Description 1 of 2
Young and full of vision for the future …
… but at the same time steeped in the traditions of two historic wine producers. This is today’s image of our wine cellars. After a merger in 2001 with the wine producers of Gries (since 1908) and Santa Maddalena (since 1930), we are one of South Tyrol’s top-quality wineries. The grapes of 200 vine growers ensure that our high-quality wines win prizes in South Tyrol’s capital time and again.
Cantina Bolzano combines 320 hectares of Bolzano’s best vineyards at between 240 and 800m above sea level.
One of South Tyrol’s most traditional wines, the S. Maddalena, thrives on the loose, sandy, well-ventilated soil on the warm slopes at the foot of the Renon. The Lagrein, South Tyrol’s best known and most characteristic red wine originates on the porous, warm soil of Gries and S. Maurizio.
The variety of locations and production areas facilitate a wide choice of selected vintage wines.
– Description from Charlotte Troger
Description 2 of 2
Two historical wineries intrinsically linked with the town...
the Gries winery (founded in 1908) and Santa Maddalena winery (founded in 1930) joined forces in 2001 to form the Cantina Produttori Bolzano, South Tyrol`s youngest wine growers’ co-operative winery. The Cantina Produttori Bolzano is jointly owned by the growers who supply the winery with their grapes. They were unanimous in their support for the union, which will result in more effective use of resources,as well as greater market penetration and international recognition for their superb quality wines. These characteristic South Tyrolean wines are produce dousing skill and dedication accumulated over decades of experience, both in the vineyards and in the cellar.
Our philosophy: Our wines reflect our passion for quality. Conscious in tradition, we want to produce wines, which we can be proud of.
Our philosophy: Our wines reflect our passion for quality. Conscious in tradition, we want to produce wines, which we can be proud of.
“Quality begins in the vineyard”
The various sites of our vineyards mould the tastes of our wines and yield fresh white wines and full-bodied red wines.
The microclimate areas are as different as the soils in the Bozen area. We have therefore always paid special attention to cultivating the most suitable grape varieties for each of our locations.
Experiment, experience and scientific examination of the soil profile all help in choosing the right vines. The knobbly vines in the old vineyards nevertheless also represent a wealth of a special kind. These “veterans”, some up to 100 years old, yield little by way of quantity – but plenty in terms of quality.
Our members, assisted by the South Tyrolean Consultancy Circle for Fruit- and Wine-growing, are advised and trained in all matters relevant to viticulture. Chemical analyses of the leaves and grapes keep the plants in the best of health and allow the best harvest time to be determined.
Plant protection can be summed up as follows: as much as necessary, as little as possible. Using natural methods ensures the equilibrium of the vineyard habitat without having to rely on the extensive use of herbicides.
Particular wine growers in the best locations have formed quality groups dedicated to the cultivation of grapes for use in our selections and top ranges. The emphasis is on mutual assistance and the exchange of experience, as well as rigid restrictions on vineyard yields.
“Originality and quality need time to mature”
The cellar is the place where the finest grapes, ripened over months in the vineyard, are turned into wine. In autumn, following the harvest, our oenologist Stefan Filippi has the ingredients he needs to begin his work.
The white grapes are carefully pressed, with the must slowly fermented in stainless steel tanks and matured for several months. Aroma, freshness and juiciness are all prominent characteristics.
The red grapes are stripped of their stems and fermented, making sure all of the precious qualities of the berries are present. Carefully selected oak barrels allow the young red wines to mature to completion. Special attention is given to the development of the fruity notes typical of the location and variety.
Our top-of-the-range wines, full-bodied and with plenty of character, are skilfully matured for up to one year in barriques and thereafter finished in the bottle.
The controls and analyses performed in our own laboratory, combined with decades of experience; guarantee that our wines set the standard in all quality classes.
Two of South Tyrol`s most prestigious wines ..
St. Magdalener and Lagrein are grown around Bolzano and in the surrounding area.Today we can proudly assert that the grapes which go into the two prestigious wines most closely associated with Bolzano are grown in very finest sites and only the highest quality fruit is delivered to our winery.
Lagrein – A Rising Star
For decades the only wine from the Alto Adige known outside the region itself was the Schiava. For the tourists the light, fruity red was the incarnation of the “Dolce Vita”, the lifestyle in this region on the edge between the cultures of northern and southern Europe.
During the last thirty years the Schiava (or Vernatsch in the local dialect) had its lows; it regained its popularity as wine for food in the last years, but it isn’t anymore the only red wine that makes up the image of Alto Adige. Big leaps have been made in the past with white grape varieties like the autochthonous Gewürztraminer, the Pinot Blanc or international reds like Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
The most impressive change happened for one grape variety: The Lagrein.
The Lagrein grape is considered as the oldest grown grape in the region. Already in the end of the 19th century scientists tried to identify the origin of the strange name. Some explained it with the Greek word “lagarinthos”, which means “hanging” or tried to find the origin in the antique Greek colony of “Lagaria” in southern Italy.
The word could also be linked with the “Val Lagarina”, the southernmost part of the Adige valley. But there, no medieval documents have ever shown the variety’s name.
The newest genetic researches (IASMA, 2006) were an important step ahead.
According to this serious research the Lagrein is a direct offspring of the Teroldego grape that is grown in the northernmost part of the neighbouring Trentino region. Scientists did believe already in the nineties that there is a strong genetic link between the two and also between them and the varieties Marzemino and Syrah.
