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Geology and Soils

Winegrowing in Alto Adige: A Complex Puzzle

Protected by high peaks and mountain chains at the southern edge of the Alps, Alto Adige lies in a climatic island situation. This geographical exception offers unique geological conditions for winegrowing.

Glaciers, secluded valleys, and sunny vineyards are situated close together, only a few miles from each other. The scenic variety of Alto Adige and the geological conditions offer fertile ground for biodiversity. That is precisely the source of that mineral-rich cuvée that is found as its own identity in Alto Adige's multitude of varieties.

“This winegrowing region is so varied in its geology that the classic definition of terroir is nearly too narrow for it. Even vineyards in the immediate vicinity of one another have such different geological and microclimatic features that they decisively shape the identity of the wines.”

Dr. Carlo FerrettiGeologist

A Mirror of the History of the Earth

Glacial polish right next to ancient sea beds, clay soils bordering chalk deposits: well over 150 different rock deposits shape the soil composition in Alto Adige’s vineyards. Ideal for the growing of more than twenty different grape varieties.

Geography as Wine Potential

Within just a few hundred yards, the composition of the soils in Alto Adige’s vineyards can change: volcanic porphyry around Bolzano, weathered primitive rock soils with quartz, slate, and mica in the Isarco Valley and the Val Venosta, up to calcareous and dolomite rock in the southern part of the province.

From Intuition to Research

The multifaceted vineyard landscape of Alto Adige reveals itself on one hand near the valley floor on alluvial land and debris cones, on the other hand on impressive hillsides and terraced slopes up to elevations of 1,000 m (3,300 ft.) above sea level. Every variety has its own preferred location.

Good Soil for Great Wines

Terroir is more than the sum of its parts. It is the added value from climate, landscape, geology, and history that shapes the character of the wines.

Between the Alps and the Mediterranean

At elevations between 200 and 1,000 m (700 and 3,300 ft.) above sea level, Alto Adige’s winegrowers carry out their art between palm trees and Alpine peaks: in one of Europe’s most popular vacation areas.