PRODUCT: Nusserhof Lagrein Riserva
Nusserhof is situated in a spectacular, anomalous fashion, high up in the South Tyrol mountains of the Alto Adige, actually in the ancient capital city of Bolzano. It is a mere 2.4 hectares of certified-organic vines, owned by Elda and Heinrich Mayr, whose family has worked the same land going back at least as far as 1788. The city has grown explosively since WWII and now surrounds what used to be remote vineyard in a remote land. The winery’s name “Nusserhof means “nut farm”, for the old hazelnut trees which lined the path by the Mayrs’ house until being cut down to make way for a bikeway.
The encroachment of “civilization” has certainly impacted but ultimately not deterred Heinrich and Elda. With occasional run-ins with local authorities, they continue to work their vines of only indigenous varieties—mainly the rare white Blatterle and the powerful red Lagrein, with small amounts of Schiava and Teroldego—on steep hillside parcels along the Isarco River. The soils are alluvial, sandy and rich in porphyry, a mineral-rich decomposed granite. The climate is warm thanks to the intensity of the high-alpine sun, balanced by cold nights throughout the growing season; irrigation is occasionally employed mid-summer. The vines are trained in a 50/50 mix of typical South-Tyrol pergolas and guyot. The farming is completely organic and the harvest is by hand.
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