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For a long time, Burggrafenamt was one of the less well-known wine-growing areas in South Tyrol. The big names tend to be found in other parts of the country. However, more and more wineries were established here that produced exceptional wines. This development has continued at a rapid pace in recent years, as the large number of wine producers we present here shows.

Winery Meran-Burggräfler

Merano- Burggräfler for Wein-Plus
Kellerei Meran-Burggräfler

In its current form, the Meran Burggräfler Winery was created in 2010 from the merger of the Meran Winery and the Burggräfler Winery. The merger enabled the newly formed company to draw on the grapes of 370 winegrowers with almost 250 hectares of vineyards in Burggrafenamt and Vinschgau. This opened up completely new possibilities compared to the times before the merger, which were exploited in a relatively short time and which has led to higher quality in all production lines.

"We can now draw on a much larger number of grape lots from different altitudes as well as different soil formations to give our wines their respective, distinctive character. Through strictly regulated yield reduction, the high quality can be guaranteed every year - sometimes in larger, sometimes in smaller quantities, depending on the vintage," says cellar master Stephan Kapfinger. "Vintage differences are not eliminated by this - nor should they be - but a basic character recognisable in every year remains with every wine as a result." This basic character consists of a pleasantly soft fullness combined with complexity and finesse typical of mountain wines, both in the whites and in the reds. "We are here in one of the sunniest zones in South Tyrol and at the same time near very high mountains. Alpine freshness and Mediterranean flair: both are expressed in our wines."

All wines are single-varietal and the range is divided into four lines. The basic line is called "Festival" and consists of 13 wines that are vinified single-varietally with the exception of the rosé. The "Graf von Meran" line consists of the varieties that feel particularly at home in the Merano area, i.e. Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Goldmuskateller, Riesling, Kerner, Sauvignon and Gewürztraminer among the white wines, as well as Cabernet, Merlot-Lagrein, Pinot Noir and Vernatsch among the red wines. Vernatsch is represented in this line with the Merano "Schickenburg". Always a safe bet if you want to enjoy a very special example of this South Tyrolean classic.

At the top of the Merano quality pyramid are the wines from the single vineyard line. The wines of this vineyard selection are only produced in outstanding vintages, from selected harvests, from particularly good single vineyard sites. Among the red wines: the Pinot Noir Riserva "Zeno", the Lagrein Riserva "Segen" Merlot Riserva "Freiherr" and, new since the beginning of 2018, Merano "Fürst". Sauvignon "Mervin", Pinot Blanc "Tyrol" and the Chardonnay "Goldegg", which has been developed as a Riserva since autumn 2018, as well as the dessert wine Goldmuskateller Passito "Sissi" among the white wines. Since 2016, the top of the top quality has had one more addition, the "V Years" (Five Years), a Weiburgunder that, after fermentation, is aged for 12 months partly in large oak barrels and steel barrels and, after assemblage, matures for another four years on the fine lees in steel barrels. Stephan Kapfinger confirms that this meditation wine will keep for ten years or more after bottling.

The wines from Vinschgau - Pinot Blanc, Kerner, Vernatsch and Pinot Noir - are offered in a separate line of filigree mountain wines. Here, there is only one quality level of each wine, which is in the upscale range.

In the panoramic wine cellar - with a magnificent view of Merano - you can taste all the wines during opening hours (Monday to Friday: 8 am - 7 pm, Saturday: 8 am - 6 pm). From March to November, a guided tour of the winery takes place from Wednesday to Friday at 3 pm. Advance booking is required for this.

The wines of the Meran-Burggräfler Winery in the wine guide by Wein-Plus

Winery Merano-Burgraveller
Cellar Street 9, I-39020 Marlengo,
Tel.: +39 0473 447137

Kränzelhof - Franz Count Pfeil

Kränzelhof – Franz Graf Pfeil

"I'm interested in intoxication in its various forms of expression" is a statement one rarely hears from quality wine producers - at least not in official interviews. Franz Graf Pfeil has no problem admitting this. However, he is not concerned with intoxication as an anaesthetic state that befuddles the senses, nor is it only about intoxication with wine. He is concerned with "expanding the senses and the uncontrollable and creative element associated with intoxication. A conscious gliding into it, a swimming, a being carried by the spirit that is hidden in the wine. It is like a wonderful music with which I can merge. The creative, the relaxing and the releasing has a quality that opens up wonderful spaces when used consciously and respectfully".

