Hofstatter - Barthenau Vigna S. Michele Pinot Bianco 2010 Ml. 750
From 12 to 18 months
The excellence of each individual site is crucial in deciding whether to produce a single vineyard wine from the grapes grown there a wine which best embodies the nature of the site. Our wine range contains wines named after their sites and grape varieties. Traditional site names are limited to their original parcels of vineyard.
Extending vineyard areas to form large generic appellations - as has often occurred - conflicts with the philosophy of the unmistakable single vineyard wine. While many other wine producers have largely given up using established geographical site and estate names, we continue to consolidate this practice. Irrespective of transient market trends we intend to continue preserving with conviction that which has been tried and tested in the vineyards over decades.
Our vineyards are sited on slopes on both sides of the River Adige, embracing a wide range of soils and microclimates. Grapes originate from several family-owned wine estates with their traditional farmsteads and manor houses, stately country houses known locally as 'Ansitze'. No other family winery owns estates with vineyards on both the eastern and western side of the broad river valley. Wines grown there bear the estate name on their labels: Kolbenhof, Barthenau, Oberer and Unterer Yngram-Hof, Steinraffler and Oberkerschbaumer. Other vineyards include parcels of land in the areas of Tramin, Neumarkt and Pfatten near Auer, all of which are blessed with excellent climatic conditions. In total we cultivate 50 hectares of vineyard in carefully selected sites at elevations between 820 and 2,460 feet (250 and 750 metres).
Visitors to the headquarters and winery of the Josef Hofstätter estate find themselves in the main square of a bustling large village with the municipal hall, bars and the village church.
The winery and offices are accommodated in a grand 16th century edifice, originally built for the Austrian Imperial post coaches and it also housed the 'Schwarzer Adler' inn belonging to Martin Foradori's great aunt. Josef Hofstätter made his first wines in the inn's cellars. His nephew Konrad Oberhofer and wife Luise took over the estate in 1942 and it was he who recognised the potential inherent in vineyards.
He was the very first in South Tyrol to keep separate the grapes harvested in individual sites and name the resulting wines after the respective vineyards. Konrad Oberhofer's daughter Sieglinde married Paolo Foradori in 1959. Paolo comes from an old-established family of winegrowers in the Adige Valley and owned vineyards in superb locations on the eastern side of the valley opposite Tramin.
Since then these vineyards have been administered together with those on the Tramin side of the valley in the family company's headquarters which still bears the name of the estate's founder, Josef Hofstätter.
It is now official in South Tyrol: the word Vigna on a wine label has legal status. Vigna signifies a single-vineyard wine made from grapes that stem from one single, exactly defined vineyard. As of now, only the harvest from one legally demarcated vineyard parcel may be vinified to create these superb wines. Even in years when the harvest is extremely small, it is forbidden to add grapes from a neighbouring vineyard. The term Vigna on a wine label guarantees the origin of a single-vineyard wine and is combined with the famed name of the vineyard parcel. The French term for this is a Cru a wine that speaks of a specific origin.
For a vineyard parcel to classify as a Vigna, the vintner must register it with the South Tyrol department of land administration. He must be able to show that the vineyard parcel is mentioned by name in the land registry or prove that the grapes from the particular parcel have been harvested and vinified separately to produce a single-vineyard wine for several years.
The Josef Hofstätter wine estate has produced and labelled the single-vineyard wines Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano (Pinot Noir) and Barthenau Vigna S. Michele (Pinot Blanc) ever since 1987. Paolo Foradori, the father of the current vintner, introduced these two wines from Pinot varieties to the market because they offered superb expression of two extraordinary vineyard parcels located in the Mazon community. These two wines, which were regional pioneers at the end of the 1980s, are now internationally established and demanded. The Mazon plateau located above the village of Neumarkt is particularly renowned for its Pinot sites. A further Pinot Noir from the Hofstätter wine assortment grows here: the Riserva Mazon.
