Lush green vines with summer flowers around South TyrolLush green vines with summer flowers around South Tyrol

Moving between cultures

Alois Lageder

A steep vineyard in South Tyrol belonging to the Alois Lageder familyA steep vineyard in South Tyrol belonging to the Alois Lageder family

The biodynamic pioneer from South Tyrol produces wines full of character.

Snow-capped peaks watch over the South Tyrol wine region.

South Tyrol is the part of Tyrol situated south of the Brenner Pass. Once belonging to Austria-Hungary, the area was annexed to Italy after the First World War. The government tried in vain to impose the Italian language here: to this day, 70 per cent of South Tyroleans speak German. Most cities have two names – and so does the region itself: it is called Alto Adige in Italian, after the upper reaches of the river Adige.

Although South Tyrol is the northernmost region of the «boot», its climate is extremely diverse: from Alpine to Mediterranean, from snow-covered peaks to sun-drenched valleys. In the provincial capital of Bolzano, the thermometer even climbs up to 40 degrees in summer. The vines are rooted between 200 and 1000 metres above sea level. At higher altitudes, they benefit from cool nights and are rewarded with plenty of flavour and finesse.

White, flavoursome grapes

Is it any wonder that the South Tyrol wine region is home to a large number of grape varieties? Especially when it comes to white wine, the small 5300-hectare growing region – together with Friuli – is at the top of Italy’s quality league. Sixty per cent of the wines produced are white, the leading variety being the refreshing Weissburgunder with its aromas of pear and blossom. Around the town of Tramin lies the stronghold of Gewürztraminer, the wine with an exotic flavour profile that goes perfectly with Asian cuisine. Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Pinot grigio are also highly fragrant here, and good examples of these grape varieties.

But red wine also has a long tradition in this growing region. Vernatsch, a light wine with little tannin, and its antithesis, Lagrein, a deep red, velvety grape with the scent of berries and violets, have been growing here for centuries. The Pinot noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have also been at home in the area for 150 years.

Hearty culinary specialities

South Tyrol is a holiday region par excellence. Close to the rest of Europe, it attracts visitors with sights such as the picturesque town of Bolzano and its historic arcades, the turquoise-blue Lake Kaltern, spectacular ski resorts such as Merano 2000, historic monasteries such as Neustift and Muri Gries, where you can indulge in all kinds of worldly delights.

And then, of course, there is the South Tyrolean cuisine. How about a savoury snack with crispy Schüttelbrot bread and a piece of South Tyrolean bacon or cheese from a mountain pasture? Kaminwurzen, smoked sausages that owe their name to the fact that they used to be smoked over a hearth in the home, are another tasty speciality. Every South Tyrolean home maker has their own dumpling recipe, whether with bacon, cheese or spinach. But be careful not to reveal yourself as a tourist: no local would ever cut their «canederli» with a knife! Desserts include apple rings wrapped in pastry, and a sweet dumpling variation with apricots. And did we mention the beautiful custom of «Törggelen»? The word comes from «Torggl», wine press, and means nothing other than to enjoy the local delicacies in autumn directly at the winery.

docg areas in South Tyrol

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doc areas in South Tyrol

Südtiroler, Kalterersee, Südtirol Eisacktaler, Südtirol St. Magdalener,
Südtirol Terlaner, Südtirol Merlaner, Südtirol Vinschgau,
Südtirol Bozner Leiten

Key producers

Alois Lageder, Castel Schwanburg, Elena Walch, Franz Haas,
Hofstätter, Kuenhof, Muri Gries, Tiefenbrunner

Wines from South Tyrol
  1. - +
    Italy, South Tyrol
    2023
    100 % Chardonnay

    75 cl
    Chardonnay – Alto Adige doc, Alois Lageder
    CHF16.50
  2. - +
    Italy, South Tyrol
    2021
    100 % Merlot

    75 cl
    Merlot – Alto Adige doc, Alois Lageder
    CHF18.00
  3. - +
    Italy, South Tyrol
    2018
    97 Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 % Petit Verdot

    75 cl
    Cor Römigberg – Cabernet Sauvignon Vigneti delle Dolomiti rosso igt, Alois Lageder
    CHF65.00
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