This requires inspiration, and he provides it on his estate - and not only in the form of his wines. The Ansitz Kränzel estate is a synthesis of the arts, characterised by seven themed gardens that Franz Pfeil had laid out: Garden of Love, Yin & Yang Garden, Garden of Sensuality, Garden of Trust, Labyrinth Garden, Wine Garden and a Reception Garden. They are all connected to each other and thus form a unity. "They are intended," says Franz Pfeil, "to offer an atmosphere in which sensitivity and appreciation of one's own nature can develop. We want to take visitors out of their moulded ways of thinking, to stimulate and enliven their senses." As far as wine is concerned, the range is broad for such a small operation, with around 20 varieties. However, this is not only due to the large number of varieties cultivated here, but mainly because the grapes from the different vineyards are harvested at very different times. In 2016, for example, the last Vernatsch grapes were harvested in January 2017 (!). These different selections are often vinified and bottled separately, which brings new surprises every year.

Similarity over many years and the associated high recognition value (often a must for producers thinking in marketing categories) do not interest Franz Graf Pfeil. "That's where it gets too narrow for me. With our attentive attention to the grapes and in the process of vinification, we ensure very special qualities. The only thing that is relatively fixed with us is that nothing is fixed. As is actually also the case in the life of man, although he often longs for it. Why should it be any different with wine as a living product?" Even though Franz Graf Pfeil loves the unpredictable and surprising, he remains down-to-earth with his wines. They are straightforward, clear and juicy growths characterised by animating freshness and elegance.

You can taste the wines in the vinotheque. Opening hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 10.30 to 19.00. In addition, very special "philosophical wine tastings" are offered on request.

The 7 gardens are open daily from the end of March to 11 November from 09.30 - 19.00.

You can get to know the wines of the winery in a particularly enjoyable way in the adjoining restaurant "miil". It is open all year round. Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 - 14:00 | 18:30 - 21:30

Kränzelhof - Franz Count Pfeil
Gampenstrasse 1, I-39010 Tscherms
Tel +39 0473 564549, Fax +39 0473 554806

Popphof - Andreas Menz

Popphof – Andreas Menz

Ever since he started making wine - and he has been making wine for quite a long time - Andreas Menz has always remained true to one thing: the label, which is now over 100 years old. With its rather old-fashioned, opulently coloured style in the style of the Wachau star winemaker Emmerich Knoll, it is completely out of step with the stylistic framework to which we are accustomed nowadays. But Andreas Menz himself falls out of this somewhat. Contrary to what the rather old-fashioned label suggests, Menz was a rather unconventionally acting winemaker from the very beginning of his winemaking career. It was mainly thanks to chance and fortunate natural circumstances that he came to viticulture at all. Wine did not interest him too much at first (1988), but the vines of the family vineyards had to be harvested in autumn, and since there was an old wooden barrel and a few - rather porous - rubber hoses in the cellar, Andreas Menz decided to press the grapes himself.

As chance would have it, a good wine was produced despite the rather unfavourable conditions in terms of equipment. "To this day, I can't explain how that came about," says Menz, "but from then on, it grabbed me." At the beginning of his winemaking career, he felt like a "young savage" who wanted to "turn the wine world upside down" in Burggrafenamt, which was rather sleepy at the time, and create great red wines in the style of the famous "Supertuscans" as well as crisp, fresh white wines with impressive aromatics using the barrique barrels that were fashionable at the time and clever cellar work. However, he soon realised that this was not possible in the Burggrafenamt. Because "our reds don't have the structure for strong wood use, and our whites often need a longer time before they show their true qualities." He therefore soon turned his attention to what is possible in the Burggrafenamt vineyards and, above all, what makes sense here. That means: rather delicate red wines that may also have a little more acidity, as well as ripe whites that do not live exclusively from the primary fruit aroma. His consistency and patience were rewarded, because now wines like the ones he produces are in demand again. The landlord is pleased because this situation "allows us smaller winegrowers to produce wines that reflect exactly what we have: a sunny mountain climate with many different sites in terms of altitude exposure and soil composition. Very individual wines that can't be replicated elsewhere, expressing who we are and what we have to offer."

Between Easter and November, you can rent a room at the Popphof and take this opportunity to experience Andreas Menz as he introduces wines and the farm to his guests in his entertaining, lively and very informative manner.

Ex farm sales: Mon.-Fri. 16.00-18.00, Saturday 10.00-11.00 (by appointment) closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Popphof - Anreas Menz
Mitterzerstrasse 5, I-39020 Marling
Tel +39 0473 447180, Fax +39 0473 207861

Pardellerhof Montin - Erwin Eccli

Pardellerhof Montin – Erwin Eccli

After studying viticulture in Geisenheim, San Michele and Udine and working as a teacher in the technical school of the South Tyrolean experimental centre in Laimburg, Erwin Eccli worked as a consultant for cellar management in South Tyrol. He was highly appreciated by his clients both for his technical competence and for his open, communicative character and positive attitude. Anything calculating is alien to Erwin Eccli.

