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For some time now, there has been a pleasantly fresh breeze in South Tyrol's deepest south. For a long time there were only the Ochsenreiter brothers, who produced top quality wines with their Haderburg wine and sparkling wine cellar, but now there are some new names that are worth a visit. Especially for wine lovers interested in high quality from organic or biodynamic cultivation. Branzoll and Laives are rarely perceived as independent wine-growing communities. This is certainly also due to the fact that there are not many independent wineries here, namely three. But these work at a very good and, for some wines, top level.

Branzoll and Laives

Branzoll and Laives are rarely perceived as independent wine-growing communities. This is certainly also due to the fact that there are not many independent wineries here, namely three. But these work at a very good and, for some wines, top level.

Winery H. Lentsch

Weathered red porphyry - in former times it was mined, shipped all over the world and, among other things, the Red Square in Moscow is paved with it. Today, Cabernet, Merlot and Lagrein vines grow on it, from whose fruit powerful, supple red wines are pressed.

The Lentsch family (Source: Lentsch)

"They should be meaty, salty, mineral and, for all their power, invite you to drink them," says Klaus Lentsch, the third generation to continue the viticulture started by Hartmann Lentsch. The wine has been bottled since 1997, and with the "Palestina", a cuvée of Cabernet and Merlot, Lentsch made a remarkable debut. The name originated in the 19th century when the owner at the time, a corvette captain in the Austro-Hungarian fleet, was cruising the Mediterranean and the Canelini, migrant workers from the Trentino Canal Valley who planted his vineyards, answered "Palestina" when asked where the owner was. The workers moved away, the name remained and now stands for a juicy, full-bodied wine with noble tannins and a fine acidity that gives it delicate elegance and thus provides a harmonious counterbalance to its power and fullness.

This characteristic also distinguishes the Cabernet Riserva and Lagrein Riserva "Morus". Their lively acidity gives them a pleasant freshness. Combined with the ripe, luscious fruit, this creates an animating combination of power and elegance. And there is one more thing that distinguishes the Lentsch wines: They come onto the market when they are mature, which means complex and interesting on the palate with soft, noble tannins, which in turn ensure a good shelf life. Ten years is no problem at all for these wines, in some years even more is possible. Another interesting speciality is the Goldmuskateller. A South Tyrolean white wine speciality which, with its clear, herbaceous aroma and absolutely dry, mineral taste, makes a versatile aperitif like hardly any other wine.

And last but not least, a certainly not unimportant credo of Klaus Lentsch: "Good wines should and need not be expensive." They cost between 10 and 15 euros ex farm.

Klaus Lentsch is not only active in the Unterland. Since 2008 he has also been running the Hemberg winery in the Eisacktal valley, where he produces fine Veltliner, Traminer and Pinot Noir (see here).

Winery H. Lentsch
Via Reich 71
39051 Branzoll
Telephone: +39 348 5803072
E-Mail: info@klauslentsch.eu
Internet: www.lentsch.it

The wines of the H. Lentsch winery in the wine guide


Azienda Agricola Soini

Despite its Italian name, the Soini family is a traditional winery in South Tyrol. The family has been cultivating vines and fruit in Branzoll since 1911. And in 1975 they were one of the first wineries to bottle their wine and sell it under their own label. At the Soinis, things are decidedly cordial and cosy. The quality of the wines is in the safe middle range, although the Lagrein can sometimes lay justified claim to the top positions. The solid quality at reasonable prices as well as the one or other qualitative "slip" upwards have earned the Soinis a loyal regular clientele, which is why there is a decidedly relaxed atmosphere here even in economically difficult times.

