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Contrasts that Become Advantages

Climate, Soil, and Mountain: What Role do They Play in the Quality of Alto Adige Wine?

3/22/2019
Alto Adige is a land of contrasts: this is the meeting point of the Alpine and the Mediterranean, mountain landscapes and valley locations, the hustle and bustle of the city and bucolic serenity. These opposites are especially reflected in Alto Adige wines. Wines that differ by the grapes from higher zones. Wines that have adapted to the climatic conditions of the valley areas. Wines that differentiate themselves from others by the composition of the soils on which the vines grow.

While decades ago, the soil was only usable in part for winegrowing, Alto Adige’s soil has in the meantime developed into the fertile home for Alto Adige’s viticulture. Vineyards in Alpine valleys are characterized by steep slopes which are smaller in area than those in the valley locations. On one hand, the microclimatic and geomorphological features are the greatest challenge for Alto Adige’s wine industry. On the other hand, they constitute its greatest distinguishing feature.

Among the microclimatic features in Alto Adige are the weather situation, which at one end is controlled by the mountains and, at the other extreme, is characterized by the Mediterranean influences in the south. Added to this are the influences of light close to the mountains which have to be taken into consideration by the winegrowers.

The geomorphologicial conditions are understood to include above all else the composition of the soils. In Alto Adige, there are no fewer than 150 kinds of bedrock which, over the course of time, have moved and mixed with each other. The result of this process is a soil that is widely varied and richly diverse, which is also reflected in the quality of the wines.

Taken together, these properties make Alto Adige an ideal cultivating area for the production of top-quality wines with a varied character. And they also make it possible for each variety to be able to grow at its ideal location. It is precisely that which makes Alto Adige wines so unique within the international world of wine.
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