He has retained these qualities as a winemaker as well. Since 2012, he has been managing the Pardellerhof in Marling together with his wife. Since he himself comes from Salurn in the south of South Tyrol and his family owns vineyards there, he produces wines from two very different and distant zones of South Tyrol. This is also the reason why he can offer a wide range of different wines despite the small total quantity of currently about 12,000 bottles that he produces with his family every year. An elegant, fruity Pinot Grigio and an intense, mash-fermented Chardonnay from the Salurner Unterland, Vernatsch from the Marlinger vineyards, which he vinifies as a fine rosé and as a hearty red wine, as well as a racy, fruit-driven Lagrein and, as a speciality, Muskateller, from which two different wines are made - a concentrated sweet wine and a bottle-fermented, fine-aromatic dry sparkling wine. In the future, the range will be expanded to include the fungus-resistant Bronner variety.

The Pardellerhof is not a certified organic farm, but Erwin Eccli is very sensitive about this. "As far as that is concerned, I am not the least bit selfish and do not want to poison my family or myself. Part of my vineyards are right around the house. There - of course also in the interest of the house guests - no chemical plant protection is practised at all, and also in my work I reduce everything that could burden me to a minimum or try to find unproblematic alternatives."

The best way to get to know the wines is to rent an apartment at the Pardellerhof. Four flats are available for this purpose. The view down to Merano and up to the surrounding mountains is magnificent, and the whole Eccli family are wonderful hosts. Warm, uncomplicated and always there when you need something.

Wine tasting in the wine shop Mon-Fri 08.00-12.00 & 13.30-18.00, on Sat 08.00-12.00

The wines of Pardellerhof Montin in the wine guide of Wein-Plus

Pardellerhof Montin - Erwin Eccli
Via Mitterzer 15, 39020 Marlengo
Tel +39 339 1771577, Fax +39 0473 492575

Castle Plars - Andreas Theiner

Schloss Plars – Andreas Theiner

When Andreas Theiner and his wife Irene took over the management of the Schloss Plars estate in 2004, it was clear to both of them that only viticulture was an option for them. Like most other estates, Schloss Plars was at that time almost completely converted to fruit growing. Only a small vineyard was available for their own use and for the consumption of the house guests.

With their decision to switch to viticulture, Andreas Theiner and his wife continued the original tradition of the estate, which was first mentioned in a document in 1357 as "Torgglerhof'". Theiner's grandfather was one of the first wine producers in Burggrafenamt at the beginning of the last century, exporting their wine as far as Vienna and Switzerland. Andreas Theiner himself used to work as a bank clerk, but his love has always been for wine, so he trained as a sommelier. As much as he enjoyed tasting wine, producing wine himself was a dream all his life, which he is now fulfilling.

And in an impressive way. His wines are all distinguished by their distinct character. The Pinot Blanc is clear and straightforward, with animating freshness and juiciness. The special microclimate of Mitterplars at 450 metres above sea level above the Merano basin with its extraordinarily many hours of sunshine as well as continuous air movement thanks to the opening to the Vinschgau valley in the northwest makes the Sauvignon in particular particularly expressive, which is why a selection of it is planned for the future. Even the basic version currently available has an impressive complexity of flavour. So one can be curious about the future. The red wines present themselves as pleasantly fruity throughout. The Vernatsch is both fine and pithy - an extremely easy-drinking wine, and the 'Cuvée' of Lagrein and Merlot is a powerful, intense red that doesn't go weak at the knees even after a few days in the open bottle.

The best way to get to know the wines is to stay at Schloss Plars. Eight rooms and four suites are available for this purpose. The view is gigantic, and the estate offers a stylish combination of traditional ambience with a clear, bright, modern flair.

Tasting: Fixed on Fridays from 10.00-13.00, otherwise on request.

Guided farm tour: Fixed wine tour on Tuesday, otherwise on request.

The wines of the winery Schloss Plars in the wine guide of Wein-Plus

Castle Plars - Andreas Theiner
Mitterplars 25, I-39022 Algund
Tel +39 0473 448472, Fax +39 0473 446557

Winery Plonerhof- Erhard & Herta Tutzer, Marling (near Merano)

Plonerhof Winery for Wein-Plus
Weingut Plonerhof

"I wanted a nice, quiet place where my family, my dog, my cat and myself don't have any stress and can simply feel good - in any case, I didn't want to buy myself any work." Erhard Tutzer says when I asked him what had prompted him to buy the Plonerhof near Marling in 2003. "Today I look out of my window, see nothing but work around me and I am one of the happiest people in the world!"

Erhard Tutzer is one of those entrepreneurs who "can't leave it alone". Not because they can't get enough of it, but because they simply want to realise things that are important to them and that give them pleasure. His life's work to date is the Tutzer Vine School, which he has made into one of the most sought-after addresses worldwide within 45 years and whose customers include names such as Angelo Gaja, Bassermann-Jordan and many others.

