In this wine-growing area, the two DOC denominations Alto Adige and Lago di Caldaro are used to distinguish South Tyrolean wines based on their origin.
Imposing mountains, enchanting villages, sun-kissed vineyards immersed in an alpine landscape and a savoir faire handed down for centuries: here they cultivate the vines as once winemakers who remained faithful to traditions, while always having an eye towards the future. Alto Adige is a territory of extraordinary beauty and due to the exceptional quality of its wines it has become in recent years one of the most exciting realities of the Italian wine scene.Although it is one of the smallest on the peninsula, Alto Adige is a wine area among the richest and most varied. There are numerous factors that make South Tyrolean wines unique, including the vineyards cultivated in a mountainous area, where the phenomenon that gave rise to the raising of the Alps has created, over the millennia, a real mosaic of soils of great diversity. , located at an altitude ranging from 200 to more than 1000 meters above the sea level. The topography of its valleys is in fact made up of very different microclimates in which more than twenty vines cultivated between the alpine peaks and the cypresses of the valley floor find the ideal conditions to give life to wines capable of expressing all the uniqueness of the territory, wines that express a mountain character enhanced by its Mediterranean charm. Alto Adige boasts a very important primacy among the regions of Italy: 98% of its vineyard area (5,455 hectares) is protected by the DOC specification. The acronym DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) distinguishes wines of protected origin which are subject to strict requirements of cultivation, production and distribution. In this area, the two denominations Alto Adige DOC and Lago di Caldaro DOC are used to distinguish South Tyrolean wines based on their origin. The geographical area dedicated to the production of Lake Caldaro DOC wine extends from the slopes of the Mendola to the hills of the western slope of the Adige Valley between Bolzano and Termeno. While as regards the DOC Alto Adige, there are six sub-areas (Valle Isarco, Santa Maddalena, Terlano, Merano, Val Venosta and Colli di Bolzano) which give life to wines with particular characteristics and great typicality, the result of the interaction between microclimate, soil, vine and a complex cultural stratification.
South Tyrol Valle Isarco
Caressed by northern climatic influences, this sub-area covers about 329 hectares and is undoubtedly a privileged area for white wines, including some specialties such as Kerner, Sylvaner and Müller Thurgau. With the only exception of the red “Klausner Leitacher” in the municipality of Chiusa, which is made from Lagrein, Pinot Nero, Schiava and Portuguese grapes. On the label, the name “Alto Adige Valle Isarco” must be followed by the indication of the grape variety. The grapes allowed are Sylvaner, Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau, Kerner, Traminer aromatico and Riesling for the whites.
South Tyrol Santa Maddalena
The Santa Maddalena wine grows on the slopes north of Bolzano on a living area of 195 hectares. The main grape is the Schiava, but once it could contain up to 15% of Lagrein or Pinot Noir. Today, if grown in the same vineyard, up to 15% of other varieties of the same color are allowed. If the Santa Maddalena comes from the crus Santa Maddalena, Santa Giustina, Rencio, Le Coste (Leitach) or San Pietro, the wine may carry the term “classic” on the label.
South Tyrol Terlan
This appellation can only be used for white wines produced in the Terlano growing area, which has a vineyard area of 178 hectares. If the grape variety does not appear, the name “Alto Adige Terlano” indicates a blend consisting of at least 50% Pinot Blanc and / or Chardonnay.
South Tyrol Merano
The wine with the denomination “Alto Adige Merano” was born in the area surrounding the city of Merano on an area of 101 hectares. The mild climate that surrounds Merano perfectly enhances some leading grape varieties such as the Schiava. In fact, the Schiava grape of this area is also called the healing grape of Merano and has been recognized as a curative remedy since the times of the Habsburgs.
South Tyrol Hills of Bolzano
The “Alto Adige Colli di Bolzano” wine is produced with the Schiava variety whose cultivation area surrounds the production area of Santa Maddalena, around Bolzano.
South Tyrol Val Venosta
With a vineyard area of about 42 hectares, Val Venosta is the westernmost, the least rainy and the smallest of the South Tyrolean production areas. It has extreme temperature ranges between day and night, to the benefit of vines such as Pinot bianco, Riesling or Pinot nero. According to the specification, the Pinot bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot grigio, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Kerner, Aromatic Traminer, Schiava and Pinot Noir. The denomination “Alto Adige Val Venosta” must always follow the indication of the grape variety.