One of the joys of exploring Italy’s vast number of growing areas is finding the gems—those that stand above the crowd, showcase something unique, interesting and noteworthy. While many of the nooks and crannies up and down Italy are steadfast and have been around for quite some time, I have been more and more wow-ed by the some of the new found specialties produced in Italy’s mountainous northeast corner. These high elevation sites, full of mineral deposits, quite different from flatter, lower elevation sites, can produce something truly special & breathtaking AND so VERY different from any other part of Italy.
2015 Cantine Terlan Pinot Bianco–An absolutely riveting, mineral driven, standout white wine, grown between 1,000 to 3200 feet elevation. The first vintage was 1928.
“Less than twenty miles south of the Austrian border, that Manni Nössing runs his small winery amid the towering peaks of the Dolomites. Manni’s vineyards benefit from the mountain climate and steep slopes of glacial deposit that make up the Valle Isarco, which is ideal for his house style of precision, freshness, class, and minerality”.
2015 Château Feuillet Moscato Bianco “Val d’Aosta”–Here is yet another breathtaking rarity….this one from nearly 3,000 feet high altitudes of the Val d’Aosta region.
“The vines sit in a very shallow sandy soil, but their feet wriggle into crevices in the solid granite bedrock. And the vineyards are planted on an ancient riverbed and the wines happily lap up the cornucopia of mineral deposits. The trump card, however, is the chilly climate, high altitude, and drastic diurnal temperature shifts that provides the magic charm sought by vignerons everywhere: extremely long hours of gentle sunlight”.
“Peter Dipoli represents one of the wine world’s pure talents, a pioneer in Alto Adige who is producing wines on a level beyond what anyone thought possible in this mountainous region. After much research and study, Peter determined that the steep, high-altitude slopes near Bolzano are ideal for the production of complex, age-worthy white and red wines. At 2000 feet altitude, Sauvignon enjoys a longer growing season, attaining great ripeness while retaining the acidity that would allow it to age in bottle. His centerpiece—the Voglar bottling—is a pure Sauvignon Blanc grown in limestone soils on near-vertical slopes, fermented and aged in acacia casks—and is characterized by gorgeous exotic fruit with abundant minerality.”