The mountain areas of the world should not usually prolific relating to wine manufacturing. However the Italian Dolomites are totally different. Take a ski vacation there, in a resort comparable to Corvara or San Cassiano, and as quickly as you crack open a wine record, you’ll be confronted with a battery of native vintages. Until you’re a correct Dolomites aficionado you most likely received’t acknowledge a single identify. A few of the grape varieties might be new too. However don’t let that put you off. Ask for somewhat assist from the sommelier or rifugio proprietor, and also you’ll rapidly uncover how good they’re.
The key? Working alongside the western fringe of this spectacular area is the Adige Valley. Lengthy, broad and deep, it sits – in locations – beneath towering cliffs and is wine-friendly in all kinds of how. The summer time days are scorching, the nights cool, and the wealthy alluvial soils mirror the ever-changing geology of the area. The result’s a flourishing wine trade of nice selection and vigour. You’ll discover award-winning vineyards each within the valley itself and alongside lots of its greater offshoots.
Right here, sommelier Andrè Senoner picks seven of his favorite wines from the Südtirol/Alto Adige, on the northern finish of valley. A 3-time finalist on the Italian Sommelier Championships, Andrè was the primary Italian to win the Pinot Noir Grasp, in 2021, and was additionally Sommelier on the three Michelin-starred St Hubertus restaurant. You’ll discover all of the wines obtainable within the Alta Badia. However for a correct deal with, be part of him on one in every of his upcoming Sommelier on the Slopes excursions. If all you recognize of ski-holiday wines are the standard big-name areas of France, it’ll be a revelation.
Athesis Brut Rosé
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnary
We style the Athesis Brut Rosé on the Sommelier on the Slopes tour. It’s a twice-fermented glowing wine of nice persona, power and depth: made with grapes from the Buchholz space and the village of Magrè/Magreid. You’ll odor cherries and raspberries, and style biscuits, butter and brioche. At instances, there’s a background of fragrant herbs, hazelnuts and toasted almonds too. This can be a wine that’s irresistible by itself – whether or not in within the sunshine or at a lodge bar, ready for dinner. However when you’d prefer to pair it with meals, strive it with some Alto Adige speck (smoked ham) or Stelvio cheese and horseradish cream.
Praeclarus Pas Dose (Brut Nature) 2014
That is one other of our Sommelier on the Slopes wines, which is bottled after a five-year maturation on the lees. The grapes are from the oldest and sunniest vineyards at Appiano/Eppan, close to Bolzano – grown on slopes somewhat above the valley flooring, in soils wealthy in porphyry and limestone. I really like the complexity of its aroma – hinting at citrus, apple, papaya and pineapple, then almond paste and dry pastries. It has a beautiful, enveloping softness too: properly balanced towards its contemporary, savory end.
The wine goes very well with native char tartare and vegetable carpaccio. However better of all is to share it with pals, on a terrace surrounded by the Dolomites. They’ll provide you with one thing lovely to have a look at when you all fall silent for a second, and let the flavours unfurl.
Vom Muschelkalk Pinot Blanc 2020
100% Pinot Blanc
One other wine produced from the porphyry and limestone soils of Appiano/Eppan, this Pinot Blanc comes from the property’s highest vineyards and spends 9 months in oak barrels. Swirl it within the glass, and breathe in deeply. Immediately, you’ll get a wealthy, overlapping sense of cedar, mandarin peel and contemporary apricots, adopted by chamomile and broom, and a closing zesty contact of pine resin. It’s a fulsome, contemporary and energetic wine, however well-mannered too.
Drink it with Schluzkrapfen (native tortelli pasta) stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach.
Mathias Riserva Sauvignon Blanc 2019
100% Sauvignon Blanc
What an irresistible aroma! You get a sudden hit of peach blended with ripe fruits comparable to lemon and dried apricot; adopted by alpine herbs and a faint whiff of sulphurous stone. The grapes comes from a steep, excessive winery at Fiè allo Sciliar, close to Alpe di Siusi, that’s wealthy in quartz and schist. So this can be a correct mountain wine, however one which’s contemporary and chic with a scrumptious minerality.
This is a wonderful classic, given the wine continues to be younger and full of life. It actually showcases the flavour of the grape, with out affect from wooden barrels. Drink it by itself – or strive it with Porcini mushroom dumplings on a Trentino Parmesan crème brulée.
Curlan Riserva Pinot Noir 2018
100% Pinot Noir (right here known as Blauburgunder grape)
Contemplate this a “birthday deal with” bottle. It comes from one of the vital vital cellars within the Südtirol, which has been busy exploring the potential of Pinot Noir wines. This model comes from soils wealthy in porphory and limestone at Girlan, close to Bolzano. Heat it in a glass and its bouquet magically opens. The principle notes are pink berried fruits comparable to raspberries and strawberries. Then fragrant herbs arrive: rosemary, mint, adopted by cocoa and lapsang suchong tea.
It’s a tender, voluminous and heat wine to drink: elegant, full bodied and with a medium persistence which hints at Mediterranean herbs and – on the very finish – peppery spices. I’d strive it with a beetroot risotto, beef tartare and cabbage espuma.
Producer: Ansitz Waldgries
Lagrein Riserva Mirell 2018
100% Lagrein (a local grape of the Südtirol and Trentino)
Right here’s one other birthday bottle: and an opportunity to style our native grape, Lagrein, at its finest. Produced in Gries, north of Bolzano, it spends two years in large oak barrels, and has a splendidly dense, ruby-red color. You’ll consider black and pink fruits when first you odor it, adopted by traces of tobacco and vanilla. Take a sip, and also you’ll style traces of chocolate too, with a barely balsamic end. It’s a simple and scrumptious wine: somewhat wild and rustic maybe, however then so are components of the Südtirol! And it really works a deal with with a fillet of native vension, served with a hollandaise sauce.
Producer: Kellerei Andrian
Gewrüztarminer Juwelo Passito (Late Harvest) 2018
There’s an explosion of complexity if you first odor this Gewrüztarminer, which additionally options on my Sommelier on the Slopes tour. White pepper, quince, sultanas, hazelnuts, tangerine, they’re all there. So too a touch of honey and cinnamon. Then, within the mouth, flavours of dates and mandarin emerge. It’s a refined and chic wine – not too candy and with a persistent freshness. Ideally, it’s best to strive it with apple crescent rolls and lemon ice-cream: however it can present the proper end to nearly any meal.