Santa Maddalena 2016
"In the past, Santa Maddalena – a traditional cuvée blended from the two indigenous grape varieties Schiava and Lagrein – played an important role in wine making in South Tyrol and was one of the best known Italian reds. Today this fine fruity and typical elegant red wine, which takes its name from the wine growing village of Santa Maddalena, still has many adherents and is in the process of being rediscovered by many a wine connoisseur."
- Doc denomination: Alto Adige
- Variety: 85% Schiava, 15% Lagrein
- History of the variety: first vintage 1965
- Year: 2016
- Bottles produced: 33,000
- Yield: 63 hl/ha
- Quality line: The classics
Manual harvest and selection of the grapes; destemming followed by slow must fermentation at a controlled temperature and gentle agitation of the must in stainless steel tanks; malolactic fermentation and aging in big wooden barrels for 7-10 months; blending one month before bottling.
- Country: Alto Adige Santa Maddalena DOC
- Provenance: Bolzano
- Altitude: 250 - 900 m a. s. l.
- Slope: 5 - 70 %
- Orientation: South - Southwest
- Color: deep ruby red
- Smell: The Santa Maddelena appeals to the nose with clear primary aromas of black elderberry and cherry underpinned by bitter almond and a nuance of violet.
- Taste: With full fruit flavors on the palate, too, and yet soft and elegant at the same time, this red wine benefits from a balanced acidity and low tannin content – a unique feature of the schiava grape – to achieve a very agreeable finish.
A classic South Tyrolean pairing with a platter of cured meats like bacon and Bündnerfleisch or a venison carne salada with potted mushroom and a cream cheese mousse, or cold beef with vinaigrette dressing; equally attractive with tagliatelle with salsiccia or boiled beef with salsa verde and parsley potatoes.
The 2016 wine-growing year was a challenging one. On some of the sites, the vegetation period began very early, between the end of March and the beginning of April. Fortunately the frost in the night of April 27 did not do any real damage to the vines. At the end of April and in May, the temperatures remained cool until the vines were already flowering. On the early-flowering sites, the vines started flowering on May 25. From May to August, precipitation was at above-average levels. A change in the weather in the middle of August was a great relief to the vintners. On September 6, we were able to begin the harvest, which was accompanied by perfect autumn weather and warm and dry days.
One of the most famous sites in Alto Adige, with a history of wine-growing that goes back over the centuries, occupies the hills and steep slopes of the Santa Maddalena area north of Bolzano. The well ventilated and easily warmed morainic soils based on porphyry and dolomite produce the eponymous Schiava.
The high peaks of the main Alpine chain protect South Tyrol from the Atlantic winds and cold northerlies, while the region benefits from the Mediterranean climate from the south. That explains the pronounced differences between day- and night-time temperatures, which are the key to full maturity and elegant wines.
To the south, a number of mountain massifs like the Adamello also have a protective function. As a result, annual precipitation is only about one third of the average for the southern Alpine foothills, and the number of hours of sunshine is higher. The climatic conditions are not unlike those to be found in wine-growing areas like the Swiss Canton Valais.
When the sun rises behind the mountains east of Terlano on one of the year’s 300 sunny days, it is already high in the sky as the wine-growing area has a westerly to south westerly exposure. The lower atmospheric density permits more direct solar irradiation with less diffuse sunlight. That increases the difference between the slopes on the sunny and shady sides of the valley.
Microclimate in Terlano
Continental climate (Cfa Köppen-Geiger)
Annual sunshine hours: ø 2135
Maximum temperatures: 38,2 °C
Average temperatures: 12,9 °C
Minimum temperatures: -10,7°C
Annual percipitation: ø 558 mm
Average global radiation: 150,1 W/m²
- North foehn: cool and dry down-slope wind
- Ora: valley wind system from the south, bringing in air from the Po Valley
- Alcohol content: 13.0 % vol
- Residual sugar: 1.4 g/l
- Total acidity: 4.5 g/l
- Storage advice: Cool storage at constant temperatures, high level of humidity, good ventilation and as little light as possible
- Cellar temperature: 10 - 15 °C
- Minimum maturity: 1 years
- Serving temperature: 12 - 14 °C