Il Chiosco (Source: Brunner)

For all their attachment to tradition, the Soinis are very open to new things, and they create interesting new products themselves. In the case of white wine, a cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco called "CharPi", and in the case of red wine, a combination of Lagrein, Pinot Nero and Cabernet ("LaPiCa"). Certainly, these new inventions are due to the supposed need to offer customers something new every now and then, but especially with the Soinis' "LaPiCa", the result is much more than a publicity stunt. This cuvée really combines the characteristics of the grape varieties Lagrein, Pinot Nero and Cabernet: Spice, delicacy and distinctive aromas. The classic range of Soinis consists of the white wines Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc and the reds Schiava Grossa "La Laita" (Vernatsch), Cabernet Franc, Lagrein and Pinot Noir. A Riserva version of each of the latter three is also produced.

The best way to get to know the Soini wines is to visit Il Chiosco, the Soini wine tavern on the main road halfway between Auer and Branzoll. Here you can taste all the wines by the glass for a small fee - accompanied by South Tyrolean bacon and other products that the Soinis obtain from farmers in the immediate vicinity. For those who sacrifice themselves as chauffeurs, there are delicious fruit juices from their own production.

Azienda Vinicola Soini
National road 12
39051 Branzoll
Phone: +39 0471 967044
Fax:+39 0471 0967705
E-mail: info@soini.it
Internet: www.soini.it


Leaving the Brenner motorway at the Bolzano South exit, you are first confronted with the less beautiful sides of this city. A huge commercial area with forwarding agents' buildings, warehouses, car dealerships, a lot of traffic, etc. - all the things that modern business life entails. But fortunately in South Tyrol you never have to travel far to quickly leave these areas behind and get to places where you can find peace and quiet again and relax your soul.

Roman Mottironi (Source: Brunner)

In Bolzano South you simply drive for about five to ten minutes - depending on the traffic situation - along the state road southwards to the district of St. Jakob in the suburb of Laives. Then another kilometre or so up the hill and you are in a completely different world: on the Mottironi family's cleaning farm. It is quiet here, children play safely in the beautiful garden. Chickens, dogs and a horse enrich the atmosphere, and there is good wine. Since 2009, not only a red and a white for the house guests, but five different varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Vernatsch, Lagrein, Chardonnay and some Pinot Noir.

The vines grow on the impressive porphyry steep slopes right next to the estate. For the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, grapes from higher vineyards in Buchholz near Salurn are partly added. Despite the relatively short experience Roman Mottironi has had with his own winemaking so far, his growths present themselves at a sophisticated level. They are spotlessly clean, varietally typical wines. To get to know them, it's best to stay for a few days and enjoy the pleasant family atmosphere and the great view of the Adige Valley alongside - or with - the wines.

The wines cost between 6.50 and 11 euros ex farm.

Putzenhof - Mottironi family
Anton Thaler Street 22
39050 St. Jakob/Leifers
Phone: +39 0471 250168
Fax: +39 0471 254820
E-mail: info@putzenhof.it
Internet: www.putzenhof.it


For some time now, a pleasantly fresh wind has been blowing in South Tyrol's deepest south. For a long time, there were only the Ochsenreiter brothers, who produced top quality wines with their Haderburg wine and sparkling wine cellar, but now there are some new names that are worth a visit. Especially for wine lovers who are interested in high quality from organic or biodynamic cultivation.

Haderburg - Luis Ochsenreiter

South Tyrol is not spared from climate change either, and its wines have recently become increasingly alcoholic. In terms of taste, this is not a problem with most of the wines - despite high alcohol levels, they are coherent and offer everything that one expects from very good wines. But most wine drinkers will be like me: less alcohol is simply preferable - provided the wines offer what you expect from high-quality wines.

This is exactly the case with Luis Ochsenreiter's wines. They are all relatively moderate in alcohol, and at the same time they possess the characteristics that distinguish above-average wines: Complexity, fineness as well as a certain ageing potential. Here, the problem that the wines only reach their physiological maturity at high gradations does not exist. Luis Ochsenreiter simply harvests his grapes earlier in the increasingly frequent hot years. Normally, this results in fresh but rather green wines. This is not the case with the Haderburg wines and sparkling wines. Since the beginning of the new millennium, Luis Ochsenreiter has been cultivating his vineyards biodynamically, and apparently the biodynamic wines simply have fewer problems showing their full flavourful splendour even with relatively low alcohol content. Until now, no one has been able to explain the why to me in a way that I could understand. But the result is fine with me even without an explanation.