So Erhard Tutzer is very familiar with the question of where to plant which vines and how, and when he saw the Plonerhof, which at that time was purely a fruit-growing farm, from a distance, he already imagined in his mind's eye the vineyards that would one day surround it. Today, there is not an apple tree on the Plonerhof, but only vines: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. Of the latter - and this is unique in the world - 172 clones! Without neglecting the other wines, Erhard Tutzer's greatest attention and ambition belongs to the difficult Pinot Noir. For someone who has a few Romanée-Conti vines in his vineyard, this is naturally obvious. However, Erhard Tutzer is not an egomaniac driven by personal ambition who wants to prove to the world that he is one of the best Pinot Noir producers. He is always concerned with the cause. There was unbridled joy at the Plonerhof winery when their Pinot Noir "Exclusiv" DOC Riserva 2014 reached 3rd place in the national competition of the best Pinot Noirs. That gives confirmation and incentive.

How much he cares about the cause is shown by the way he campaigns for the growing area around Marling. He has actively contributed to the very informative and lovingly designed 'Burggräfler Weinbiachl', as well as several initiatives around viticulture and wine.

Ex farm sales: Mon-Fri. from 8.00 - 12.00 and from 16.00 - 18.00, Saturday from 09.00 - 12.00

Guided farm tour: Every Thursday from 16.00-18.00 by appointment.

The wines of the winery Plonerhof in the wine guide of Wein-Plus

Winery Plonerhof - Erhard & Herta Tutzer
Conveyor road 29, I-39020 Marlengo
Tel +39 0473 490525, Fax +39 0473 490525

Zollweghof - Franz Pfeifhofer


"We only have old, autochthonous varieties and PIWIs in our vineyards. We have always left out the international varieties. They simply don't interest us, even though they are certainly easier to market." Says Irmgard Windegger, who runs the Zollweghof winery near Lana together with her partner Franz Pfeifhofer. A courageous decision - just like the cultivation of the winery with organic methods. For this was done as early as 1990, at a time when 'organic' was not yet in vogue and was at best viewed with suspicion by many consumers and colleagues alike, if not rejected outright. For a good fifteen years now, the farm has also been run biodynamically, according to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and the Demeter guidelines.

The fact that the Zollweghof does not think and act in terms of marketing criteria is evident in the whole atmosphere of the winery. Lots of art in the cellar and on the wine labels. Lively, colourful pictures that depict the natural and pleasurable side of wine in a lively, animating way and express Franz Pfeifhofer's motto: "Being a farmer for the joy of it". No work is spared - that would not be possible here at all, because the slopes are extremely steep and the use of machines in the vineyard work is practically impossible.

However, the quality and above all the originality of the wines produced here are worth the effort. The barren, mineral soils, as well as the cool evening winds from the Ulten Valley, which are always present even on hot summer days, ensure fine, multi-layered and distinctive aromas even in the otherwise rather restrained, old, autochthonous varieties such as Fraueler and Versoaln. With their pithy, uncompromising style, they are absolutely unique, as if from another time. If you are looking for high-quality, naturally produced wines from fungus-resistant varieties as well as old varieties that are no longer cultivated elsewhere, you will find them at the Zollweghof.

But only here. The wines are sold almost exclusively from the farm. Apart from a few committed organic shops and grocery shops in the area, most traders have a hard time with the unknown varieties and the PIWIs. These wines want to be explained - and of course tasted! In addition, Irmgard Windegger and Franz Pfeifhofer are very happy to market their wines themselves from the farm and in the immediate vicinity, so they maintain direct contact with customers and can offer lower prices at the same time. Countless loyal regular customers over the decades confirm the correctness of this approach. On request, the wines are also sent by courier to neighbouring countries.

The wines of the Zollweghof winery in the wine guide of Wein-Plus

Zollweghof - Franz Pfeifhofer
Braunsbergerweg 15, I-39011 Lana
Tel +39 334 9298716 or Tel +39 335 5922200, Fax +39 0473 564147

Biedermannhof - Hannes Innerhofer

Biedermannhof – Hannes Innerhofer

Since 2015, Hannes Innerhofer has been primarily responsible for the Biedermannhof near Tscherms, which has now been in the family for 11 generations. Right at the beginning, fate dealt him a bitter blow. In the middle of the 2016 harvest, a short circuit caused the barn containing all the equipment needed for the harvest to burn down. However, Hannes Innerhofer is not one of those people who hang their head after such a dramatic event. "It was a really bad time, but the barn will be ready again for the next harvest," is his succinct comment after the disaster. Hannes Innerhofer always looks ahead and radiates a pleasantly unconcerned attitude. Since the 2016 harvest could be harvested with support from the entire community despite the lack of equipment, he at least did not have to worry about being without income from wine sales the following year.

He cannot produce large quantities on the Biedermannhof's one hectare of vineyards, but what is bottled here has character. The natural conditions of the vineyards at 350 metres above Tscherms provide the desired temperature fluctuations and multi-layered aromas, while the moraine hills created by the deposition of sediments during the Ice Age provide minerality. In addition, Hannes Innerhofer gained his practical experience at two of South Tyrol's best wineries: Terlan and St. Michael-Eppan. There he learned how to bring these natural advantages of the terroir to the bottle and to the market.

