I had the good fortune to meet Peter Zemmer through Tony DiDio a couple of years ago. I never wrote about the great lunch we had at the Gotham Bar and Grill but the wines have stuck in my head and I have tried the newer versions since that time. They are always consistent, clean expression of the various varietals and in my mind representative of what that region has to offer. The winery has been in the same family for almost 100 years, founded in the 1920s and now the third generation is at the helm. The winery is located in Cortina on the wine route and is among the smallest villages in Alto Adige. It is in the middle of the valley floor and therefore has a great micro-climate, protected from the harsh winter. In fact, their are many fruit trees close to the vineyards. The mild weather allows the grapes to reach phenolic ripeness. Zemmer makes both whites and reds which were all very interesting. His Pinot Grigio is one to write home about and can make the case for why Pinot Grigio should not be discounted. I also greatly enjoy his Pinot Bianco, a favorite.
I always think of the whites from Alto Adige but the reds had the same clean clarity about them as the whites. He does use oak on many of the reds which I didn’t find as much in the whites but it was a judicious and subtle use of oak, not overpowering. His reserve line from which he makes a Lagrein that we tasted are only made in certain years. It was an exciting tasting and I was lucky to go. I look forward to trying additional wines of his at Vinitaly, if I can get near the stand, the area is always very crowded.