The comparatively small winegrowing region of Alto Adige with its unique variety has precisely the necessary character for unique wines to achieve great acclaim. What is unique in Italy is the fact that around twenty different grape varieties grow in Alto Adige. This occurs on only 5,400 hectares (13,100 acres) of winegrowing zones, providing an average annual yield of around 350,000 hectoliters (3.9 million cases) of wine.
The white grape varieties occupy more than 60 percent of Alto Adige’s winegrowing area and are vinified into the finest wines. Pinot Grigio
, Pinot Bianco
, and Chardonnay
lead the hit parade of the most popular white wines as far as quantity is concerned, and the trend is growing. But Sauvignon Blanc, Müller Thurgau, Sylvaner, Kerner, Riesling, and Veltliner also have both their fans and their cultivation areas in Alto Adige.
With regard to the red wines, in addition to the two indigenous grape varieties of Schiava
[Vernatsch] and Lagrein
, all other important classic red grape varieties have taken root in Alto Adige for well over a hundred years: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc feel just as much at home here in an ideal location. They occupy just under 40 percent of Alto Adige’s entire vineyard area.