South Tyrol, officially called Alto Adige since it became part of Italy, is the northernmost Italian wine-growing region. Despite this exposed position, Alto Adige has an excellent climate for viticulture, since from spring to fall the heat is well stored in the valleys of the Adige and Isarco rivers and is replaced at night by cold air currents from the Alps. Viticulture almost always takes place in the valleys or in the gently rolling foothills of the Alpine massifs on poor, stony soils up to 1000 meters above sea level. Due to the proximity to Austria and Germany, the grape variety list with well-known names such as Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and Gewürztraminer also shows many similarities to the neighbouring countries. International grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay are also represented. With Vernatsch, as well as Lagrein, there are also wines made from indigenous grape varieties with their very own characteristics. The state of the art of cellar technology is in most cases adapted to modern requirements. The white wines are fermented cool and show freshness, lots of fruit and, above all, varietal typicity. Red wines are also vinified in a modern way and show character; the best are fermented or aged in small oak barrels according to the French model. In addition to excellent family wineries, some cooperatives have also developed into absolute top wineries.
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