EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS
Comets flash by, leave a trail, and burn out. Some last for years, others just a few seconds. They leave an impression and can light a path to guide us in what we do every day. Our Comets are all about the joy of experimenting, a desire to innovate, and getting to know our limits in order to learn from them. Each of our Comets is unique, just like a fingerprint, and the labels on every single bottle have been made by hand: the tail of a comet painted on with a finger.
VENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN.
The idea behind this comet was to reinterpret the Moscato Giallo grape. We tried our hands at the pet nat (pétillant naturel) technique, which for us was a new vinification method, but which has actually been around for a long time. In doing so, we hoped to find further potential in the grape. The must fermented in contact with stems and skins (whole cluster vinification) and was bottled before the end of fermentation, which finished inside the champagne bottle at a pressure of around 4 bar. This method allows us to conserve the wine naturally without sulfur.
Form ultimately grows out of chaos through movement, according to Joseph Beuys. If you’d met Rainer Zierock, a family friend, you’d know that he also lived by this principle now and again. He collected grape varieties from all over the world, and, joined by Alois Lageder, planted them as a field blend. Some varieties are still not ripe when they are picked, leaving them with alluringly high acidity. Others are overripe, some with mature flavors and a lot of sugar. And others still have achieved the perfect physiological level of maturity. We vinify them all together. It’s impressive what balance the individual components come together to create. It’s the chaos that inspires us and that ultimately evolves into form.
LOOKING AHEAD. THINKING AHEAD.
In the 1980s, Alois Lageder and his friend Rainer Zierock began cultivating exotic grape varieties that were not usually grown in the region of Alto Adige. 30 years later, they are still part of our experiments in the vineyard and the cellar. This grape variety is cultivated and vinified primarily along the Rhône together with Roussanne. We vinify it separately and leave it in contact with the lees for 19 months. This helps us to understand which varieties could become more important to us in future, with nature constantly changing.
Not long ago, Alto Adige had many more indigenous grape varieties such as the Blatterle, Fraueler, and Versoalen. Although they thrived for a long time, many of these varieties have almost been forgotten now. With the technologization of wine-growing and vinification, these varieties have largely been exiled from the vineyards and wine cellars. However these grapes give Alto Adige a much more diverse and more distinct identity. BLA ∙ XVI is our attempt to give an old grape variety a more individual profile by allowing contact with the whole cluster.
How can we guarantee the freshness, vitality, and precision of our wines in future as temperatures increase?
PIPO ∙ XV demonstrates one approach. The Pinot Grigio grapes were placed undamaged and not destemmed in a small wooden cask. The wine remained in contact with the stems and skin for over a year. The tannins from the whole cluster help us to increase the perception of freshness, giving it also its natural red hue. This vinification method has now become part of the PORER Pinot Grigio and our classic Pinot Grigio. That’s where the name PIPO comes from: Pink Porer.
Even after 30 years, the grape variety Tannat remains something of a mystery. We are only just getting to grips with it and learning to appreciate and have fun with it. As far as this grape from the Pyrenees goes, we experimented with two opposing ideas in the 2016 vintage. A part of the wine was left on the mash for over two weeks. The other part was in contact with the mash for only three days and was vinified separately as a saignée: TAN SAI XVI. For us, this is an example of how we can achieve drinkability and freshness even with tannin-rich and “heavy” grape varieties.
TRADITION. INNOVATION. IDENTITY.
In the past, farmers fermented Schiava on the mash and then drank it off the mash throughout the year, making the wine more complex and giving it a longer shelf life. Nowadays, this traditional variety native to Alto Adige is known more for its plain structure and a certain simplicity. We would like to give Schiava a more distinctive identity again and exploit its potential. That’s why the wine remains in contact with the stems and skins for over seven months in the wooden cask. This vinification method now forms part of our 2016 RÖMIGBERG Schiava. It shows us how much diversity is hidden in this grape and how you can convey its vertical structure, precision, and integrity.
EMERGING FROM THE SHADOWS.
Following the example of Bordeaux, a small proportion of the Petit Verdot is included in the vinification process for our COR RÖMIGBERG Cabernet Sauvignon. With the DOT ∙ XV, we want to draw this variety out of its obscurity in the Bordeaux blend, vinify it separately in this unusual environment in the Dolomites, and get to know it better.