Luis and Christine Ochsenreiter (Source: Brunner)

The Haderburg winery, named after the landmark of Salurn, is not only a pioneer in terms of biodynamic wines from South Tyrol. As early as 1979, it was here that the first high-quality South Tyrolean sparkling wines were brought to market using the traditional bottle fermentation method, and their success quickly followed due to their quality. Luis and his brother Toni Ochsenreiter could have made it easy for themselves at that time and produced more and more bottles of their successful Haderburg Brut and Haderburg Pas-Dosé sparkling wines. But producing for the sake of economic success alone is not and never was the Ochsenreiter brothers' thing. Soon they also began to produce still wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir as well as Cabernet and Merlot. And here, too, the qualities were always above average. However, some vintages lacked a clear line. That has changed in recent years. In the meantime Luis Ochsenreiter, who separated from his brother in 1998, shows that he not only belongs to the qualitative top in South Tyrol, but that he has also found his own style. The biodynamic way of thinking - treating the grapes in the vineyard as naturally as possible, leaving the wine in the cellar as it is - is certainly largely responsible for this. All the wines - including the powerful Cabernet-Merlot cuvée - now present themselves in a tremendously juicy, animating and profound way.

In addition to their vineyards in Salurn, the Ochsenreiters have also been cultivating vineyards in the Eisack Valley near Klausen since 2002 and produce wonderful Sylvaner, Kerner and Riesling wines there (see here).

The wines cost between 9 and 35 euros ex farm.

Haderburg - Luis Ochsenreiter
Buchholz 30
39040 Salurn
Phone: +39 0471 889097
fax +39 0471 883892
E-mail: info@haderburg.it
Internet: www.haderburg.it

The wines of the Haderburg winery in the wine guide

Steinhauserhof Oxenreiter - Toni Ochsenreiter

For a visit to the Oxenreiter winery of Toni and Sigrid Ochsenreiter you should take your time. Not one, two or three hours, but at least half a day. Because firstly, Toni Ochsenreiter needs some time until he warms up, i.e. becomes talkative, secondly, he then becomes very talkative, and thirdly, apart from good wine on site in Buchholz/Salurn, the Ochsenreiters have more to offer at some distance: Their good wines combined with equally good food in the neighbouring region of Trentino in Crosano Brentonico. Here, Toni and Sigrid Ochsenreiter have acquired a restaurant in 2001 vineyards and in a wonderful location with a view of the Adige Valley, where they offer their wines with matching food.

Toni Ochsenreiter (Source: Brunner)

The historic Steinhauserhof in Buchholz is of course also worth a visit. Until 1998, Toni Ochsenreiter managed this farm together with his brother Luis. They produced high-quality sparkling wines and fine wines under the name Haderburg. After the two brothers decided to go their separate ways, Toni Ochsenreiter specialised in the classic varieties of the hillside vineyards near Salurn: Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir. Müller-Thurgau and Kerner are also planted in the vineyards near the Trentino inn. These are all very intense, spicy wines, whereby Toni Ochsenreiter emphasises good acidity so that the wines do not seem unpleasantly heavy despite their intensity. In recent years, Toni Ochsenreiter has given his wines the polish they were lacking at the beginning. They have always been full-bodied. Now this intensity is joined by fineness and elegance, both in the whites and in the reds.

A speciality of the house are the "Zeus wines": a white and a red wine, which Toni Ochsenreiter produced together with Rainer Zirogg, one of the most dazzling figures of the South Tyrolean and Trentino wine world respectively. These are cuvée wines that are vinified in a completely natural way with practically no sulphur. This is only possible in particularly good years with the best grapes. They are wines that seem to have eternal life. The 2001 white wine presented itself in spring 2012 with a fresh, full-bodied flavour of dried fruits, fine austerity and distinctly compact. Very idiosyncratic and certainly not everyone's cup of tea. But these are truly exceptional wines in the rarest of cases.