His wines are skilful interpretations of the terroir. A pithy, elegant Pinot Blanc, a hearty Lagrein Rosé, a fine, animating Vernatsch, a powerful Lagrein Riserva, as well as the house's speciality, the Lagrein/Merlot cuvée 'Gallus', which shows how well Hannes Innerhofer has learned his craft and how intelligently he applies his knowledge. Often these cuvées are rather powerful and impress more with strength than with fidelity to their origins. Here it is different: the wine combines the characteristics of both varieties - the tart fruit and slight bitterness of the Lagrein and the soft, fruity richness of the Merlot - in the best possible way, without losing the characteristics of each variety.

Hannes Innerhofer is a good seller of his products because he is convinced. Intermediaries are practically non-existent at the Biedermannhof. 60% is sold directly from the farm and the rest is sold without intermediaries to the gastronomy or to private customers, whom Hannes Innerhofer supplies himself all the way to southern Germany.

The Biedermannhof offers 4 rooms with breakfast and 2 holiday flats for 3-4 people.

The wines can be tasted daily from 11-12 or by appointment.

Biedermannhof - Hannes Innerhofer
Lebenbergerstr. 1
39010 Cerms
Tel +39 0473 563097, Mobile 339 4816139
Fax +39 0473 563097

Gruberhof - Jakob Gamper

Gruberhof – Jakob Gamper

Like most farms in Burggrafenamt, the Gruberhof was a pure fruit-growing farm until the early 1980s, when Jakob Gamper's father planted some vines and at first only produced some wine for his own use and for the house guests. His son was interested in wine from a very early age. When he was asked in primary school what he wanted to be when he grew up, he always answered: "Cellar master". That's what he became, and after his studies as well as stays in various wineries in Tuscany and Germany, he took over the family farm and continued the conversion started by his father. "Wine is simply a very different product from fruit. The apples I cultivate I hand in at the cooperative after the harvest and away they go. I don't hear anything about the consumer and his satisfaction with my product. It's quite different with wine. On the one hand, I can shape the product to a certain extent through my work in the vineyard and in the cellar, and on the other hand, I get feedback about what I do." Due to its location on the Marlinger Walweg - an ideal hiking trail because it is beautiful but not strenuous - the Gruberhof has many ex-farm customers who appreciate the quality of the wines. These are classic growths of the Burggrafenamt, which have a very finely fruity, mineral character due to the prevailing soil structure here - primary rock and slate-moraine hills. This also applies to the strong red wines Lagrein as well as Jakob Gamper's Merlot-Cabernet cuvée. Gruberhof's white wine is made from the fungus-resistant (PIWI) Bronner variety, and as a light red wine there is the South Tyrolean classic Vernatsch, which Jakob Gamper appreciates as an unmistakable South Tyrolean classic, even though it often presents him with great challenges as an organic producer because of its susceptibility to Oidium. The conversion to organic farming was started by his father as early as 1995, and Jakob Gamper is consistently continuing along this path by turning to fungus-resistant varieties.

Guided tours of the farm are available by appointment.

Gruberhof - Jakob Gamper
Bergerstrasse 7, 39020 Marlengo
Tel +39 338 4890571 +39 0473 446572
Fax +39 0473 446572

Pföstl Winery

Weingut Pföstl

The Pföstl Winery is a very young business. It has only existed in its current form since 2016, but the two people responsible for the winery - Stefan Pföstl and Georg Weger - have known each other since their earliest childhood. They grew up just a stone's throw away from each other and planted their first vines together as early as 15 years ago. Professionally, however, they first went different ways. Stefan Pföstl took care of the family-owned hotel while Georg Weger attended viticulture school and worked at various wineries.

In the course of the hotel renovation, the opportunity arose to set up a wine cellar, and so the Pföstl Winery project was started. For both of them, this was a dream come true. Stefan Pföstl can now offer his hotel guests his own wine and Georg Weger can now accompany the wine from the vine to the bottle and work entirely according to his own ideas.

The quality of the end product is the ultimate goal, but ecological sustainability is also important to Georg Weger. In his own vineyards, he works with biodynamic methods and does not till his soils mechanically, but with a plough pulled by horses. The experience gained here flows into the work for the Pföstl winery.

Seven wines are currently produced. The white wines Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Gewürztraminer and the reds Cabernet, Merlot and Vernatsch. The selection wines of the "Valpitan" line are pressed from the best grapes. The name comes from the Romansh and means "valley on the steep path". This line currently includes Vernatsch, Merlot Riserva and Cabernet. A bottle-fermented sparkling wine and a Passito are planned for the future. In any case, the start with the wines currently on offer has been a success. Due to their satisfaction with the qualities, the hotel guests have already drunk most of the first year's production.

