Alois Lageder and biodynamic wines

Welcome readers to another week of wonderful wine from your friends at Pearl Wine Company. This week we jaunt to Italy and visit a winemaking family who’s been at the craft for almost 200 years. You don’t get that far without focusing on craft first, and that means being human first, too, by the by. Welcome to Alois Lageder wineries!

The most noble grape varieties grown in the best vineyards will never produce great wines without the efforts of human beings who recognize their potential, who give them the care and protection they need and who are able to harvest them with acumen and expertise. At Alois Lageder wineries, owned and managed by the Lageder family for six generations, this element of human commitment has both a past and a future. They believe their wines share the personalities of their winemakers and staff, and history plays its part, too. Human, not industrial wines, friends…

Alois Lageder focuses on biodynamic viticulture, a practice which emphasizes the specific character of every individual locale and enhances the quality of their wines. Think terroir, yes, but within that broad word there are so many ecosystems to consider! Alois Lageder’s wines are deeply connected to the landscapes in which they are born.

Located between the north and the south of Italy, the cool air of the Alps and the warm sun of Mediterranean, the Alto Adige region possesses an enormous wealth of heterogeneous sites, soils, exposures and microclimates. The region has been so generously blessed by nature that it stands out as a template for the production of highly individual wines marked by very distinctive terroir. In order to bring such authentic character to its fullest possible expression, in the Alois Lageder vineyards they use a wealth of knowledge about the rhythms and cycles of nature which local farmers have accumulated over centuries. As with many of our featured winemakers, Alois Lageder is farming first.

As for cellaring, that’s where Alois Lageder stands out. Their use of modern cellar technology restricts itself to the supportive role of making wines that express the qualities of the grapes from which they are made, which have been grown in harmony with nature. Their cellar is not a lab; it is a nursery. Alois Lageder winemakers do constantly interact with the casks, though, constantly pursuing the goal of producing wines that reflect their commitment to sustainable procedures. Sustainability in the vineyards is not forgotten in the cellars, for the story of the wine which is the product of good farming by human beings with personality and their own history could be lost if cellaring practices are not as craft focused. Alois Lageder wines develop in close accord with the natural forces and conditions around them and are therefore marked by exceptional elegance, balance, complexity and harmony. 

The grapes from about fifty hectares of vineyards which belong to the family are used for the wines of the Tenutæ Lageder assortment. These wines are distinguished by their origin from vineyards that are biodynamically farmed by the delicate treatment they receive in the cellars and also, only in selected cases, by maturation in high-quality barriques. This is the path, in close collaboration with nature, which leads to wines of the highest quality. They are flanked by the Alois Lageder assortment: largely single-varietal wines that are typical of the Alto Adige region and which meet our high quality standards. These wines are made from grapes coming from the best vineyards of quality-conscious growers, some of whom the family has worked with for decades. These collaborations are governed by specific cultivation criteria and the ongoing sharing of experiences and information, as well as by mutual respect, all of which contribute to excellent levels of synergy between grapegrower and winemaker.

Friends, the wines:

Pinot Bianco Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Alto Adige, Italy
Pinot Bianco :: $18 sale $15

Straw-yellow color with a green tint. Very fine, fruity (apples, peaches), forward varietal aroma. Pronounced, elegant, grapey flavour, light- to medium-bodied with a fresh, mouth-watering finish. When properly cellared, this wine may be kept for at least two to four years.

Suggested food: as an aperitif, with starters, salads, asparagus, all kind of seafood and pasta dishes.

Origin: selected vineyard sites in the southern part of the Alto Adige appellation (Salorno, Magrè, Cortaccia and Pochi), at 980 to 1,650 feet.

Porer, Alto Adige, Italy
Pinot Grigio :: $28.50 sale $25.50

Brilliant straw-yellow color with a green shimmer. Very aromatic, opulent, uplifted varietal aroma paired with pronounced mineral notes and elegant oak spice. Clean, grapey, full-bodied flavor, quite soft and creamy, refined and with a fresh finish. Remarkably long and aromatic on the palate. Under proper storage conditions, this wine may be cellared for four to six years.

Suggested foods: starters, pâtés and terrines, cold meat, all kinds of fish and seafood, white meat and poultry.

Origin: selected parcels owned by the Alois Lageder Winery, located on the scree of Magrè at an altitude of 750 to 790 feet. Soils are stony, sandy with a very high content of limestone. Warm mesoclimate, large temperature variations between day and night. 

Viticultural practices: this wine is made from certified organic grapes from vineyards that are farmed according to biodynamic methods of viticulture (Demeter certification).

Age of vines: 11 to 28 years. Harvested August 31 through September 3, 2015.

Schiava, Alto Adige, Italy
Schiava :: $20 sale $16.50

Light ruby colour with purple tints. Elegant, quite pronounced fruity aroma with impressions of red fruits and also floral notes (violets). Light to medium-bodied, quite mild and soft though with a fresh and slightly savoury aftertaste, dry. When properly cellared, this wine may be kept for at least two to three years. 

Suggested food: starters, pasta, pizza, white meats, poultry and barbecue. 

Origin: selected vineyard sites in Caldaro and Cortaccia at 980 to 1310 feet. 

Age of the vines: 31 to 71 years. 

Harvested: mid September 2015. 

Vinification: crushing and gentle pressing of the grapes, maceration-fermentation (for 10 days) in stainless steel tanks, malolactic fermentation and maturation during five months in concrete wine storage vessels.

Conus Lagrein Riserva, Alto Adige, Italy
Lagrein :: $38 sale $34

Medium-dark cherry-red color with ruby-red highlights. Intense, fruity (plums, black berries), pleasantly spicy aroma with nuances of licorice and dark chocolate, but also with mineral and floral notes (violets). Subtle oak nuances. Robust structure, medium-to- full-bodied. Long, fresh and fruity taste with pronounced well integrated tannins. Fresh finish with an “earthy” aftertaste. When stored properly, this wine offers optimal drinking pleasure for between two and five years.

Suggested food: red meat such as beef and lamb, venison, game, all kind of cheeses. 

Origin: “sand” vineyard, located on the scree around the village of Magrè (alluvial deposit) at an altitude of 750 feet. Gravelly, sandy soil with high content of dolomitic limestone. Very warm mesoclimate with large temperature variations between day and night.

Age of the vines: 9 to 11 years. Harvested October 3 through 18, 2013.

These prices are good through Tuesday, February 14.

Alois Lageder

Beer and ice cream tasting, friends. You know the drill. Join us on the 11th from 4 to 7 pm. Kevin from Crooked Stave Artisans will be in the store and will pick four beers from their unique and extensive portfolio to go along with four flavors from our neighbors at Sweet Cow.

We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4 pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl so we can CHEERS! 

Discover why 5280 Magazine Readers and Editors voted Pearl Wine Company Denver’s BEST BOTTLE SHOP. PWC takes pride in being Denver’s best wine shop–a craft liquor specialty store. Conveniently located on South Pearl Street in Denver’s Platt Park neighborhood.