In the imposing Dolomite Mountains, UNESCO World Heritage site, the friendly, unhurried pace of life of the Mediterranean meets the tenacity typical of mountain communities. This, the most northern wine-producing region in Italy, is mainly agricultural but with a decidedly Mitteleuropean feel. Nature is an ever-present companion to daily life here and is infinitely varied and multi-faceted. It is a place where age-old artisan knowledge meets the avant-garde in architecture, business and culture.
The Vineyards of Alto Adige
From the top of the hill, the view opens out into the valley below. The sun glints off the surface of Lake Caldaro, a charming break in the strictly regimented rows of vines which stretch out to the horizon. Surrounded by hills and watched over by distant mountain tops. Over half of the Alto Adige vineyard rolls out from this unique setting.
The grape growers
Expert hands of local farmers work this bountiful land using methods and knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Among them are the 60 or so faithful grape growers who supply Kettmeir. For decades, these farmers have brought their grapes to our winery. Grapes grown with care and dedication in a little over 55 hectares. Because it is quality not quantity which really matters. The bond between growers and winery has been cemented over time, founded on mutual respect and the common passion for striving to do ones best and the pride of producing, together, wines of the highest quality.
Maso Chiuso - Protected farmsteads
An ever-present, inescapable feature of the varied landscapes of Alto Adige are the farmsteads known in Italian as ‘maso’. These typical local habitations include a farmhouse and the surrounding land, which for centuries have been its heart and the principal source of income for its hard-working inhabitants. A distinct characteristic of these farmsteads is the ancient practice known as Maso Chiuso (literally ‘closed farm’), a form of legal entailment. The rules are few and simple: the property cannot be divided up, agricultural activities capable of supporting at least 5 people must be continued, and the farmstead must be inherited by just one son and with some compensation to be paid to the others. Established in the 15th Century, this system of entailment regulates and ensures the survival of local culture and traditions for future generations. It is thanks to this system that farmers in even the harshest most impervious parts of Alto Adige are able to provide for themselves and their families through crop farming, animal breeding or agritourism. And it is thanks to these devoted custodians that Alto Adige is able to maintain over time its immense natural beauty, its green pastures, its lush woodlands and flourishing vineyards, from the valley floors up to the most breath-taking of altitudes.
Kettmeir has always looked to the land to find inspiration for its wines. It is the land which calls.
Pochi di Salorno and Maso Reiner
The hill of Pochi di Salorno, with its calcareous well-structured soils replete with clay and organic matter, overlooks the valley below and nearby Trentino. It is on this hillside, caressed by winds from Val d’Adige and with mountains at its back, that Pinot Nero and Chardonnay grapes are grown.
The lake and its microclimate, the gentle, predominately flat valley, the protective hills and soils of glacial origin, which force the vines to send their roots deep underground.
This is Caldaro, the perfect terrain for red-grape wines. While the hill behind the winery, reaching between 500 and 700 metres high and with limestone soils, is ideal for the growing of Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Moscato Rosa. As well as Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero, the essential base of Kettmeir’s sparkling wines.
Soprabolzano (Maso Ebnicher)
With its extreme temperature fluctuations, the mountain breezes which blow down from the peaks of the Rosengarten, its sandy well-draining soils formed from the disintegration of porphyry over the ages, this hill has a privileged position perched above the city of Bolzano hence its name Soprabolzano (literally ‘above Bolzano’ ). The vineyards, which climb up to 800 metres, here find the ideal terrain for creating exceptional mineral and tropical notes in Müller Thurgau.