Alois Lageder Portico dei Leoni Bianco 2005
Suggested food: Starters, salads, asparagus, all kinds of seafood, white meat and poultry.
The Alois Lageder winery was established in 1823 and today it is managed by the family’s fifth and sixth generation. The winery is located in Magrè, in the southern part of the Alto Adige region. With a holistic approach, creativity and an experimental spirit Alois Lageder produces wines that reflect the diversity of Alto Adige. We are committed to biodynamic wine production and continually expand our knowledge in this area. In addition to the family owned vineyards (135 acres / 55 hectares) the winery collaborates with around 80 grape growers (247 acres / 100 hectares).
Alois Lageder believes that organic and biodynamic cultivation greatly enriches the landscape. One of the goals of biodynamics is to build a closed farm organism and to increase diversity and fertility. The winery collaborates with mountain farmers who bring their cows and sheep in the winery’s vineyards during the autumn and winter months, following the old tradition of transhumance. This helps to increase the vitality of the grapes and the biodiversity.
A few years ago, Alois Lageder started to cooperate with some local winegrowers from the wider Dolomiti area, which is why Pinot Grigio and Pinot Bianco have the Dolomiti appellation. Today, this collaboration and organic farming are met with enormous interest allowing us to expand this project giving the wines their own name: Terra Alpina. The Terra Alpina wines are characterized by a unique interplay of harsh Alpine and sunny Mediterranean influences.
Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.
The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.
The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot grigio in Italy is made here.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.