Kellerei Cantina Terlano Südtirol

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In my humble wine opinion, the country of Italy is the hardest wine country in the world to understand. There exist so many different wines, foods, regions, cultures and grapes including many unheard of indigenous grapes that are coming back into the wine scene both locally and internationally. An example of this is Südtirol, located in Italy’s northernmost province. It is a place on the map where Alpine peaks mesh with Mediterranean scenery, the German with the Italian language are spoken and centuries-old traditions still remain intact. It is a true melting pot to say the least where it is not uncommon to find someone called Hans Casiraghi.

Terlano is a wine-growing village located halfway between South Tyrol’s main towns of Merano and Bolzano where the Adige flows through a wide valley in a south easterly direction. The village and vineyards lie against the rock of Monte Tschöggl on the left side of the valley. Because of its climate and geology, the area around Terlano has qualified for a DOC designation of origin (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) the second highest Italian wine classification. It is the equivalent of the French AOC… In addition to “Alto Adige” as the geographic designation of origin for South Tyrol, the wines are additionally labeled “Terlano” in recognition of the special character of the immediate land and surroundings. The term “classico” is used for those grape varieties that typically grow in the traditional wine-growing area between Andriano, Nalles and Terlano.

Founded in 1893, the Cantina Terlano winery is now one of the leading wine growers’ cooperatives in South Tyrol, with a current total area of 165 hectares, that produce some 1.2 million bottles of wine a year.The vineyards at Kellerei cantina face south in order to receive full days of east-west sun exposure. Their vines are planted at altitudes of 820 feet and 2,953 feet. At the lower altitudes, red grapes such as Cab. Sauv. and Pinot noir are grown to attain a result of riper fruit. At their higher altitude vineyards, whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are grown in order to produce grapes with fresh acidity. Here, the soil composition is of a sandy, stony limestone, just what vines like in order to keep themselves always working for their water intake.

On the tasting table today are two of Cantina Terlanos’ lovely wines. The first wine I tasted is the 2012 Terlaner Classico composed of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is of a vivid star bright color with a light green rim variation showing signs of a young wine and medium legs (not too much alcohol). On the nose, there are lovely notes of limestone, citrus flower, lime, grapefruit and a slight thyme herbal note. The palate is of limestone, grapefruit and unripe peach. This is a very elegant, well balanced, easy drinking wine with a nice dry finish and medium acidity. With 13.5 % alcohol, a wine to definitely keep at home. Pairs really well with a grilled white fish topped with herbed compound butter… This wine shows no signs of oak on the palate, the nose or in the color. Pure stainless Inox steel.

The second wine I tasted is the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Winkl. The color is of a star bright as well with a light green rim. On the nose, there are notes of green bell pepper, pineapple, green mango, passion fruit, limestone and a herbal component much like cut green grass. The palate gives flavors of green mango, green bell pepper, pineapple, tropical banana and a sage herbal note.

As well, this is a very balanced wine with no components out of proportion. The Sauv. Blanc. Winkl is a fresh, medium acidity, easy drinking wine with again, no signs of oak aging and 13.5 % alcohol. For a food pairing suggestion, try a grilled red snapper with tropical fruit salsa wrapped in the traditional French en papillote method… These are two exceptional wines made in an elegant manner from an amazing Northern Italian winery. In the USA, find the wines at http://www.wine-searcher.com. Cin cin and enjoy!

Categories: Whites

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For any inquiries please email me at chris@cantinettavintners.com

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