The sun’ll come out, tomorrow (Alto Adige, Italy – Day Three)

Thanks to the generosity of Franz Haas who put me up for the night in Ora, I didn’t have as far to travel both to and from my accommodation. Sleeping in a bit was blessed relief, as was the necessity to spend so much time in the car. Whilst it is nice to have a private room, a large bed, my own bathroom and general peace and quiet, it does get very lonely of an evening. It’s bad enough that I spend so much time in the car by myself, particularly on those long drives between regions. Travelling in Europe so far has been more difficult, as when I have been able to find hostels to stay at in the regions, they have been either empty, full of families/school groups, or the young people staying there are working or studying and not interested in socialising. The weekend I had in Vienna was fantastic, and staying with friends in Paris and Dusseldorf were great. This is one of the reasons I am so glad to be in Italy, because people seem so much more generous and hospitable and I am looking forward to sharing great times and meeting people here over the next eight weeks.

Protected viticulture in Terlan
Like many regions in Europe, Alto Adige has a great history of viticulture, but generally the fruit or base wine was sold/provided to cooperatives or large wineries. Over the years many families who owned larger parcels of vineyards branched out on their own, but there are still many wineries with numerous grape growing members. Cantina Terlano is one such cooperative, located funnily enough in the village of Terlan. In 1893, 24 local wine growers came together to share resources in production and administration, and thus created the second oldest winery co-operative in the region. Recently Cantina Terlano joined with the first cooperative winery in Alto Adige, which has roughly one-third of the members that Terlano has (120 members), but much smaller average hectare ownership (less than a hectare). These vineyards are in many locations in the valley, some sitting very high on the side of hills. Producing around 2.5 million bottles from so many vineyards is no mean feat, but the winery manages with great success and quality. Since combining the two cantinas some serious refurbishment has been made to the winery. Tasting through the range of wines Cantina Terlano produces, you see the commitment to produce quality at all levels, and to do so with a range of grape varieties. Click here to read my notes.
Barriques in the cellars of Cantina Terlano

Although it is a historic estate, it is not history that defines Manincor Wine Estate. The estate’s historical buildings date to 1608, built by the man the estate is named after, Hieronymus Manincor. ‘Man-in-cor’ means roughly ‘Hand on heart’ and can still be seen on the facade of the manor house in the coat of arms. In 1978 the estate became fully owned by the Counts Enzenberg, one of the most prominent Tyrolean families for 800 years. The brand itself is very new, being created in 1996. Until then the vineyards had provided fruit to Cantinas Kaltern and Terlano, but Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg wanted to produce his own wine from the 50 hectares of estate vineyards. More than this he wanted to do so bio-dynamically, no mean feat considering the hectares are high for a single ownership. Looking into the future a new winemaking facility was required, and one that could handle any future increases in production. This was done in a very sustainable and aesthetically amazing way, with considerable time and financial investment. Next to the Alois Lageder winery, it is the most energy-efficient and technically precise in the region, but also suits the environment perfectly as it is almost entirely the hill. The Manincor range consists of wine coming from two different parts of Alto Adige; Terlan and Tramin, and each variety that is planted is specifically selected for the unique qualities of the site. Click here to read my tasting notes. As a parting gift I was not only given a bottle to enjoy, but also some Cassiano-infused chocolate, estate apple juice, and most importantly enough tickets to attend each day of the Vinitaly fair in Verona the following week.

Manincor Estate

Click here to see more photos from Day Three in Alto Adige.

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