I recently went to Wine by the Bay during my quest for Orange wine, so I was happy to return this weekend for a tasting of wine from Alto Adige. Owner Stefano Campanini hosted Andi Punter and Sofia Haas from Franz Haas Winery for a lively evening of friends and wine.
Established in 1880, the winery has been passed down for seven generations. They cultivate around 55 vine-planted hectares, subdivided among owners, renters and assignees. Franz Haas has always been a great enthusiast and champion of the region. He was actually one of the reasons the region became DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) recognized. About 1/3 of their production is Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) and only 30% of their production is exported, meaning 70% stays within the country for Italians to enjoy.
The funky labels come from a collaboration with the artist Riccardo Schweizer, who has painted with the likes of Picasso, Chagall, Cocteau, and Paul Éluard oder Le Corbusier.
From the winery’s portfolio, we tried six varieties. I, unfortunately, didn’t take down detailed tasting notes, since I was busy enjoying the wine and company, but I did jot down a few things.
- Pinot Grigio Dolomiti 2016 – Not your typical supermarket Pinot Grigio lol. It was lovely.
- Pinot Bianco Lepus 2015 – It had a nice crispness and minerality to it.
- Manna 2015 – An interesting blend of four grape varieties, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and a late-harvest Traminer Aromatico.
- Pinot Nero 2015 – I usually don’t go out of my way for Pinot Noir, but this was lovely. It was very berry forward and elegant.
- Pinot Nero single vineyard Schweizer 2011 – They bump up the quality even more for this Pinot Nero, skipping some vintages if the grapes are not up to par.
- Moscato Rosa 2013 – Its production is very limited due to the low yield of the vine. The Moscato Rosa is not a late harvested grape or a Passito; it is naturally high in its content of sugar and is harvested when ripened well. It was nothing like I had tasted before.
It was a lovely evening and I even bonded with Andi about the fact that we both know Alois Clemens Lageder from Alois Lageder, just a 15-minute drive away from Franz Haas.
I look forward to the next tasting at Wine by the Bay!