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The region of South Tyrol - also known as Alto Adige - in Italy is a beautiful one, and one which is responsible for many of the country’s finest wines. The gently sloping, lush green hills provide rich and characterful soils, which generations of talented vintners have used to their full potential, crafting elegant wines which are full of the best features of their terroir. This is northern Italy, where Germanic influences are strong in the foothills of the Alps, and crisp, acidic white wines reign supreme. One winery which continues to impress in this special region is St Michael Eppan, and for the past forty years, the dedication of the winemakers behind it has helped bring South Tyrol to the international market.
The winery of St Michael Eppan was founded in 1977 by Hans Terzer, who brings his decidedly Germanic approach to this cool and verdant corner of Italy. He was joined soon after establishing the winery by Anton Zublasing and Gunther Neumair, both of whom were passionate about the potential South Tyrol had as a modern wine region of excellence. Today, the three friends are joined by a huge team of helpers and associates, and their project has grown to become one of the main fine wine producers in this part of the country.
As with much of South Tyrol, the majority of St Michael Eppan’s wines are acidic, minerally white wines, made from Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer varietal grapes. The aim of the winemakers is to get as much expression as possible from their beautiful terroir, and the grassiness and herbaceous qualities of their land is definitely present in their produce. The mountain air lends a crispness to the wines, and their meticulous nature when it comes to selecting grapes ensure only fruit of the highest quality makes its way to the processing rooms. Hans Terzer is a man open to experimentation and the use of new equipment and approaches, always seeking the best way to extract the finest features of his fruit and preserve them in the bottle. As such, St Michael Eppan has broken much ground in South Tyrol, and was the first winery in the region to use a barrique refining system. All in all, this is a beautiful winery, making classic South Tyrol wines with are the very essence of the land on which they grow.