Deep-rooted, down-to-earth, rebellious, creative

Independent Winegrowers South Tyrol are on the upswing
Twelve South Tyrolean winegrowers joined together in 1999 as an association for independent wine producers. The Independent Winegrowers South Tyrol (FWS) sees itself as a representation of interests and a service provider for its members as well as an authentic and versatile ambassador for South Tyrolean wine culture.

The members are family-run wineries and wineries with their own wine label in South Tyrol. It is not a winegrowers' cooperative, but an association of winegrowers who market themselves. Their main goals are to promote traditional viticulture and South Tyrolean wine culture, as well as to represent and support the member businesses.

The activities pertain to building committees for the economic concerns of wine, advice on wine law and technical matters, organising group presentations and advertising, training courses, information trips, newsletters and the regular publication of a vineyard guide.

Today, the Independent Winegrowers South Tyrol (FWS) represent 100 independent wine producers from the highly diverse growing areas of the region, which extend from Val Venosta and Valle Isarco to the lowlands.

"Each terroir has its own character and our winegrowers, who also have their individual personalities, give each wine their very own signature!" 

South Tyrol's independent winegrowers distinguish themselves by their individuality but also through their architecture. In Kaltern, for example, the cellars of Manincor Wine Estate were built underground, into the hillside. Only the tasting room and the sales pavilion are above ground - here, wine tasting and architecture have been combined with an enchanting view across Lake Kaltern.
The numerous and noteworthy awards that the member businesses have received for their wines in all the important wine guides are proof of the quality work of the Independent Winegrowers South Tyrol (FWS). The FWS has received about 40% of the Italian awards for South Tyrol in past years, thus making an important contribution to the quality profile of South Tyrolean wines. For the first time in history, a St. Magdalener also managed the hurdle of the "Tre bicchieri” (three glasses) in Gambero Rosso, Italy's most important wine guide, namely the 2009 St. Magdalener from Pfannenstielhof. This is also proof that the Vernatsch variety is on the upswing again.

Vinea Tirolensis

On September 4th 2000, the association launched the 1st "Vinea Tirolensis", a wine presentation which has since become an annual event in South Tyrol. And on 2nd September 2002, the day that marked the 3rd Vinea Tirolensis, the first print of the "Map of Wine Estates" was officially presented, a practical map of South Tyrol showing the location of the FWS wineries and containing important information about the members. The association offers members support through newsletters, legal counsel and technical advice. Since 2004 it has integrated with the provincial wine trade committees and since 2008 has worked with the newly founded "South Tyrolean Wine" consortium, which took over the coordination of South Tyrolean wine advertising. In addition, collaboration with the Laimburg Research Centre and other institutions of importance to viticulture is good.

Most prominent Independent Winegrowers

The relationship between the independent winegrowers and Vinum Hotels South Tyrol is absolutely outstanding. From the most prominent Independent Winegrowers and Wineries such as Manincor (Kaltern), Ignaz Niedrist (Girlan), Glögglhof (Bolzano), Baron Widmann (Kurtatsch), Kuenhof (Bressanone) to the up-and-coming young "savages" such as Pratznerhof (Bolzano), Garlider (Feldthurns) or Hartmann Doná (Girlan/Auer), all of South Tyrol’s FWS wineries are very well represented on Vinum Hotel wine lists.
The Vinum Hotel June Wine Letter
Traditional, visionary, courageous - A portrait of South Tyrolean wine estates

South Tyrol boasts a high concentration of DOC wines, i.e. wines with controlled designation of origin. Approximately 5,000 wine-growing enterprises in South Tyrol deliver their grapes to about 170 wineries. Around 70% of South Tyrolean wine is pressed in cooperatively managed wineries.

Another 25% of the annual wine production comes from the association "Südtiroler Weingüter" and the remaining 5% of South Tyrolean wines are produced by the "Freien Weinbauern Südtirol". The crème de la crème of local wine production is to be found amongst the "Südtiroler Weingütern" - names such as Hofstätter (Tramin), Lageder (Margreid), Tiefenbrunner (Kurtatsch-Entiklar) or Sallegg-Kuenburg (Kaltern) have profoundly influenced the history of South Tyrolean viticulture for centuries.

By making bold choices in the second half of the 20th century, they have gone through an exemplary and uncompromising change from the leisurely production of house wine to the production of quality wine which has enjoyed great success on international terms. The Vinum Hotels South Tyrol June Wine Letter is dedicated to these prestigious South Tyrolean wine estates.