Alto Adige in Northern Italy is a diverse place in a number of ways. Valley floors and mountains provide a variety of influences on vines as do elevations that range from a few hundred feet to several thousand. The region which sits at the intersection of Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany feels the influence of all those countries on food, wine, language and the arts. The relatively cool climate is a boon for a host of local and international varieties. Aromatic whites thrive and lighter reds do as well. Here’s a look at one of each from a well-known local producer.
Peter Zemmer is one of the best known wineries from the region and his wines are widely available. He and his winery stand as a bit of a flagship for the region and he’s been a champion of it on the international stage. The physical winery sits on the valley floor and the average elevation of his vines is 1,600 feet.
Peter Zemmer 2017 Pinot Grigio ($18)
This is entirely Pinot Grigio, fermented in stainless steel and it spends several months on the lees. Apple and hints of quince dot the nose. The palate shows off a range of pear flavors as well as bits of apple and spice. A treasure trove of minerals and a core of salinity mark the long pleasing finish. Firm acid keeps it fresh and food friendly.
Peter Zemmer 2016 Pinot Noir Rolhüt ($18)
Composed of 100% Pinot Noir, aging took place over 12 months in a combination of large French oak and casks 2-3 years in age. Forest floor and spice aromas are evident here. The palate is loaded with a bevy of red fruits tinged by hints of darker flavors. Strawberry and red raspberry flavors dance on the tongue alongside plum and a range of spices. Sour fruits and savory herbs dominate the persistent finish. There’s a freshness here that demands you come back for sip after sip. Both are lovely wines, but this Pinot Noir represents a particularly nice value.