Alto Adige is the dynamic winegrowing region at the northern end of Italy that combines a brisk alpine climate, mountain viticulture and complex geology with the brilliance of Mediterranean sunshine. Cantina Tramin’s vineyards are cared for by...
Alto Adige is the dynamic winegrowing region at the northern end of Italy that combines a brisk alpine climate, mountain viticulture and complex geology with the brilliance of Mediterranean sunshine. Cantina Tramin’s vineyards are cared for by the many hands of the 300 small growers whose heritage it is to coax the best out of their grapes, culminating in wines which reflect the uniqueness of the area they call home.
“Unterebner delivers far and beyond your standard Pinot Grigio…. It boasts more complexity that you might expect.”
The Wine Advocate
Interview with Willi Stürz, Winemaker
Cantina Tramin is formed by 300 growers and 260 hectares of vineyards, how does the cooperative operate? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The success of the cooperative system in Alto Adige in general is mainly due to the fact that the cooperative is a very important social sustainability factor, as it ensures that the proceeds from wine sales go to the families who work the vineyards and thus preserve the beautiful landscape of Alto Adige. In fact, in no other winegrowing area in the world is the difference between wine shelf pricing and grape pricing as small as in Alto Adige.
The ability to network and cooperate as well as the flexibility of our growers are the linchpin of our winery. The cooperative system combines the advantages of having small plots cultivated directly by the growers who own them, while at the same time exploiting economies of scale, enabling Cantina Tramin to offer superb wines at attractive prices. Given that most member-growers own on average less than a hectare, the relationship between the farmers and their land is intimate.
The ability of the winery to ensure that a vineyard can be harvested within a couple of hours is of utmost importance during the harvest period, when a delay of a single day can result in loss of flavour and acidity.
What makes Tramin wines stand out from the rest of its kind? Our area is unique and provides us with an unparalleled range of scents and aromas. Our white wines are of rare elegance and boast extraordinary aromatics. In addition, our 300 small growers have close ties to their vineyards and the surrounding nature, as they have been taking care of their vineyards for generations; most of them own vineyards that are smaller than one hectare.
We try to produce wines that reflect the beauty of our region, an area with over 2,000 years of history in viticulture and featuring varieties with a unique expression, the most important being Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco in terms of whites and Lagrein and Pinot Nero in terms of reds.
What are your first memories of wine? In my fathers spare time he used to work in a small vineyard. This is how I got interested in agricultural and when I had to choose which school to attend, I had no doubts and enrolled in the local Agricultural secondary school.
What’s the perfect food pairing for Unterebner Pinot Grigio? Unterebner Pinot Grigio pairs wonderfully with light first courses, fish dishes and lightly seasoned white meat; it is also a perfect accompaniment to smoked fish, meats and grilled vegetables.