The Hofstätter's famous Gewürztraminer is sourced from historic vineyards on the west side of the valley above the village of Tramin on the Söll slope: the Kolbenhof parcels of the Kolbenhof farmstead and the Rechenthaler Schlossleiten a parcel near the castle of the same name. The Hofstätter Estate owns yet another outstanding vineyard at the foot of the Söll Mountain called Steinraffler. This parcel is an ideal home for the autochthon grape variety Lagrein. The Vigna classification will also be used on the labels of these single-vineyard wines (the Kolbenhof, Rechtenthaler Schlossleiten, and the Steinraffler) in the future.
Martin Foradori Hofstätter states, We were the first in South Tyrol to carry the name 'Vigna' on our wine labels. We have always meticulously documented the production of our single-vineyard wines from our best historic vineyard parcels. Other wine producers in South Tyrol must also provide documentation for their single-vineyard wines to carry the 'Vigna' label. Our advantage over other producers is that we have not resorted to replacing the historic names of vineyard sites and farmsteads with trendy marketing-friendly names. To the contrary, we have made a point of highlighting regional tradition and terroir. The registry of 'Vigna' by the department of land administration confirms our efforts. Most importantly, the new official classification will further enhance consumer trust in wine from South Tyrol in the future.
The philosophy and efforts of Paolo and Martin Foradori Hofstätter now enjoy government certification and control. What was initiated by a wine estate in Tramin has become an advantage for the entire South Tyrol. A small wine region with a unique combination of varietal diversity and extraordinary vineyard sites can gain increased recognition and consumer awareness with its single-vineyard wines, terroir wines with a true sense of place.
The extensive mountainside terrace of Mazon is located on the eastern side of the Adige Valley opposite Tramin. It is famed for its superb Pinot Noir sites: they face towards the west and the evening sun, cooled by the 'Ora' which blows from the south until the early evening, keeping the grape clusters dry and healthy, especially important for the tightly-packed Pinot Noir clusters which trap moisture between the berries.
Pinot Noir appears to feel at home in the soils and climate here. For this we are indebted to the intuition and pioneering spirit of Ludwig Barth von Barthenau, the former owner of the wine farmstead after whom the estate is named. He introduced the Pinot Noir vine into his vineyards on the broad mountainside terrace named after the hamlet of Mazon at the beginning of the 19th century.
Here the grapes ripen slowly to develop the unmistakable fruit aromas and flavours typical of Pinot Noir while retaining vibrant acidity. The forest which flanks the vineyards and the limestone rock face behind protect against biting winds. The 'Vigna San Urbano' stands out distinctly among the various parcels of vineyard in the Barthenau estate- It is planted with old Pinot Noir vines which produce grapes and subsequently wines with amazing varietal character. It has become the flagship of the Hofstätter wine estate.
And not only. It has contributed substantially to the success of this grape variety in both Alto Adige and Italy in general.
|Ageing and Fining||One the fermentation is complete and the solid parts have settled, the clear young wine is racked, after which the Vigna San Michele is left to mature together with its fine lees in large oak casks for 15 months during which time the lees are stirred up once a week. The wine is subsequently bottle aged for 6 months before release.|
|Ageing||From 12 to 18 months|
|Color||Straw yellow with green highlights|
|Aroma||Fresh and fruity notes of pear|
|Aroma||Vegetal, Floral, Fruity, Spicy, Mineral|
|Taste||Balanced and fresh, fruity, with almond finish|
|Serving temperature||12°-14° C.|
|Blend description||Pinot Bianco 100%|
|Zona||Trentino Alto Adige|
|Matching||Cold fish starters, Pasta with fish, Rice with fish, Fish soup, White meat, Steamed fish or crustacean, Grilled fish|
|Ideal with||Seafood starters, Seafood Pasta Dishes, Meat White, Fish|
|Classification||Alto Adige Bianco DOC|