This is the oldest wine route in South Tyrol, among the historical ones in Italy, opened in 1964 thanks to a wine tourism foresight that was definitely out of the ordinary. The road from Nalles to Salorno, about 70 km long and 16 enchanting South Tyrolean municipalities, surrounded by more than 4,000 hectares of vineyards, which account for no less than 85% of the region’s total.
Nalles, the village of roses, the first village we encounter on the Wine Road, which is also crossed by a cycle path ideal for sports enthusiasts. A visit to the wine cellar in Nals Magreid is well worthwhile, here it is worth getting some wines to take home from their special selection, such as the Chardonnay Riserva Baron Salvadori, with its tropical aromas and rich mouthfeel, and the Gries, a Lagrein Riserva with strong tones, to be enjoyed with game.
Terlano is also worth a visit, where the winery of the same name stands and from which, looking up to the sky, one can admire the ruins of Neuhaus Castle in rapture. For the most discerning connoisseurs, there is nothing to do but go for the selection of ‘rarities‘, i.e. those Pinot Bianco wines that have been aged for a very long time, no less than ten years, and that impress with their extraordinary evolution. Enjoy them this way, without anything, in meditation.
Eppan is one of the noblest of the picturesque South Tyrolean villages, where in past centuries nobility spent time establishing their residences. And it is no coincidence that it is here that most of the vineyards are concentrated, over 900 hectares, two thirds of which are from white grape varieties. A visit to the Cantina di San Michele Appiano is a must, and can be booked easily online is a must, and can be conveniently booked online to learn its secrets and taste some of the most iconic wines of the Sanct Valentin line: above all, do not miss trying their Gewürztraminer, even in the passito version.
Caldaro is one of my favourite places, not only because of the lake bearing the same name, ideal for those who love water sports such as sailing and surfing (thanks to the Ora del Garda, a wind that blows from the southern part of the lake), but also for the culinary pleasure provided by the Ritterhof restaurant, which just so happens to be named after the winery of the same name.
Continuing along the Wine Route you come across another place that just cannot be skipped: Termeno o Tramin. This is where the aromatic white grape variety with distinctive tropical aromas, whose birthplace we dispute with Alsace and Jura in France, may have been born centuries ago. Obviously, then, I can only suggest that you choose to take home an extraordinary wine from Gewürztraminer, the Epokale from Cantina Tramin, the first Italian white wine to be awarded a 100/100 score by Robert Parker. I, having had the good fortune to taste it and still have a bottle in my cellar, can tell you that that 100/100 is definitely well deserved.
In Kurtatsch, it is the vineyard slopes that dominate, with an average warmer climate that provides wines that are often richer in terms of alcohol content and just as full on the palate. Cantina Kurtatsch boasts vineyard slopes of over 700 metres (from 200 to 900 metres), which is more unique than rare in Europe for a single municipality.
There are several wine-related events in Cortina, such as the one scheduled for 14 November, which includes a walk through the vineyards and orchards (To book: Hotel Teutschhaus, tel. 0471 817 139) with a local guide.
After travelling along the full 70 kilometres of the Wine Route, Salorno is just a ‘sip’ away and here visitors can admire the 13th-century Haderburg Castle, also reached on foot, after tasting one of the wines (try their Pas Dosé) from the winery bearing the same name.