Best wines, producers, grape varieties: Italian wine guides give their ratings

The wines of Alto Adige continue to hold top spot in Italy’s wine guides, as demonstrated by the recently published ratings for the coming year. The most successful producers were the Terlano and Tramin wineries, while the most highly rated wine was the 2019 Pinot Noir Riserva Trattmann from the Girlan winery, given top marks by six of the nine wine guides.

Taking a look at Italy’s nine leading wine guides – Gambero Rosso, Slow Wine, Vitae, I Vini di Veronelli, Vinibuoni d’Italia, Bibenda, Doctor Wine, Sparkle and The Wine Hunter – is not simply a tradition. “It’s also an important benchmark for Alto Adige’s wines and shows us how the quality of our wines has developed over the years, not least when compared at national level”, states Andreas Kofler, President of the Alto Adige Wine Consortium.
If we take a closer look at the top scores in the 2023 Italian wine guides, we find that a total of 297 awards go to 190 wines from Alto Adige, made by a total of 82 producers.
There were thus 23 “Tre Bicchieri” awards from Gambero Rosso, 36 “Top Wine” awards from Slow Wine and 35 “Quattro Viti” awards from Vitae; Veronelli awarded 24 “Tre Stelle Oro” for wines from Alto Adige, while Vinibuoni made 33 awards of “Le Corone” or “Le Golden Star”, and Bibenda granted 36 “Cinque Grappoli”. In all, 44 wines from Alto Adige were ranked in Doctor Wine’s highest category, “I Faccini 95+”, while Sparkle gave five of its “Cinque Sfere”, with The Wine Hunter giving 61 wines a “Golden Award” or a “Platinum Award”.

The wines: the frontrunners
A special place among the best wines from Alto Adige is occupied by the Pinto Noir Riserva Trattmann 2019 from the Girlan winery. It is the only one of Alto Adige’s wine to receive top marks from six of the nine guides. Four of the wines received top marks from five guides: the Lagrein Riserva Vigna Klosteranger 2017 from the monastery wine estate of Muri-Gries, the Gewürztraminer Auratus 2021 from the Ritterhof winery, the Bianco Appius 2017 from the St. Michael-Eppan winery and the Gewürztraminer vendemmia tardiva Epokale 2015 from the Tramin winery.
No fewer than eleven Alto Adige wines achieved top marks in four of the nine guides, with white wines, with six representatives, having the lead in this category. Three reds were selected, while two of Alto Adige’s sparkling wines achieved four top marks.

A land of white wines – plus a top-class Pinot Noir
Even though this year’s most highly praised wine is a Pinot Noir, it is the whites that are best represented among the top-rated wines. Of the 190 wines that received at least one top mark, no fewer than 97 are whites. There are 76 reds on the list, plus nine sparkling wines and eight sweet wines.
Among the most highly praised grapes, on the other hand, two red varieties are out in front. Thus 22 Pinot Noir and 22 Schiava wines received at least one top mark each. The most popular white varieties were Sauvignon (17 with at least one top score), Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Blanc (14 each). At least one of the wine guides also awarded the highest grade to over ten wines each in the Lagrein, Riesling, Chardonnay and white cuvée categories.

The most successful wineries: Terlano and Tramin
It is also revealing to take a look at the producers year on year and consider which producers claim the most top marks or the most top-rated wines. The Terlano winery leads when it comes to the number of top marks with 19, the same as the previous year. It is followed by the Tramin winery with 17 top scores, the Girlan winery with 14, the St. Michael-Eppan winery with 13 and the Turmhof/Tiefenbrunner winery, the Manincor wine estate, the Nals Margreid winery and the Kurtatsch winery each with ten.
The Terlano winery earned its 19 top marks with six wines, while the Tramin winery and the St. Michael-Eppan winery managed even more, each with seven wines that gained at least one top mark. In addition to the Terlano winery, the Girlan winery, the Nals Margreid winery, the Elena Walch winery, the Colterenzio winery, the Turmhof/Tiefenbrunner winery and the Merano winery all saw six wines achieve top marks.

And special prizes go to…
In addition to the classic wine ratings, the Italian wine guides also award a number of special prizes each year. Gloria Mayr from the Nusserhof, for example, was awarded the 2023 Young Winemaker of the Year by Slow Wine.
The Vitae wine guide, published by AIS, the Italian association of sommeliers, awarded one of its 22 Tastevin prizes to the Turmhof/Tiefenbrunner winery for its 2019 Sauvignon Riserva Rachtl. The Tastevin prize is awarded to wines and winemakers who are regarded as showpieces for an entire wine region. The same guide also selected its hundred best wines in Italy, among which featured two from Alto Adige for 2023: the Terlano I Primo Grande Cuvée 2019 from the Terlano winery, and the Bianco Appius 2017 from the St.Michael-Eppan winery.
The Veronelli guide, on the other hand, rated Le Petit 2018 – a white from the Manincor winery – among its “Top Five” while, for Bibenda 2023, the Franz Haas winery’s Manna 2020 was among the ten best Italian wines. Finally, Doctor Wine awarded two special prizes to products of Alto Adige: the Kaltern winery’s Lago di Caldaro classico superiore 2021 for the best price-quality ratio, with the Bozen winery named as Cooperative of the Year.
For further information please contact
tel. 339 1895544
Credits: Alto Adige Wines/Alex Filz
Credits: Alto Adige Wines/Michael Mair am Tinkhof
Credits: Alto Adige Wines/Florian Andergassen
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