San Michele Appiano – A Jewel Among Italy’s Cooperatives

Just re-reading this blog post and thinking about cooperatives. I wrote this 10 years ago and I am not sure that the reputation of coops has changed all that much despite enormous progress on their parts. I think that is s shame and that we should reconsider these wines.

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Wine cooperatives in Italy are often considered to be synonymous with low quality wines. While this is true of some cooperatives, it is an inaccurate perception of the quality of the wines from some of the best known ones. Nonetheless, many people shy away from these cooperatives and it’s a real shame. There are two or three stand-out examples that come to mind that are the exceptions to the rule and many people luckily know of their existence: Cantina San Michele Appiano, Cantina Produttori di Termeno, and the Sardinian winery called Santadi are a few that come to mind.

Each of these cooperatives is strongly linked to the success of their particular region. San Michele Appiano, a cooperative in the Alto Adige region of Italy, just celebrated its 100 year birthday in 2007. It was created in June 1907 and now has 355 members with 350 hectares of vineyards.

The…

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