Steinhauserhof Oxenreiter
Buchholz 37
39040 Salurn
Phone: +39 0471 889031
Mobile: +39 335 80 100 20
Fax +39 0471 889031
E-mail: info@oxenreiter.it
Internet: www.oxenreiter.it

The wines cost between 8.50 and 19 euros ex farm.

The Trentino inn is open from Friday to Sunday; otherwise visits by phone (+39 335 80 100 20).

Ansitz Dornach - Patrik Uccelli

Patrick Uccelli has been running the Ansitz Dornach, beautifully situated above Salurn, since 2009. Before that, he enjoyed a sound education at the Geißenheim School of Viticulture and therefore knows the technical side of viticulture inside out. However, his working methods and the resulting wines are anything but technical.

Patrick Uccelli is one of the biodynamicists in South Tyrol and is a true "man of conviction". This becomes clear at the latest when the conversation about wine very quickly turns into a conversation about biodynamic farming in general, about respect for nature, about mindfulness for oneself, i.e. for one's own body ("In an average lifetime, a person eats about 80,000 meals; you should really think about what you eat"), about the aesthetics or non-aesthetics of cultivated land. non-aesthetics of cultivated landscapes on the basis of the apple orchards in the valley ("There are no apple trees here, but cripples who, tied to a stick, are forced to produce as many apples as possible"), about the relationship to the other - often unwanted - creatures with whom one has to share one's space on this earth, such as deer from the nearby forest, which like the grapes from Patrick Uccelli's vineyards very much ("I don't erect fences, but have an agreement with them: I won't hurt you if they keep to themselves in the vineyard - apparently they understand that").

Patrick Uccelli (Source: Brunner)

For all his philosophy, Patrick Uccelli never forgets that above all he must produce wines that are of high quality. Because with a mini-production of currently just 4,500 bottles, he is economically dependent on selling these bottles at a good price - and especially in South Tyrol the competition in the top segment is fierce. Patrick Uccelli's wines have all the prerequisites to succeed in this. He currently produces two wines, Pinot Blanc "XX" and Pinot Noir "XY". The former in particular is a very successful wine: taut, crisp, with earthy and mineral components and relatively moderate in alcohol.

Visitors are always welcome. However, Ansitz Dornach is a one man show, which means Patrick Uccelli does everything on his own. It is therefore essential to book in advance so that he can take the necessary time.

Ansitz Dornach
Via Dornach 12
39040 Salurn
Phone: +39 338 6973946
fax +39 0471 884789
E-mail: info@ansitzdornach.it
Internet: www.ansitzdornach.it

The wines of Ansitz Dornach in the wine guide

Salurner Klause - Walter Ceolan

Walter Ceolan leads a varied life. He is a winegrower, fruit grower, as well as his own sales agent and forwarding agent. On the side, he looks after two pigs, whose ham and sausage he serves alongside his - and a few other - wines in his own Buschenschank Dürerschenke in the centre of Salurn. So he is also still an innkeeper, and always with joy and commitment, despite his many other jobs.

The Ceolan family (Source: Ceolan)

If you want to get to know his wines, it is best to do so here at the Buschenschenke. The wines come almost exclusively from their own grapes, which thrive very well near Salurn. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Lagrein as well as Cabernet and Merlot produce spicy and at the same time pleasantly fine wines on the warm valley floors. The whites are vinified exclusively in steel tanks and should be drunk as young as possible. Lagrein and Merlot tolerate a moderate maturation period of two to three years. The Cabernet-Merlot cuvée "Thor", made from the best grapes, should be in its prime after four to six years.

The Buschenschank is open every day from 5 pm all year round.

