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San Michele Mach Riserva del Fondatore Brut 2007
The institute was founded in 1874 when the regional Tyrolean Diet at Innsbruck elected to open an agrarian school together with an experiment station at San Michele for the revival of agriculture in Tyrol. The philosophy of the institute’s first director, Edmund Mach, has had an indelible influence on the direction of the institute and continues to be the drive behind its mission even today. Mach believed that a good wine must take into consideration several elements that cannot be separated from one another: the quality of the vineyard, the technical skill of the cellar and the character of the men who live this creation. This integrated approach is at the heart of the school’s curriculm and is a hallmark of all the native varietal wines produced here.
Today, under the guidance of renowned winemaker and professor, Enrico Paternoster, this integration of tradition and scientific knowledge has expanded to include how to protect the patrimony of this unique appellation, researching biological techniques that have a small environmental impact the on delicate balance of these lands. Paternoster oversees each vintage of the institute’s indigenous wines, which includes Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Nosiola, Lagrein and the unique Incrocio Manzoni.
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.
Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.