Making friends in the Pranzegg vineyards. (photo by Oskar Kostecki)

Pranzegg: Wine from the Alto Adige

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The drive from Verona to Bolzano is awe-inspiring. As you make your way north along the shores of Lake Garda the terrain starts to rise up, first gradually in a series of hills, then suddenly, into the full splendor of the mountains. Bolzano is located in a valley, with the mighty Alps as a backdrop and the steep slopes of the Dolomites on both sides. Cultivation of the vine has taken place here for hundreds of years, with terraced vineyards built into the mountainsides above the town. Martin Gojer took over his family's estate in 2008, and very quickly decided to convert the vineyards to biodynamics, and to stop selling to the local cooperatives. Our exploration of his wines started a few years ago, and each subsequent visit feels more thrilling than the last.

Tasting with Martin in the cellar (photo by Oskar Kostecki)

Martin's main work is focused on the two historical red grapes in this region, Schiava and Lagrein. The vines are trained in the traditional pergola system of the region (it's surprisingly warm in the Alto Adige in the summer, and this allows the fruit protection from the alpine sun), and the vineyards are absolutely stunning, full of life and energy. The great farming is mirrored by immaculate work in the centuries old cellar, where fermentations take place with only indigenous yeasts, and the wines mature in a combination of large cement vats and used wood. A particular highlight for me is the Schiava, which is both lively and lifted, and a serious wine of length, depth, and profundity. A big step up from some of the very light and slightly reedy wines that are sometimes made here using the grape. The white wine production at Pranzegg is equally impressive, with Tonsur being a beautiful expression of floral aromatics, freshness and mineral character that is possible in this high altitude growing region. The Caroline is a different beast, a fleshy and textured white, that shines when paired with the heartier regional cuisine, risotto, or alpine cheeses.

Martin Gojer decided to show his wines at VinItaly (Italy's largest, and definitely craziest wine fair) just once, and we're very happy that we just so happened to wander past his booth those years ago. Tasting multiple vintages of both the reds and the whites from tank and barrel, we are even more excited to be able to offer you these wines now, and in the future. Our most recent visit just went even further to strengthening our commitment to the fantastic work done at this estate. We can't wait until next year's visit. Oskar Kostecki

Saying goodbye to friends and biodynamic preparations. (Photo by Oskar Kostecki)

Pranzegg 2015 Vino Bianco Caroline

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier and Manzoni froma  small .6 hectare parcel above the town of Bolzano. The vines are only 10 years old, but are already producing  a beautiful, textured white wine, that is both weighty and elegant. Quite floral on the nose, the palate shows notes of white blossom, ripe citrus, apricot, honey, and crushed vitamin candies. Decant before serving, or age for another few years. Oskar Kostecki

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Biodynamic

Pranzegg 2014 Mitterberg Schiava / Vernatsch Campill

Pranzegg 2014 Schiava (Vernatsch) Campill. From 50-year-old biodynamically farmed vines fermented partial whole cluster. 12% abv. Medium dark garnet translucent robe. The nose offers an array of brambly hedge fruits with black and red currant, wild blackberry, and pomegranate aromas dominating, with faint notes of wet bark, dusty violets, blackberry seed, and game peeking around the edges. On the lighter-side-of-mid-weight palate, the wild berry flavors vie with salty and ferrous soil notes for attention, giving way to to notes of plum skin, and cassis, with a mouthwatering, savory acidity propelling the finish. Great balance between fruit, earth, and freshness. A fine pairing with tagliolini with Prosciutto San Daniele, radicchio, and poppy seeds, but I could see this with roasted pigeon on red wine bruschetta, or gnocchi with speck and Grana Padano. Martin Gojer makes such vibrant and gratifying wines. It’s almost embarrassing that I don’t drink them with more frequency. John McIlwain

  • red
  • 14 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Biodynamic

Pranzegg 2014 Mitterberg Lagrein Laurenc

From 15 year old vines planted in both guyot and pergola training systems, Pranzegg's Lagrien is fermented with submerged cap for 4 weeks, and is a deeper expression of "mountain wine."Notes of dark fruit (blackberry, plum, and cassis) mingle with mineral notes wet stone and graphite. Framed by quite bright acidity, this is a great food wine, and will pair well with anything from a steak or roast pork, to a burger or barbacue. Oskar Kostecki

  • red
  • 10 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Biodynamic
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Pranzegg 2017 Vino Bianco Tonsur

A blend of Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Bianco, Sylvaner and Chardonnay, grown biodynamically on steep hillside vineyards above the town of Bolzano, 2017 is a sensational vintage of Tonsur, both compelling and a joy to drink. An aromatic and floral nose gives way to an energetic palate, showing notes of stone fruit and citrus, citrus peel, and white flowers. The wine has vibrant, zippy acidity, and a great mineral character of crushed stones, balanced by great texture from a bit of skin contact. A great food wine, but equally delicious on its own. Oskar Kostecki

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Biodynamic