This organic winery is situated in the picturesque village bearing its name in Alto Adige, nestled in the Southern Alps and Dolomite mountain ranges. Its hand-crafted mountain wines are painstakingly made with as little intervention as possible to best exemplify the unique terroir of the region. These red wine vineyards have some of the hottest daytime temperatures in all of Italy, rising to 40℃ during the summer months, but with a significant drop in temperature in the evening to retain freshness. The whites come from the hamlets of Hofstatt and Penon, with heroic vineyards planted on exceedingly steep mountainsides at elevations up to 2500ft above sea level. These rocky outcrops have a multitude of geological peculiarities, giving their wines intense, saline-like minerality. These are amongst the most aromatic and flavourful white wines on earth, ranging in style from steely dry to lusciously sweet.
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.
Organically farmed, Schiava grows in the oldest vineyards (the oldest planted in 1933) of the Kurtatsch estate at 300-400 masl. These old vines produce naturally low and therefore very high-quality yields. The wine is a blend of various types of Schiava with the largest share being Schiava Grigia.
Schiava, aka Vernatsch, aka Trollinger, is a variety that was likely originally cultivated in South Tyrol and Trentino. Records show that the grape has been growing in the Trentino-Alto Adige region since at least the 13th century. Although Schiava is grown throughout many German and Italian wine regions, the styles coming from Südtirol tend to be light in colour, brimming with fresh red fruit characteristics, and are most often dry, medium-light bodied and with naturally high levels of acidity.
Hand-harvested from extremely steep vineyards. Fermentation is low and slow in temperature-controlled stainless steel, with daily pump-overs and punch-downs. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in large Slavonian oak barrels, where it ages until release.
An intense and inviting bouquet of sour cherry, ripe raspberry, red licorice and a hint of red pepper. Those flavours continue on the mid-weight palate, with the added complexity of saline minerality and blueberry. The tannins are mild, but the acid is what provides the balance and elegance, while not overpowering the smooth character. Serve lightly chilled with a good antipasti board.