Monasteries north of the Alps bought wineries in Alto Adige in order to cover their needs for table wine and wine for the mass. Gifts were often involved. The residents of Alto Adige wished to procure their spiritual salvation. Around 1300, there were some forty Southern German monasteries that carted wine north from their estates in Alto Adige. The bishops of Bressanone and Trento as well as local monasteries also invested in winemaking. Well-read monastery winemakers then made the wine in an expert manner. For a long time, therefore, it was the knowledge of the monasteries that improved and refined Alto Adige wine. Even today, the monastery wineries are among the best in the province.

Worth Experiencing

Since its founding in 1142, wine has been made by the Augustinian canons at the Neustift (Novacella) Monastery near Bressanone. Tours of the monastery take visitors on a trip back through history. Tastings in the monastery cellar are also available upon advanced reservation.

Augustinian canons transformed an early fortress at the right spot into a monastery: the areas around the Muri Gries monastery was once called “Cheller” [“Cellar”]. In 1845, when Benedictines who were driven out of the Muri monastery in Switzerland moved in, they revived winemaking.

In 1991, the Von Braunbach winery leased the shuttered winery of the German Order monastery in Siebeneich near Terlan, and since that time it has also produced wine from the monastery’s Lagrein grapes. The historical ensemble, a gift of the bishop of Bressanone around 1200, has been livened up with modern elements but still maintains it contemplative aura.