on the countryside, in particular convincing our partner from Maso Nussbaumer in Sella / Söll to plant new guyot vineyards, from which we still produce, from the best parcels, the wine of the same name.
This wine was already produced by the 1990, with pergola vines, and for the first time in 1991 I had the task of making wine from ripe, very beautiful and promising grapes.
Which was the container in which it was aged and the emotional wine we had obtained in that particular vintage.
About my thirty years at Tramin I think that the growth process we have done together has a lot to do with the intuition of the first twenty years in which I have, we asked the partners to lower the yields per hectare, to aim for on quality!
As far as the winemaking processes in the cellar are concerned, they have not changed much over time, even if over the decades it has been invested in machines, kegs and barrels “.
As we mentioned, for some time Willi’s studies and interest have shifted to Chardonnay.
“I consider it one of the greatest vines in the world at a genetic level, because it is naturally endowed with all the characteristics that each of them should have.
My and our winery’s interest in this variety depended on the fact that we had available of the plants of the late ’80s, early’ 90s in Sella, which became productive in 1992, 1993, mostly pergola and slightly espalier, on the first hill, of which we carried out test micro-vinifications in the early days.
The wines of those years were thinner, leaner, fruity, with fewer banana aromas, less fat in the mouth, however savory, persistent, where the wood was much perceived, however they were very different “.
He then continues passionately “Only at the beginning of the 2000s was Stoan born, mainly Chardonnay, vinified with large cask, while for Troy alone Chardonnay more than a decade later, we chose the barrique.
For this wine I had noticed that the bunches of vintage 2012, 2013 were different, we tried micro vinifications in barriques, proposing it in 2015 with the first 3000 bottles. However, at each harvest we are careful to understand how to read each vintage “.
Willi then expresses his point of view about the behavior of the two grape varieties protagonists of our article with respect to climate change.
“Chardonnay is a vine that tolerates high temperatures well, compared to other varieties.
I believe that reading the microclimate represents a winning card to give a different imprint to our microzones and thus create wines that are a mirror of it.
Mountains up to 2000 meters make the difference for the temperature range that allows the grapes to ripen at their best.
Gewürztraminer is also a variety that tolerates heat well, especially with guyot systems which give more possibilities, than pergola, to react to high temperatures.
It is necessary to underline that 2/3 of our vineyards are located in Termeno “.
Speaking of Glarea, the new wine, the vineyards are located on a soil rich in limestone gravel located on the first slopes of the highest peaks of the Mendola.
The name means gravel with a clear reference to the particular conformation of the land. During the harvest, the grapes are harvested strictly by hand, fermentation takes place in wood at a controlled temperature with partial malolactic fermentation, and then the subsequent maturation continues in barriques, tonneaux and 12-hectolitre barrels.
We tasted it in preview finding it of a straw yellow color, with a nose of ripe fruit of banana, dried apricot and pineapple.
The attack in the mouth is fresh, juicy, with a certain fullness, a very strong minerality having the freshness that ends in a long and harmonious finish.
We found it perfect for a toast to 30 years as Willi’s technical director.