Passionate about Site and Terroir

Passionate about Site and Terroir

Paolo Foradori (1935-2020), J. Hofstätter Vineyard: A life dedicated to Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer

Paolo Foradori is one of the greatest pioneers of enology in Alto Adige, turning a new page not only for the J. Hofstätter vineyard in Tramin but also for Italian viticulture as a whole.

He recognized the great potential of the Mazon area of cultivation at a very early stage and was one of the key players in the success of Pinot Noir from Alto Adige grown in this unique area, and he endowed the Gewürztraminer from Alto Adige with the necessary elegance for it to gain more appreciation and recognition.

Paolo Foradori was born in Bolzano in 1935 into a family with roots in Trento. At that time, his father, Vittorio Foradori, a lawyer and viticulture enthusiast, bought three farms with annexed land on the Mazon plateau, above the village of Egna in Alto Adige. Against his father’s plans, who wanted a future for him in a law firm, Paolo Foradori decided to pursue a career in enology. In 1959, he married Sieglinde Oberhofer, the grandniece of the Tramin-based vineyard estate owner Josef Hofstätter. Together with his wife, Paolo Foradori went on to shape the future of the family estate, which was the only one in Alto Adige to have vineyards on both sides of the Val dell’Adige.

At a time when many still focused on exporting cask wine, Paolo Foradori revolutionized the J. Hofstätter vineyard’s wine sales and distribution activities, creating a capillary sales network in Italy which still exists today. His most lasting achievement, however, was the introduction of the term “Vigna” on the labels of the most renowned vintage wines. In 1987, Paolo Foradori vinified the Vigna S. Urbano Pinot Noir, the first officially classified vintage wine of Alto Adige. It is largely thanks to him that the Vigna label is today officially recognized as the guarantee of the origin of a wine from a very specific vineyard.

The story of Paolo Foradori’s life is peppered with adventurous and entertaining anecdotes. With his charisma, his charm, and his sense of irony, he made Alto Adige wines famous far beyond the borders of the country.

Shortly before his death in late 2020, Paolo Foradori once again mused about his recipe for success, in which tradition plays a very special role; knowledge and expertise that have been passed down through the generations – that is the strength of the J. Hofstätter family vineyard. With the passing of Paolo Foradori, the wine industry has lost a pioneer, yet his legacy lives on.
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