The Kurtatsch vineyards, which are located between 220 and 900 meters in altitude, are unique in Europe. The majority are located on steep slopes – whether at Brenntal, one of South Tyrol’s hottest sites, or in the district of Graun, at 900 meters. The soil composition of the municipal territory is exceptionally complex. The different grape varieties find optimal growing conditions through the varying exposures of the terrain. Every wine is characterized by its terroir – a term that incorporates all of the climatic, geological and geographical characteristics. Land by land. Wine by wine.
RED WINE TERROIR
Our best red vineyards are found on the slopes below the village of Kurtatsch (220–300 meters in altitude) and rank amongst Italy’s hottest, with mid-summer temperatures that reach 40 °C. The Merlot grapes ripen at the extremely steep vineyards of the Brenntal site. The vines are grown in rich, red, loamy soil that has many similarities to that of Pomerol, the well-known Bordeaux wine region. Underneath the imposing cliffs atop which the village of Kurtatsch is perched, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc find their optimum conditions: loose, deep soil with high gravel content. The heat emitted by the Millawände (foothills of the Mendel Ridge) supports the best possible physiological maturity of the Cabernet grapes, which ripen late.
300 - 350 m
In former times, Rigl meant “small plot of land” in South Tyrol. Frauenrigl (Frauen = women) derived from the fact that women were frequently the property owners in this situation. It is the red clay above the Wine Road that gives our Lagrein its distinctive spiciness. The extremely warm site, situated between 300 and 350 meters in altitude, serves the heat-loving Lagrein well.
220 - 350 m
Even the name of this site (Brenn = combustive, Tal = valley) is evocative of its climate. It is one of South Tyrol’s warmest sites, with temperatures that can hit 40 degrees in the summer. The steep Merlot vineyards are situated at altitudes ranging from 220 to 300 meters, below the Wine Road in Kurtatsch. The gravelly, loamy soil has excellent drainage, storing heat during the day and releasing it freely at night. The adjacent Gewürztraminer site is higher up, between 250 and 380 meters. This warm terroir is responsible for this Gewürztraminer’s unique flavor and density, as well as for its exceptional longevity.
450 - 650 m
Our Pinot noir is named after the village of Glen, located across the valley from Kurtatsch. It is the only wine that is not sourced entirely from the municipality of Kurtatsch. Since Pinot Noir is highly demanding as a variety, and requires a habitat that fulfills very specific requirements, it was planted where it grows best. Afternoon sun, a unique conglomerate soil composed of clay, lime and porphyry, and altitudes between 450 and 650 meters offer ideal conditions for an elegant Pinot Noir.
WHITE WINE TERROIR
Our best white wines thrive at breezy, high-altitude sites above the main village. The hamlets of Hofstatt and Penon, as well as their vineyards, lie at an elevation above 550 meters. The microclimate of this steep terrain, which can be risky at times, is also influenced by the cooling katabatic winds that arise in the evenings. A marked temperature difference between daytime and nighttime preserves the wine’s fresh flavors and lively acidity. The slender, chalky soil composed of sediment and bedrock also characterizes the white wines. A colorful array of mineral salts improves the potential for long-term bottle aging.
500 - 650 m
The Hofstatt site is located in the Hofstatt district of Kurtatsch, situated above the village center at altitudes between 500 and 650 meters. The steep vineyards, calcareous subsoil with clay content and large day/night temperature differential found here create an ideal environment for making Pinot Blanc.
500 - 700 m
The spectacularly located district of Penon, with altitudes ranging between 500 and 700 meters, is characterized by cooling nighttime katabatic winds. These winds cause substantial temperature differences between day and night, which together with the steep inclination of the vineyards yield a distinctive Pinot Grigio with an exceedingly lively acidity structure. The chalky gravel soils found here, which have a low capacity for holding water, lend this Pinot Grigio its distinctive, salty mouthfeel.
800 - 900 m
The hamlet of Graun, situated at 800 to 900 meters above sea level, has one of South Tyrol's highest-altitude winegrowing sites. Day-to-night temperature differences of up to 15 °C are the rule during the pre-harvest period. The cold-resistant Müller Thurgau loves these extreme weather conditions. At this altitude and on sandy gravel with some clay content, Müller Thurgau develops very intense floral and fruit flavors accompanied by robust, omnipresent acidity.