And it is in fact true. Lagrein is also very close to Marzemino (Trentino and Veneto) and Refosco (Friuli), both Lagrein and Teroldego are cousins of Syrah grape. But the most important news lies in the genetic origin: the ancestor of these grapes is the Pinot Noir.
With this novelty the theory of the Greek roots of Lagrein has completely lost its credibility, considering that the Pinot Noir was spread over Europe in Roman times.
The first documents in Alto Adige mention the Lagrein in the year 1379. From the late Middle Ages on the history of Lagrein can be traced quite well. Till the 15th century this grape variety was planted everywhere in the region. Only in the following centuries it was slowly replaced by the variety Schiava (Vernatsch) which showed to be more resistant and more productive.
But especially in the alluvional plain between the rivers Isarco, Adige and Talvera, where Lagrein could find ideal growing conditions the variety survived.
Not too long ago most Lagrein was made into the fruity and easy drinking “Lagrein Kretzer”, the only rosé wine with old traditions in the Alto Adige region.
The remaining quantity was vinified as very dark, but often also very tannic and bitter red wine. So it was mostly used to give more colour and body to the wines made out of the Schiava grape, especially in bad vintages.
Nowadays this old tradition lives forth in the S.Maddalena wine, where the laws allow to add a maximum of 15% Lagrein to the Schiava grapes.
After the big crisis of the wine industry in the end of the 70s and in the beginning 80s people’s taste changed. The consumers wanted more quality and more concentrated red wines. In these years began the rising of the Lagrein, this time as real red wine. By reducing yields and by using new techniques in the vineyard and in the cellar the real qualities of this indigenous variety had now clearly shown. The dark, smooth Lagrein wines with the typical nose of dark berries, chocolate and spices found more and more fans in and outside of the region. Now the best Lagrein wines belong to the most awarded reds in Italy and can compete with premium products from other nations as well.
Within the city borders of Bozen / Bolzano lie approximately 500 hectares of vineyards. The best sites are located in the south-western corner of the town with the gravely soil of Bolzano – Gries and in the north – eastern corner with the sandy, fertile hills around the village of S.Maddalena.
The vineyards on the gravely soils formed by the Talvera river on the valley ground are dominated by the grape variety Lagrein, whereas the S.Maddalena hill gives its name to the other typical wine of Bolzano: the S.Maddalena.
While the Lagrein is a grape variety, the S.Maddalena is not a product of one single grape. It is a blend of Schiava (Vernatsch in local dialect) grape and a small percentage of Lagrein grapes.
On 300 hectares these two varieties are planted together in the same vineyards. They get harvested and fermented together. So the blend is made already in the vineyard, not afterwards in the cellar.
The main grape of a S.Maddalena is always the Schiava. Planted in Alto Adige since medieval times, it is also known as “Trollinger” in south- western Germany. “Trollinger” means in fact “from Tyrol” (= Alto Adige or South Tyrol).
The Schiava wines are characterized by their smooth and light body. “Junior partner” is the Lagrein grape, considered the oldest indigenous variety of the region. Its full body and the classic notes of dark berries, spices and flowers give power and complexity.
After the First World War the region which belonged for more than 500 years to Austria fell to Italy. The whole wine industry was based on exports to the former Austrian states and Bavaria. With the new borders it was almost impossible to sell wines outside Italy.
In 1923 the wine growers of S.Maddalena founded a consortium to protect the wine and its quality. It is considered the oldest of this kind in Italy. In the same years (1929) was established also the irrigation consortium. The vineyards of the very dry and hot hills were the first in Europe to have their own irrigation system.
In 1941 the S.Maddalena was considered together with Barolo and Barbaresco one of the three best wines of the country.
In the year 1930 the cooperative winery of S.Maddalena was founded.
After the Second World War and with the slow opening of the borders to the northern counties, the S.Maddalena found its way to the former markets. Switzerland evolved to a market of great importance. The tourists of the sixties and seventies kept the production in motion, but the whole industry was heading towards mass production.
A mile stone was the introduction of the wines of controlled origin in Italy. In 1971 the borders of the S.Maddalena production zone were clearly defined.
Nevertheless, the mass production in these years and the wine scandals in Piedmont and Austria in the following years ruined the image of the entire region.
In the middle of the eighties the wine producers had to make a crucial decision: Drop the production or start over with a clear orientation to quality.
Most of the producers followed the road to quality. New cellar techniques were introduced, yields were cut down and the high vineyards were changed from red to white grapes. The white grapes gave excellent results in the high areas, whereas only the best and hottest sites were kept for the production of the S.Maddalena.
Potential & Chances
Potential and chances lie in the positive attributes:
The S.Maddalena is a red with a light to middle heavy structure, mild and easily accessible even by people which normally have difficulties with red wine. It gives its best as young wine, but the best qualities can be kept in the cellar for some years.
Nowadays you will find a S.Maddalena on almost all wine cards from the simple to the high class restaurant in Alto Adige. It is THE wine for easy drinking without being ordinary. It is easy to match with various foods.
In the regional tradition its best counterpart is “Speck” – the famous local smoked ham.
Cooks from other Italian regions like serve it slightly chilled to fish or some kind of cheese.
The S.Maddalena, being low in acidity and tannins will never rival with the great, concentrated reds made out of other grape varieties and grown in other places, but it is not even the intention.
The S.Maddalena is a real “terroir” wine with character that stands for the region where it comes from.
Winery | Wine|Awards
– Description from Klaus Sparer
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