The history of the Colterenzio winery began in 1960 at the hands of 26 small winemakers, inhabitants of the small village of Colterenzio, less than 10 kilometers southwest of Bolzano, South Tyrol. They were difficult years for the South Tyrolean wine production, and this group of brave volunteers chose the path that others had taken before: that of associate themselves in a social winery. The main purpose of this choice was the need to defend the work of the members, keeping away the value of their grapes, and their wines, from the speculations of the great merchants who established starvation prices, imposing them on the smallest subjects.
Since then, despite its relative youth, the winery has grown considerably, reaching today the count of 300 members led by President Maximilian Niedermayr and winemaker Martin Lemayr. The lands owned, which exceed 300 hectares and produce about 1,600,000 bottles, are distributed mainly between Colterenzio, Cornaiano and Appiano, with some members who also give grapes from the area of Bolzano and the surroundings of Salorno, about 50 kilometers further south.
To understand the importance of this winery in the South Tyrolean landscape, we must go back in time, to 1979, when Luis Raifer was elected as director. At that time the South Tyrolean viticulture was mainly characterized by the production of pretty ordinary red wines of poor quality, and on it the creative flair of Raifer fell like a tornado.
Raifer, in fact, ahead of his time, realized that if he wanted to make the most of the enormous potential that he saw in South Tyrolean viticulture, a drastic change of paradigm was necessary. And so the winery began to study in depth what were the most favorable soils, and what model of cultivation to bring, to obtain a lower quantity of grapes, in exchange for their high quality; the only way to raise the production level.
The teachings of Raifer are still valid today, and have been enriched by a vision of the production processes cleaner and ecological, with the new cellar, built in 2010, designed to carry out the various phases of vinification by gravity drop and equipped with alternative energy systems that provide more than half of the energy needs.
One of the many ideas cultivated by Raifer was to produce “an exclusive wine, capable of enthusing a very demanding clientele and strengthening at the same time the image and prestige of Colterenzio”, and this idea was born in 2011, with the first vintage of the LR (the initials of Raifer for the note). It is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon grown in selected vineyards, at an altitude of 400-550 meters, with a yield of 35hl per hectare.
After a first careful selection in the plant the grapes are gently pressed and, after fermentation at a controlled temperature, they age a year in oak barrels and, then, three years in the bottle.
The 2015 vintage shows a straw-yellow color with light golden reflections, and a nose with an olfactory fan that opens on notes of mango, pineapple, menthol and flint, followed by dried apricot, cedar, chlorophyll and saffron, with final echoes of blond tobacco for pipe, carpentry and iodized recalls. The palate is characterized by a balanced equilateral triangle, whose vertices are mineral sapidity, glyceric softness and citrus acidity; all accompanied by the return of overripe yellow fruit, and flint, which persist far beyond the already long closure.
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