Opening hours for tasting and sales: 9:00 to 19:00, all year round.

Pföstl Winery
Old road 14
I-39017 Schenna near Merano BZ
T: +39 0473 230760

Eichenstein - Josef Waldner

Eichenstein – Josef Waldner

Josef Waldner is an open, uncomplicated, outgoing person who is always concerned about the well-being of the guests of his Romantik Hotel Oberwirt in Marling. He is a person who loves to laugh, loves his animals and always makes a relaxed impression. A successful entrepreneur with his feet on the ground, for whom financial success is important, but who never forgets what makes a good life for him: appreciation for others, for his homeland and for genuine quality. This is impressively demonstrated in his Romantik Hotel Oberwirt, which he runs in the 8th generation. Elegant, traditional ambience inside, a beautiful, shady garden outside. Both are not small and yet have a quiet, inviting, relaxed atmosphere that you don't find too often these days. Plus an ever-present, friendly service and, of course, the best quality on the plate and in the glass.

The same passion and unwillingness to compromise with which Josef Waldner has run and still runs all his businesses - in addition to the Oberwirt, among others, a Haflinger breeding farm and formerly an IT company - is also evident in his Eichenstein winery, founded in 2007. Nothing was and is left to chance here. Nothing was spared in terms of architecture and vineyard care, and Hartmann Donà, one of South Tyrol's best oenologists, was hired as a consultant. He was responsible for the wines of the Terlan Winery in the 90s and has contributed a great deal to the fact that it is where it is today, namely at the top of the world.

Responsible for the management of the winery is Martin Pollinger, a self-confident young winemaker who, after his training in Geisenheim, gained practical experience at some of the best addresses in South Tyrol (Bolzano Winery) and Tuscany (Poggio al Tessoro Winery in Bolgheri), in Austria (Triebaumer Winery) and New Zealand (Quartz Reef Winery), and who knows exactly what he wants. Each wine should have its own clear identity and show what is in the high sites around the winery. This means elegance, freshness, juiciness and a noticeable minerality in the white wines Riesling, Sauvignon and Chardonnay. If the vintage permits, he is also not averse to a structured cuvée in need of maturation. The same animating freshness is to be found in the South Tyrolean classic Vernatsch, which is vinified as a rosé. With the red wine cuvée 'Baccara', emphasis is placed on intense fruit combined with finesse and elegance. A Pinot Noir is to be added in the future. Although most of the wines still come from very young vineyards, they already show a good complexity and a certain ability to mature. So we can expect a lot more in the future.

Farm sales and guided farm tours by appointment

Eichenstein Winery & Chalet
Via Catinaccio 34
39012 Merano - South Tyrol
Tel. +39 344 2820179

Rametz Castle

Schloss Rametz

South Tyrolean viticultural history was written at Rametz Castle in Schenna near Merano. In 1863, South Tyrol's first Pinot Noir was pressed here and the first Riesling vines south of the Alps were planted. This was thanks to Friedrich Boscarolli, a merchant's son who was interested in viticulture, but less in the commercial responsibility that went with it. In order for him to learn this, his father had given him the Rametz Castle estate together with the associated vineyards, as a kind of educational measure.

His father must have been pleasantly surprised at the way his son approached the matter. First of all, he acquired the necessary viticultural knowledge by studying in the German viticultural schools of Johannisberg and Geisenheim and brought the aforementioned Riesling vines with him when he returned to South Tyrol. He then had the vineyards planted in such a way that not only thin mass wine but high-quality growths could be produced on them. He was the first to use the Guyot method of cultivation for Pinot Noir in South Tyrol, which made it possible to produce competitive wine from this grape variety introduced by Archduke Johann. But Friedrich Boscarolli proved to be an enterprising, far-sighted entrepreneur not only in wine production, but also in sales. He was the first in South Tyrol to fill wine in relatively small glass containers. At first he was ridiculed for filling wine into a fragile vessel instead of a sturdy wooden barrel. But Friedrich Boscarolli did good business with it, because it allowed him to tap into groups of buyers for whom a whole barrel was too big an expense.

The cultivation and communication of this South Tyrolean winemaking tradition plays a major role at Rametz Castle. For a visit to the estate, you should therefore plan a little more time than is necessary for wine tasting and purchasing, and visit the lovingly designed wine museum. It is best to visit at times when guided tours are offered, during which you will be informed in detail and charmingly about the history of this traditional South Tyrolean winery. Between Easter and All Saints' Day, this happens daily at 4:30 pm or by appointment for groups of 10 or more. The group tours also include a visit to the wine archive with tasting. Wines dating back to the 1960s are stored here.

