Wine of the Week: Pinot Noir from St. Michael-Eppan in Alto Adige

This Thanksgiving I shared a number of Pinot Noirs with some members of my extended family, all 32 of them. One of the most memorable, although by no means the most dear, was from St. Michael-Eppan in Alto Adige. I actually bought it at the duty free shop on my way home from Rome for about 11 euro.

It doesn’t seem to be that widely available in the United States but I did find some in Massachusetts on Wine-Searcher.com. I thought it was a perfect match for the turkey, relish and sweet potato dishes that are staples at my thanksgiving table.

Cantina S. Michele Appiano as it is called in Italian, is a consortium with 350 members. It was founded in 1907. The growers who sell their grapes to the consortium of quite varied. Together they have 355 hectares and 2.5 million bottles sold each year. The enologist is Hans Terzer, a well known figure in European enology. He has been the enologist since 1977. He is considered one of the foremost experts in white wines. I’d say his reds aren’t too shabby either.

The Pinot Noir that I drank was from the Linea Classica while S. Michele also has a Linea Cru and the label Sanct Valentin, widely available on the U.S. Market.

I visited this area of the Alto Adige when I interviewed producer Elena Walch some years ago. Alto Adige is a beautiful part of Italy, quite different from everywhere else but fascinating.

I love the Merano wine festival, perhaps my favorite as well as the beautiful valleys. Bolzano and Trento are lovely cities and the whole area is exciting in both winter and summer. Definitely not an area to be missed, I highly recommend a trip next time you are looking for a vacation spot off the beaten track.

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