Pearls of the Alps

The famous South Tyrolean sparkling wine manufacturers

March 2016
Accidents at work have always seemed a blessing for the wine trade and wine lovers: in the year 1544 the Benedictine monks of St. Hilaire, a town in southern France, left some bottles forgotten in their cellar. Once rediscovered, these went “pop” upon being opened – the wine had fermented again and turned into sparkling wine. The monks’ thirst was fortunately such that they nevertheless did not throw it away – quite the opposite: the new sparkling wine was so much to their taste that the Benedictines made this accident into a winemaking rule.
Some 200 years later Madame Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV, finally made sparkling wine presentable among the so-called best company: “Sparkling wine is the only wine”, as she observed while taking a whole bath in it, “that a woman can drink and still remain beautiful”.
Another 250 years on and it is worth highlighting the 250,000 bottles of South Tyrolean sparkling wine that are produced each year.

These are the bottle-fermented, very rare and wonderful wines that regularly win awards at champagne tastings and are offered at all Vinum Hotels:
  • “Comitissa” from Lorenz Martini (Girlan)
  • “Arunda” (Sepp & Marianne Reiterer, Mölten)
  • “Haderburg” (Luis Ochsenreiter, Salurn-Buchholz)
  • “Praeclarus” (Kössler Winery, St. Pauls)
  • “Kettmeir” (Kaltern)
  • “Von Braunbach” (Hannes Kleon, Siebeneich)
  • The “Erste + Neue Winery” (Kaltern)
The sparkling wine makers of South Tyrol have sworn to uphold the ethical purity requirements of sparkling wine production: bottle fermentation, turning by hand, and use of the classic French grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Yet, in a world of globalised, standardised wines, each bottle of South Tyrolean sparkling wine has an unmistakable “touch of the craftsman”, combined with its typically fresh “Alpine” earthiness and acidity: the bittersweet finish of “Comitissa” recalls candied orange and lemon peel – the fine yeasty note of “Praeclarus” is like fresh bread with dried pears on the palate – “Kettmeir” and the sparkling wine from the “Erste + Neue” are very youthful, with a lively perlage and a scent of ripe apples and grapefruit – the “Von Braunbach” is more gently sparkling, with a luscious feeling on the palate and a surprisingly lasting finish – finally the “Haderburg Pas Dosé” and the “Arunda Riserva” are very meaty, densely baroque on the palate, with an absolutely balanced perlage.
The VINUM-Hotel wine bulletin for April - preview

Take a tour of the vineyards!

The arrival of spring in the winegrowing areas of South Tyrol sees numerous wineries and winegrowers holding special days that allow visitors to savour gastronomic treats, experience the world of wine and even enjoy wine walks. Cellar architecture, wine tasting under the vines, culinary delicacies and much more besides is all on offer. Let us take you on a relaxing walk between traditional cellars, steep vineyard slopes and peaceful wine routes.