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.
The pride of the Azienda Agricola Pravis, this is a white wine produced from grapes that grow exclusively on the steep slopes that rise above the lakes of Toblino and Cavedine on the characteristic terraces named “Frate”.
Nosiola is a golden-skinned grape variety found in northeastern Italy, mainly in the vineyards of Trentino. The versatile variety is used to make light, dry white wines, and rich, botrytis-affected Vino Santo wines, which are considered some of the best sweet wines in Italy. Flavour profiles range from citrusy to tropical depending on vinification, but Nosiola takes its name from its most distinctive flavour: “nocciola”, the Italian word for hazelnut.
Manually harvested, the grapes are gently pressed, and fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature.The wine is matured in stainless steel tanks for four months and then bottled. Every phase of the process of transforming grapes into wine at Pravis respects a natural idea of winemaking. The winery uses the least technology possible; once pressed, grapes flow with gravity into fermentation tanks, then into barrels, then finally into containers for pre-bottling.
The Nosiola “Le Frate” is light yellow with green hues in the glass. Both aromas and flavours display wild apples, white flowers and Nosiola’s distinctive hazelnut character.