Salurn hermitage
Kindergarten Street 9
39040 Salurn
Phone: +39 0471 884370
fax +39 0471 884701
e-mail: info@salurnerklause.com

The wines of the Salurner Klause in the wine guide

Sergio Ceolan

Segio Ceolan is both one of the oldest and one of the youngest South Tyrolean self-marketers. As early as the late 1980s, on the advice of his friend Mario Pojer, also from Salurn, he bottled Pinot Grigio and Pinot Bianco and sold them under his own name. Quality wine was in demand, and at that time there were still few really good qualities in South Tyrol. The business also started very well and it continued to go even better.

Sergio Ceolan (Source: Brunner)

If it hadn't been for family misfortunes such as the sudden death of his father, which led to an overload of work that the family could no longer cope with, the name Sergio Ceolan would certainly be one of the better known in South Tyrol's wine world today. Because his wines are really good, as the resumption of bottle production in 2010 shows. Sergio Ceolan bottled two wines this year - Pinot Grigio and Lagrein, with the grapes for the latter coming from the neighbouring region of Trentino. The Pinot Grigio in particular, with its intensely fruity and at the same time fine, elegant, dry style, shows that the vineyards Sergio Ceolan has in the plain of the Adige Valley have very good potential. The vineyards are cultivated using biodynamic methods and the winery is certified by Demeter.

Not every year can Sergio Ceolan bottle his wine. This is not because of the poor quality of the vintages, but because at present the market is very difficult even for high-quality biodynamic wines - at least when they come from unknown producers. Apparently, there are now also more and more traders in the organic sector who don't care about the origin of their products as long as they are cheap. For example, Sergio Ceolan was offered prices for his very good South Tyrolean Pinot Grigio 2010 with the remark: "In Veneto, organic Pinot Grigio costs much less", which did not even cover the local rent for the vineyards. Sergio Ceolan simply rejected such shabby price offers with the words: "Then I'd rather drink the wine myself or give it away to my friends". This is not a real economic problem for him anyway, as he can sell his grapes without any problems and at good prices to a top South Tyrolean producer who is very interested in good biodynamic grape qualities. I hope, however, that the vintages in which Sergio Ceolan does not bottle his wines under his own label will remain the exceptions, because producers like him are a great enrichment of the South Tyrolean wine world.

Sergio Ceolan
Shooting range road 1
39040 Salurn
Phone: +39 0471 884756
e-mail: ceolan@tiscali.it

Zirmerhof - Josef Perwanger

A producer "outside" the wine-growing area.

One winery - one wine. This is extremely rare in South Tyrol with its diversity of grape varieties and different climatic zones. Or rather, it only happens once: at Josef Perwanger's Zirmerhof. Only one wine is produced here, namely Gewürztraminer - and even that is not really produced here, because the Zirmerhof is located in Radein, at an altitude of 1,560 metres.

Even with the current climatic development, it will - hopefully - take some time before really good wine can grow up here. The Zirmerhof Traminer grows at an altitude of 400 metres in Montan, where the Perwanger family runs a small farm. Not much is harvested here - 3,000 to 4,000 kilograms of grapes per year, which yield about 3,0000 bottles of wine. No wonder that you rarely hear about this wine - despite its quality: most of it is consumed in the noble mountain hotel of the Perwanger family in Radein or taken home by their guests.

Oberradein 59
39040 Radein/Aldein
Phone: +39 0471 887215
fax +39 0471 887225
E-Mail: info@zirmerhof.com
Internet: www.zirmerhof.com

Landesweingut Laimburg

The Landesweingut Laimburg is located in Pfatten, a district of the municipality of Auer in the South Tyrolean lowlands. But as the name Landesweingut suggests, "Laimburg" is a winery that is not limited to the Unterland region. It is a department of the Laimburg Agricultural Research and Experiment Centre - the "head" of South Tyrolean agriculture. This is where the agricultural specialists that South Tyrol needs are trained, and where practical research is carried out into all aspects of the diverse agriculture that is shaped by the special nature of South Tyrol's mountainous region.

