I’d never been to Alto Adige so an opportunity to visit was one I couldn’t refuse. Alto Adige is a small (5400 hectare) but incredibly diverse region. A continental climate in the north leads to a more Mediterranean influenced one in the south whilst steep mountains and valleys create different microclimates. The soils are varied; most are glacial moraine but there is porphyry, limestone, sandy marl and quartz too and though there are some low lying vineyards at around 200m, others are up around 1000m.
The Alto Adige contributes only 0.7% of Italy’s wine production but 98% of its production is classified as DOC/DOP. Though the focus of our visit was on red varieties (lagrein, spatburgunder and schiava) there was plenty of opportunity to taste whites too. I grew enormously fond of pinot blanc, a variety that doesn’t seem to enjoy the elevated status of riesling but in the Alto Adige seemed to make wines of body and texture.