The current range at Rametz Castle includes most of the typical South Tyrolean varieties. Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Riesling for the white wines, Vernatsch, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Merlot for the red wines. In addition, bottle-fermented sparkling wines are produced, the grapes of which come from the vineyards of Castel Monreale in Trentino, which is owned by the Schmidt family.

Rametz Castle Winery
Labersstr. 4 (Obermais)
I-39012 Merano (BZ)
Tel. +39 0473 211 011 - Fax +39 0473 211 015

Schnalshuberhof - Christian Pinggera

Schnalshuberhof – Christian Pinggera

A visit to the Schnalshuberhof is a must. It is rightly mentioned in every important gourmet guide, but this - and this is one of the special qualities of Christian Pinggera and his family - has not led to the farm changing its traditional, rural character. With a few exceptions, such as coffee, only their own products or products made by friends are used. Hospitality has not suffered from the farm's notoriety either, because Christian Pinggera and his family have their principles; the most important ones are cosmopolitanism and the associated respect for others, as well as a pronounced, down-to-earth love for the land on which they live and work.

The latter is also reflected in the consistently organic farming methods practised here. Combining the preservation of tradition with an open-mindedness for meaningful innovations is another trait of Christian Pinggera. In addition to the well-known South Tyrolean classics Pinot Blanc, Vernatsch and Pinot Noir, he cultivates the old, almost extinct local varieties such as Fraueler, and at the same time he was one of the first winemakers in Burgraviato to experiment with fungus-resistant varieties. He is extremely successful with all these wines. One of the most interesting wines is undoubtedly the red wine cuvée that Christian Pinggera has made from the resistant varieties Chambourcin, Cabernet Cortis and Prior. A multi-layered, fine, smooth wine, with hints of the South Tyrolean classic Vernatsch as well as fine Pinot Noir. It interprets classic South Tyrolean red wine flavours in a new way and shows what is important to Christian Pinggera in his wines: independence, high quality, sustainability and above all drinking pleasure.

Schnalshuberhof - Christian Pinggera
Oberplars 2
39022 Algund
Tel +39 335 5878822

Oberstein - Joachim Wolf

Oberstein – Joachim Wolf

"This is my arena" is how Joachim Wolf greets visitors to his family vineyard Oberstein in Tscherms, pointing to the terraced vineyards that rise steeply upwards like an amphiteatre in a semicircle next to the estate. Here, the grapes of his wines grow on the light, permeable, loamy sandy soils, which are interspersed with extremely porous, slate-like rock material.

Joachim Wolf wants the imposing character of this special site with its minerals - especially highly weathered quartzite, feldspar and mica - to be reflected in his wines. He therefore vinifies them somewhat differently than most of his colleagues, which first of all means that he gives them time. No wine leaves the cellar the year after the harvest, neither the white wines nor the Vernatsch, which is normally drunk rather young, of which Joachim Wolf produces a selection called "arena" made from old clones in addition to the basic "versal" version. It is not uncommon for it to be harvested in up to four vintages. Fermentation takes place over several weeks, in some cases also with the stems. The wine is aged for one year in wooden barrels and another year in the bottle. Both versions play in a different league than that usually reserved for Vernatsch. Despite their demanding character, Joachim Wolf's Vernatsch are decidedly drinkable wines - certainly not least because of their pleasantly low alcohol content.

Just as impressive in their own way as the Vernatsch are his two white wines - Pinot Blanc "lapis" and Sauvignon "salis". Like the Vernatsch, they also benefit from the fact that the grapes in the "arena" are not too strongly exposed to direct sunlight and therefore, in addition to their intensity due to the low yields, also have good acidity values. Possibly a Pinot Noir will be added in the future. Joachim Wolf will not produce more wines, as he wants to limit himself to the varieties that really produce above-average qualities and suit him personally. For he appreciates above all elegance in wine, which for him these varieties in particular bring.

The wines of the Oberstein winery in the wine guide by Wein-Plus

Oberstein Winery
Leitenweg 6
39010 Cerms
Tel +39 3386169514
Fax +39 0473 562389

Haidenhof - Johann Erb

Haidenhof - Johann Erb

The Haidenhof vineyards are the continuation of the "Arena" of Joachim Wolf's Oberstein vineyard and, like the latter, are characterised by multi-layered loam and sandy soils with chippings. This gives the wines both fullness and power, but also a juicy freshness as well as a distinct salty-mineral character. The wines mature rather slowly and therefore also have a certain longevity.

Their only disadvantage: since the yields are extremely low (no wine has a yield per hectare above 70 quintals), the quantity produced is just enough for the visitors of the house. The winery with Buschenschank is located directly on the Tschermser Waalweg; hikers appreciate the quality of the wines and are willing to pay a somewhat higher price for them. Eight different wines are currently produced. The whites are Pinot Blanc, Kerner, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon, of which the latter is also a small-lot selection. The reds are Vernatsch, Pinot Noir and Merlot, of which there is also a site selection.