The Laimburg (Source: Landesweingut Laimburg)

For viticulture, this means: vineyards in various locations in South Tyrol, which are cultivated for experimental purposes and pilot projects on the one hand, but are also used for the production of quality wines. The sale of the wines contributes to the financing of the experimental centre and thus relieves the burden on South Tyrolean taxpayers. And - last but not least - this enhances the reputation of South Tyrolean viticulture, because the Laimburg wines are of excellent quality. The vineyards of the Provincial Winery cover 40 hectares of vineyards in all wine-growing areas of South Tyrol on estates with a wide variety of soils and locations between 200 and 750 metres above sea level, located near Merano, in the Eisack Valley, in the Überetsch, in Bolzano and in the Unterland. The white wine varieties Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Goldmuskateller, Gewürztraminer and Kerner are cultivated, as well as the red wine varieties Pinot Noir, Lagrein, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvasia and Rose Muscat.

The range comprises a total of 22 wines. The Landesweingut produces varietal wines that are divided into two lines with different styles: The "estate wines" are vintage wines that are matured in stainless steel tanks or in large oak barrels, while the wines of the "castle selections" are mainly matured in small oak barrels. Two wines are vinified as a cuvée: the white wine "Dòa De" from Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Gewürztraminer and the red "Col de Réy" from Lagrein, Petit Verdot and Tannat. The wines of the Burgselektion bear names from the Ladin legends of the Dolomites, which are intended to emphasise their independent character and their South Tyrolean origin.

The wines cost between 8 and 27 euros in retail sales.

Laimburg National Winery
Laimburg No. 6
39040 Post Auer - Pfatten
Phone: +39 0471 969700
Fax: +39 0471 969799
E-mail: gutsverwaltung.laimburg@provinz.bz.it
Internet: www.laimburg.bz.it

The wines of the Landesweingut Laimburg in the wine guide

Recommended restaurants in Salurn

Fichtenhof Inn

In addition to Walter Ceolan's Dürer-Schenke, there is a restaurant in Salurn that is worth recommending. It is located in the Gfill district, eleven kilometres outside Salurn. However, the drive is worth it for the view alone, which you can enjoy here. It goes up to 1,330 metres, where the Gasthof Fichtenhof is located in the middle of meadows and forest. It is a real inn where you can also spend the night, which many hikers like to do. The rooms are simple and have more of a hut character. However, you would not find food and a wine selection of this quality in most huts. Ingrid Pardatscher is a Slow Food missionary in the best sense. She attaches particular importance to high-quality products from producers in the immediate vicinity. Which includes herself, because she bakes her own bread - a dream! The same care is taken with the wine selection. All the producers of the Unterland (and a few more) are represented on the wine list with their best wines. A restaurant that satisfies both the vinophile gourmet and the hiker who demands hearty fare.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm.

Spruce farm no. 23
39040 Gfrill near Salurn
Phone: +39 0471 889028
Mobile: +39 338 302 86 53
E-mail: info@fichtenhof.it
Internet: www.fichtenhof.it

Useful addresses


The official website of the South Tyrolean wine industry with all useful information about the wine region of South Tyrol. Always up-to-date is the Facebook page www.facebook.com/suedtirolwein.vinialtoadige.

Independent Winegrowers South Tyrol

Association of currently 82 self-marketing South Tyrolean wineries. An absolute must for every South Tyrolean wine lover: the Vinea Tirolensis, where almost all member wineries present their current wines. This year the event will probably take place in October at the fairgrounds in Bolzano.

Phone: +39 0471 238002
Fax: +39 0471 238242
E-mail: info@fws.it
Internet: www.fws.it

Red Rooster

Arranges farm accommodation in South Tyrol, including many farm wine producers. The quality criteria are very strict and are checked annually.

Telephone: +39 0471 999325
Fax: +39 0471 981171
E-mail: info@roterhahn.it
Internet: www.roterhahn.it

To Part I of the report: Tramin

Part II of the report: Montan/Mazzon, Neumarkt and Auer

Part III of the report: Kurtatsch, Margreid and Kurtinig

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