After the turbulent 2017 vintage, wine connoisseurs and producers are expecting good results for this year. With the white wines, Alto Adige’s winegrowers are satisfied, but with the red wines of Cabernet, Merlot, and Lagrein, a top vintage is expected. According to the first assessments by the Alto Adige Fruitgrowing and Winegrowing Consulting Center, between fifteen and twenty percent more grapes were harvested this year than in the preceding year.
Early in the year, it was first necessary to wait for the vines to sprout, but that was then greatly pushed on by warm, wet weather such that as early as the springtime, an early beginning to the harvest was forecast. The summer then progressed hot and dry. And as a result of the warm temperatures, it was in fact necessary to start the harvest early in order to counteract the formation of rot. At the lower elevations, the grape harvest began on August 20. “At the harvest, the winegrowers once again did really good work, they selected diligently, and in the end they brought good quality grapes into the wineries,” said Maximilian Niedermayr, president of the Consortium of Alto Adige Wine. Starting from the middle of September, the weather calmed down again, and the perfect conditions were present for the maturation and aroma formation of the later grapes and varieties at the higher elevations.
Celestino Lucin of the Abbazia di Novacella Winery underscores the good quality of the white wines: “It was possible for the grapes to mature well, guaranteeing fruity and fresh, typical Isarco Valley white wines for the 2018 vintage.” According to Lucin, it was above all else the Sylvaner, Veltliner, and Riesling that are especially convincing with their quality. In addition, he emphasized the aromatic freshness of the Müller Thurgau and Kerner.
In the winegrowing zone of Bolzano and vicinity, what shines the most in 2018 is the Lagrein. Josephus Mayr of the Erbhof Unterganzer and president of the Santa Maddalena Protection Consortium that it was above all else the hot weather in the summer months that was decisive for the quality of this year’s Lagrein. According to Mayr, “Those who allowed the Lagrein to have time this year have wines with a great deal of potential, wonderful color, and a powerful tannin structure in their cellars.” The Schiava, on the other hand, was more problematic, primarily because of the spotted wing drosophila. The quality of the grapes can only be ensured by the diligence of the winegrowers.
In the Bassa Atesina, the reckoning is for good quality with both white wines and red wines. Andreas Kofler, head of the Cantina Kurtatsch emphasizes two varieties in particular: Cabernet and Merlot. “The golden autumn provided us with fantastic values with these two varieties. Alto Adige Cabernet and Merlot present themselves with a great deal of elegance, power, and body.” Kofler is similarly pleased with the Pinot Noir, which is convincing by both its lovely color and the pleasant body. With the white wines, he emphasizes the grapes at lower elevations which, due to the mild summer, may contain less acidity but promise aromatic wines.
You make look forward to an inviting and exciting 2018 vintage.