Alto Adige wines

Surprising Quality in Spite of Abruptly Capricious Weather

Fruity, elegant, typical for the variety: those are the 2017 Alto Adige wines

The year 2017 was characterized by frost and hail. They made the lives of Alto Adige’s winegrowers and winemakers anything but easy. The result: reductions of up to twenty percent with the amounts harvested. The harvest began around fourteen days earlier than in a normal year. What effects did this capricious weather have upon the quality of the 2017 wines? It was with great excitement that the first prognoses were awaited for the 2017 vintage. The general response: “The year 2017 is a good vintage with convincing levels of quality.”

While the Alto Adige white wines from 2017 are perceived as elegant, fresh, fruity, and juicy wines, Alto Adige red wines score with inviting drinking enjoyment and are similar to the Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and others in their fresh and fruity tones.

Especially to be emphasized among the Alto Adige white wine varieties are the Alto Adige Pinot Bianco and the Alto Adige Sauvignon Blanc. These prove themselves with an aromatic structure and optimal acidity. Stefan Kapfinger of the Meran Winery shows himself to be especially pleased with the high-quality white wines from the higher elevations: “The 2017 white wines are very typical to their varieties and also very successful. Above all the Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Müller-Thurgau stand out with lovely structure.”

What is conspicuous with the red wines of 2017 is the somewhat lighter hues, with the wines proving themselves with inviting drinking enjoyment. “The Alto Adige Lago di Caldaro and Alto Adige Schiava (Vernatsch) present themselves with a very typical stylistic direction: somewhat lighter in color, very fruity and fresh,” explains Andrea Moser of the Cantina Kaltern.

After the considerable damage from hail, Alto Adige’s winegrowers had to pick out and remove the damaged grapes in very fine, tedious work. But as it turned out, the efforts were worthwhile: the quality is surprisingly high! “In the Isarco Valley, we can’t speak of 2017 as a really great vintage,” says Peter Pilger of that valley’s Kuenhof. “But in spite of everything, everything went well and we can be more than satisfied with the levels of quality of the 2017 wines.”

So the curtain is up for the 2017 vintage – and you can taste the results!
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