CANTINA DI CALDARO is one of the most important high-quality wine producers in Alto Adige, renown for producing classicly-styled, yet accessibly-priced wines made from grapes in the vineyards surrounding Lake Caldaro, which is just outside Bolzano. Since 1906, the winery has functioned as a cooperative. The vineyards are almost entirely worked by hand with strict guidelines established by the members and supervised by the cellar master. The wines owe their bright and pure aromas, near-perfect balance on the palate, and fresh acidity to their mountainside origins.
Positioned right below Austria at the tiptop of Italy, Alto Adige lies in a ‘Y’ shaped glacial valley. Before airplanes, this little valley used to be the main passage between Italy and the rest of Europe. Because of its position as a gateway to Italy, Alto Adige was the focal point of conquests ranging from the ancient Romans to the Nazi regime. It became part of Italy in 1919 and there are up to three official languages: Italian, German and Latin. Vineyards in Alto Adige creep up the sides of glacial valleys in horizontal rows. The winery estates here are commonly called “Schloss” which is the German word for castle or chateau. Alto Adige is quite tiny at only 13,000 acres, but the region varies enough to have 7 distinct growing sub-regions.
Among Caldaro’s many vineyards, there are some very special sites. They have evolved over time and are pre-destined for certain varieties and for outstanding wines. They are sites that are worked on a sustainable basis, in some cases on organic or biodynamic lines, and with a consistent focus on quality. In the field of biodynamic viticulture, Caldaro is a pioneer for the whole of Alto Adige. A group of members and innovators are already cultivating more than 15 hectares of land based on this special form of organic viticulture, doing groundbreaking work. In the cellar, too, these grapes are processed according to the principles laid down by Rudolf Steiner. And all of Caldaro’s growers avoid the use of herbicides.