Lebenbergerstrasse 17
39010 Cerms
Tel +39 335 7033897



The Innerleiterhof is a very young winery. In its current form, it was founded by Karl and Karin Pichler in 2010. Nevertheless, tradition plays a very important role here. The winery evolved from the hotel that Karin Pichler's grandmother founded in 1958. In her honour, the house rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes is called "Mathilde". Another reference to the local winemaking tradition goes back a few decades further: not far from the estate lies the mausoleum where Archduke Johann of Austria found his final resting place. He was the first to bring Burgundy varieties to South Tyrol, which is why the Weißburgunder of the Innerleiterhof bears his name.

The terraced vineyards, all of which (with the exception of one Sauvignon parcel) are located around the house, are particularly well suited for Burgundy varieties. The location at 430 to 500 metres at the entrance to the Passeier Valley with its cool winds ensures good aeration, which has a positive effect on the health of the grapes, and the pronounced temperature fluctuations between day and night promote the complexity of the aromas. In the cellar, nothing is left to chance (as a trained electrical engineer, Karl Pichler is so used to this), without steering the wines in any particular direction. Thus the wines of the Innerleiterhof are on the one hand intensely fruity and at the same time racy, clear, of a fresh, cool and pleasantly demanding kind with a pronounced mountain wine character.

Around 12,000 bottles are produced per year. That's not much if you own a well-run hotel. This means that you have to buy the wines on site, as the quantity is just enough for sale from the farm. The best thing to do is to stay here and enjoy the view of Merano and the surrounding mountains in addition to the wines. The centres of Schenna and Merano can be reached on foot or in a few minutes by car. There is also an in-house shuttle service.

Ladder path 8
39017 Schenna
Tel +39 0473 946000
Fax +39 0473 946010

Back to the heights - Bergkellerei Passaier/Konrad Pixner and Kellerei Passir/Flor Fontana

Konrad Pixner for Wein-Plus
Zurück in die Höhe – Konrad Pixner

Winegrowing in the Passiria Valley - that's something new in South Tyrol. But it is not quite so new. Old field names in St. Martin in Passeier such as Weinbergweg (vineyard path), Weineck (wine corner) and Heiligblutacker (holy blood field) prove that wine growing was already practised here in the past. However, nothing is known about the quality of these grapes, and it can be assumed that viticulture was abandoned here because the wines were difficult to sell.

Flor Fontana and Konrad Pixner have now reactivated viticulture in the Passeier Valley. "At an altitude of 600 metres, the vineyards are all south-facing and we still benefit from the warm winds from the Garda," says Konrad Pixner, whose vineyard planted on the Jaufen Pass goes even higher, up to 900 metres. Climate change certainly suits him, but it is above all his knowledge, his great experience despite his youth and, above all, his will to produce only top quality wines that make for the gratifying enrichment he represents for the South Tyrolean wine world with his wines.

Pixner pressed his first vintage of his own wines in 2015. Since 2012, however, he has been fully responsible for the wines of Flor Fontana's Passir winery. At that time, the grapes came entirely from vineyards in the Merano and Vinschgau regions. Unlike most South Tyrolean winegrowers, Konrad Pixner has no family background in viticulture, and yet he has always had the desire to produce wine in his hometown. In order to realise this wish, he gave up his well-paid position as researcher in charge of oenological issues at the Laimburg experimental centre and devoted himself entirely to his own projects.

On the one hand, Konrad Pixner relies on vines that have proven themselves in South Tyrol, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Lagrein, Merlot and Cabernet, but he is also breaking new ground with fungus-resistant varieties. He is particularly fond of the Solaris variety; he goes into raptures when he talks about the ecological advantages and the quality of the wines produced from this variety. With his white wine cuvée "Giovo" (Jaufenpass), in which Solaris is vinified together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, Konrad Pixner shows what can be made from this variety. It is a racy, elegant, complex mountain wine with a firm base. Currently, Konrad Pixner produces four other wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc as well as Lagrein and a cuvée of Merlot, Cabernet and Lagrein as red wines.

Since Konrad Pixner also manages his partner's Domaine des Terres Costas in Languedoc, France, in addition to his wines and those of Flor Fontana, he does not have time for direct sales. The wines are therefore available at the Vinothek Prünster in St.Leonahrd in Passeier. The wines of the Passir Winery can be purchased - along with home-brewed beer - at the Unterwirt Inn in the village centre.

The wines of the Bergkellerei Passeier in the wine guide by Wein-Plus

Mountain Winery Passeier of Konrad Pixner
Dorfstrasse 35
39010 St.Martin in Passeier
+39 347 9982554

Winery Passir - Flor Fontana
St. Martin in Passeier, Dorfstraße 35
Tel.: +39 0473 641226
Konrad Pixner
Oenologist | Winemaker

All pictures unless otherwise stated by Roland Brunner.

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