DOC Cultivation Zones and Designations of Origin
Where Alto Adige Wine Ripens to the Best Quality
There are currently eight controlled designations of origin in Alto Adige winegrowing. These regulate the identification of Alto Adige DOC wines according to their origin, and they guarantee the provenance of the wine to consumers, dealers, and sommeliers.
Alto Adige or Südtiroler
The designation “Alto Adige” or “Südtiroler” may be carried by all common Alto Adige grape varieties that conform with the DOC provisions. The grape variety involved is to be additionally indicated (such as “Alto Adige Lagrein”). Without a further addition, this designation by itself may only be used for sparkling wine and for “Alto Adige Bianco” (“Südtiroler Weiß”) white wines.
Area under cultivation: 4,088 hectares
Lago di Caldaro or Kalterersee
“Lago di Caldaro” or “Kalterersee” wines are produced not only in Alto Adige, but also across the provincial border in neighboring Trentino. For that reason, they are the only wines within the DOC regulations that may also be marketed without the indication “Alto Adige” or “Südtirol” before the location. If the “Lago di Caldaro” or “Kalterersee” wine is produced in one of the Alto Adige winegrowing zones, then both the words “Alto Adige” or "Südtirol” and the additional designation “classico” or “klassisch” may be used. Top-quality wines may also go on the market as “superiore” or “Auslese” [“select”].
Area under cultivation: 327 hectares
Alto Adige Valle Isarco or Südtirol Eisacktaler
In the Isarco Valley, it is almost exclusively white wines that are produced. The only exception is formed by the “Klausner Laitacher”. The designation “Alto Adige Valle Isarco” or “Südtirol Eisacktaler” must be followed by a designation of variety or location. The permitted grape varieties for white wines are Sylvaner, Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau, Kerner, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling, while those for red wines are limited to Vernatsch [Schiava], Portugieser, Lagrein, and Pinot Noir.
Area under cultivation: 329 hectares
Alto Adige Santa Maddalena or Südtirol St. Magdalener
The “Santa Maddalena” or “St. Magdalener” flourishes on the slopes north of Bolzano and is a classic Vernatsch (or Schiava) wine which may also contain up to 15% Lagrein or Pinot Noir. If the wine comes from the zones of St. Magdalena, St. Justina, Rentsch, Leitach, or St. Peter, it may carry the additional designation “classico - klassisch”.
Area under cultivation: 195 hectares
Alto Adige Terlano or Südtirol Terlaner
This designation may only be used for white wines from the Terlan area. Without a listing of the grape variety, “Alto Adige Terlano” or “Südtirol Terlaner”is a white wine cuvée that contains a minimum of 50% Pinot Blanc and/or Chardonnay.
Area under cultivation: 178 hectares
Alto Adige Meranese or Südtirol Meraner
This wine grows in the cultivation zone around Merano and is made only from the Vernatsch (Schiava) grape variety.
Area under cultivation: 101 hectares
Alto Adige Valle Venosta or Südtirol Vinschgau
In Alto Adige’s newest DOC zone, the grapes that are permitted are Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Kerner, Gewürztraminer, Schiava [Vernatsch], and Pinot Noir. The name of the grape variety must always follow the “Alto Adige Valle Venosta” or “Südtirol Vinschgau” designation.
Area under cultivation: 42 hectares
Alto Adige Colli di Bolzano or Südtirol Bozner Leiten
The Schiava [Vernatsch] winegrowing zone of “Colli di Bolzano” or “Bozner Leiten” circles the “Santa Maddalena” zone like a belt.
Area under cultivation: 2 hectares