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17.10.2017

A Traditional Wine Causes a Sensation

Alto Adige Schiava Shows Its Strengths

Whether it is Lago di Caldaro (Kalterersee), Santa Maddalena (St. Magdalener), Meranese (Meraner), or Schiava Grigia (Grauvernatsch): all of these wines are made from Schiava (Vernatsch). That down-to-earth Alto Adige grape variety which has played a role in local winemaking since the sixteenth century and is inseparable from the identity of the province. Thanks to its moderate alcohol content and its characteristically low tannins, Schiava (also known by its German name Vernatsch) can be very uncomplicatedly combined with the most varied of dishes from Alto Adige cuisine, a universal wine that occupies nearly 15% of the entire area of cultivation in Alto Adige.

Yet the most recent honors from the renowned wine guide I vini d’Italia 2018 from Gambero Rosso shows that the esteem for this traditional wine is growing. Thus the 2016 Cantina Kaltern Kalterersee Pfarrhof, the 2016 Ansitz Waldgries St. Magdalener Antheos, and the 2016 Glögglhof St. Magdalener Rondell were all listed among the best wines of Italy with the highest scores.

The Projekt Arche Noah of the Cantina Kaltern is particularly dedicated to the appreciation of the characteristics of this traditional grape variety. Along with the agronomist Federico Curtaz, winemaker Gerhard Sanin already began several years ago to examine, select, and observe old vine material. These two pioneers took buds from these grapevines, grafted them onto rootstocks, and set up a trial vineyard which provides them with empirical knowledge on the development of the various Schiava clones.

With his St. Magdalener Classico Antheos, Christian Plattner of the Ansitz Waldgries has created a wine that combines the past and the future with each other. To do so, he brought the old mixed vinestock of his great-grandfather back to life and planted one of the most exquisite locations in all of Alto Adige with eight different types of historical Schiava. Together, they yield a complex, elegant wine that completely shows its strengths.
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