February Wine Letter - "Mazon - Pinot Noir Heaven"

The best location for the most elegant red wine
Chemistry professor Ludwig Barth Ritter zu Barthenau (born in Rovereto, 1839), was a giant as never seen before in lecture halls. "Highly developed in body and mind alike" - he was one of the most well-known scientists in the field of organic chemistry in the German-speaking world. A specialist, a luminary, an authority. When he died in Vienna at the age of 52, many commemorative addresses were held there and later biographies were written. Two marble busts in Vienna still remind us of the great knight Ludwig, who in his youth was capable of bending thick iron bars with his bare hands.
In South Tyrol, the professor created a legacy that would for last centuries: he had varieties of Pinot Noir planted on his estate Ansitz Barthenau in Mazon (Neumarkt) - perhaps following Archduke Johann’s example, who cultivated the first vines of this noble red Burgundy variety in Schenna, around 1850. A pioneering act indeed - today, this terraced location in Mazon is considered one of the best Pinot Noir small crus outside of Burgundy by many wine experts. It took some time before this new French Pinot Noir variety was properly accepted and appreciated in South Tyrol – on the one hand, this can be merited to the growers in Mazon, who through pig-headedness were never talked out of their Pinot Noir. The international reputation of the Mazon Pinot Noir can be accredited to Paolo Foradori, Barthenau owner and offspring of the Mezzolombardo wine dynasty who married Siglinde Oberhofer (Hofstätter Winery, Tramin), uniting two wine dynasties: with Siglinde's cousin Franz Oberhofer, Paolo produced the 1st cru-Pinot Noir from grapes of the oldest vines located in the heart of San Urbano. The year was 1987. Since then Mazon, the twenty-house district of Neumarkt, has been known as the South Tyrolean Pinot Noir Cru and in the last twenty years no other small South Tyrolean region has been described in such detail by domestic and foreign wine authors. Alessandro Masnaghetti, the renowned "Enogea" wine journalist, published the first Mazon map showing the main wineries: Hofstätter, Haas, Gottardi, Girlan, Lageder, Kurt Rottensteiner, Tramin, Nals-Margreid, Eberlehof, Carlotto - names which connoisseurs and Pinot Noir experts upon hearing, smack their lips appreciatively. And of course it goes without saying, the best Pinot Noirs are stored in VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol! In his accompanying short text, Masnaghetti analyzes the Mazon soil conditions in detail: "We find rich alluvial soils in the north, in the immediate vicinity of the Truden creek. However, in the higher ranges, we find lighter soils, which usually produce the fruitier, more aromatic wines but with less structure. Then in the central area are the loamy soils, which are perhaps the most characteristic covering varying depths of moraine or sandstone layers."
In 2015, Paolo Foradori's son Martin introduced the very essence of the Mazon vineyard Pinot Noir to the press - the "Vigna Roccolo" 2012 - the first vintage of a new "Super South Tyrolean" which Markus Hähnel, a cellar man who is as meticulous as he is talented managed to capture accentuated fruit notes in the bottle. The old Pinot Noir vines of Vigna Roccolo (the name is reminiscent of a former bird snare construction on the hill) date back to the 1940s, the yields on these Methuselah vines are naturally very low but the grapes are markedly rich in extracts. Definitely a Pinot Noir with great potential, a wine that, like all excellent wines in their youth, will need a few more years of bottle aging until it can fully demonstrate its true class.
The VINUM-Hotel - March Wine Letter:

96th Bolzano Wine Tasting – a South Tyrolean wine event steeped in Tradition

Once again, this year, the historic walls of Maretsch Castle will be the setting for Bolzano Wine Tasting. Pleasurable encounters and exclusive wine tastings are on the agenda from 28th to 31st March. Moreover, wine connoisseurs and wine enthusiasts have the opportunity to talk shop and to learn more about the wine country of South Tyrol by attending any of the numerous seminars on offer. Over 5 dozen South Tyrolean wine producers - all partners & friends of VINUM-Hotels South Tyrol - have put together the finest wines from their wine cellars to present to the public. Tastings of the best South Tyrolean wines including a rare wine tasting accompanied by experts guarantee a sensory celebration.

The VINUM-Hotel South Tyrol–March Wine Letter is dedicated to the most traditional wine event in South Tyrol.