Nestled at the foot of Castel Madruzzo, in the foothills of the Dolomites, sits Agricola Pravis. The winery started in the 1970s, as a partnership between three friends. Now, second-generation vintner sisters, Giulia and Erika Pedrini, have taken over the responsibility of running Pravis. Surrounded by stone outcroppings, their small, ecologically-farmed vineyards are scattered throughout the hills, each planted in calcareous stone, according to unique microclimates, with altitudes ranging from 300 to 600 masl. Working with both international as well as indigenous varieties (such as their noteworthy Nosiola), Pravis uses a minimal intervention philosophy that includes a strict gravity flow process. The cooling breeze that whips through the mountain passes from nearby Lake Garda, called the “Ora” by locals, minimizes the risk of mildew and keeps temperatures moderate during the hottest parts of summer, ensuring that these mineral-driven wines retain plenty of elegance. Interestingly, the winery works with the Freiburg Institute in the development of “zero impact” clone varieties that would leave no ecological footprint and would grow in otherwise inhospitable environments for agriculture.
The region of Trentino-Alto Adige is bordered by East and North Tyrol (Austria) to the north-east and north respectively, by Graubünden (Switzerland) to the north-west and by the Italian regions of Lombardy to the west and Veneto to the south and south-east. It covers 13,607 square kilometres and is extremely mountainous, covering a large part of the Dolomites and the southern Alps. Südtirol (where Cantina Kurtatsch is located) has an area of 7,398 square kilometres, all of it mountainous land and covered by vast forests. The climate here is Mediterranean (hot summer and cold winters) owing to the influence of the many mountain ranges, which stand at over 3,000 metres above sea level, and the wide valleys through which flows (from north to south) the main river, the Adige, and its numerous tributaries.
Covered slopes surrounded by slabs of stone, crystal blue lakes and the steep walls of the Dolomites, gently swept by the Mediterranean wind: this is where Pravis wines are produced. Numerous small vineyards are scattered on the sunny slopes of the mountains that separate Trento from the lower Sarca Valley, between the Brenta Dolomites and Lake Garda. This wine is sourced from the Sort’Magre Vineyard, planted in limestone.
Schiava is an Italian name used to refer to several grape varieties common to the Trentino and Alto Adige regions of northern Italy. It is not unusual for a group of unrelated vine varieties to bear the same name; evidence of this is easily found in relation to the various Malvasia and Muscat vines that are found all around the Mediterranean, and even the interesting case of the four Bonarda varieties.
Grapes are hand-harvested at full phenolic ripeness. After a fairly short, cold soak, the wine is treated much like a white, with a long,temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel, followed by some limited bottle aging before release.
A gorgeous salmon colour, with intoxicating aromas of strawberry, watermelon and a touch of pink grapefruit, along with a bit of herbaceousness. The palate is dry, with the strawberry and melon replaying. There is a streak of acidity and a good helping of minerality as well. The finish is lingering and red berry fruit-driven. A great patio sipper or pair with grilled shrimp kebabs.