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News

The Year 2023 at the Alois Lageder Winery

Alois Clemens Lageder: „The first musts and wi- nes are promising this year. Especially with re- gard to our style, which focuses on tension and freshness, this could be a very good vintage. The year in the vineyard was extremely challenging, because on the one hand it was very humid, and on the other hand we had three big heat waves. The vegetation period was difficult to master, but the course of spontaneous fermentation and gentle maturation in the cellar is often easier in such years. I am convinced that the 2023 vintage will express authenticity and uniqueness.“

COURSE OF THE VEGETATION PERIOD

The weather conditions in 2023 can be described as an interplay between rainy days and heat wa- ves. The year began with mild temperatures and extremely little precipitation in the winter months December and January. The average temperatu- res of 2.2 °C (35.96 °F) were significantly above the long-term average.

Lots of precipitation in spring

In spring, precipitation was concentrated in very specific months and made up for the precipitation deficit of the winter months. February still had little precipitation. In some places, there was no precipitation at all for the entire month. The dry weather continued in March, while the tempera- tures remained mild. In April, increasingly cooler temperatures prevailed. May brought very un- settled weather: with 21 rainy days, a new record was set since 1965. Particularly exceptional were 35 hours of continuous rain in the first half of May. The flowering started at the end of May and was prolonged due to the partly rainy weather.

A summer with two faces

The summer of 2023 was exceptionally warm and significantly rainier than the previous year. The months of June, July and August were divided into two parts in terms of weather conditions. Precipitation fell almost daily in the first half of June, while summery warm conditions prevailed in the second half of the month. Altogether, 13 tropical days with maximum temperatures above 30 °C (86.0 °F) were recorded. The first half of the month in July started warmer than average, follo- wed by a significant cooling. The Research Centre Laimburg counted 6 desert days with temperatu- res above 35 °C (95.0 °F). At the same time, there were cool days with a lot of rainfall. The amount of precipitation with 164.1 mm clearly exceeded the long-term reference value. This is the highest value in 30 years. Moreover, Magrè was hit by three hailstorms.

Coolness and heat during the harvest

From early to mid-August temperatures were quite low with cool nights, which played into our hands during the grape harvest. In mid-August, however, temperatures rose again unusually, brin- ging with it the last major heat wave. In August, 6 desert days were measured. It was unusual to harvest in such hot temperatures in August and September. The last days of August were rainy and temperatures cooled down.

 

VOICES FROM THE WINERY

Katharina Alverà, Head of Agriculture:

„It was a year full of challenges. A lot of rainfall and the resulting disease pressure shaped the months of May to July. The challenge in the vi- neyard was to keep the fungal diseases perono- spora and later also oidium under control. The vegetation year was characterised by a strong growth of the vines and we had hardly any water stress. The weather during ripening showed its good side, with high temperatures during the day and cool nights. The team worked very hard to get the grapes into the cellar. It will be an exciting vintage 2023.“

Jo Pfisterer, Enologist and Head of Production:

„This autumn had everything in it: joy, curiosity, nervousness, doubt, tiredness, relief and satis- faction.
The coolness of the first half of August allowed us to start harvesting with a nice acidity from mid-August, when stable weather but strong heat prevailed. August was mainly characterised by the white Burgundy varieties, as well as the Gewürztraminer from lower sites. Although it was very hot, we were able to get the freshness and crispness, with sufficient ripeness, into the cellar in time.

In contrast to last autumn, this autumn is cha- racterised by a slower increase in sugar, which suits our style and way of working very well. The frequent rainfall from the end of August affected our rhythm. It led to repeated short cooling peri- ods, which were quickly replaced by the return of warmer temperatures and sultriness.

Through elaborate selection in the vineyards and rapid processing in the cellar, we now look with great curiosity at fermenting musts, mash and young wines.

Thanks to the strong commitment of our team in viticulture, our winemaking partners and the cel- lar team, we can be very satisfied to have mas- tered this challenging year so far. The fermentati- ons have been constant and mostly rapid, which strongly supports our working method in the cellar, with the focus on authenticity and minima- lism of additives.

For me, this vintage so far is distinguished by lightness, freshness, premature aromatics and tense acidity. I am very much looking forward to working as part of the team over the coming months on the diverse and numerous compo- nents, experiments and new questions about wine and vineyards.“

 

 

Family-owned winery Alois Lageder welcomes next generation

Helena Lageder, youngest daughter of Alois and Veronika Lageder, is joining the company as brand ambassador. Now that she has come on board, all three siblings work for the family winery.

 

Magrè, September 2018. Helena Lageder started to work for the Alois Lageder winery in August 2018. Son Alois Clemens Lageder already signed up in 2015, and Alois and Veronika Lageder’s youngest daughter is now the latest to join the team. While Alois Clemens Lageder continues to head up with his father, and elder daughter Anna organises the major events Summa and VIN-o-TON, Helena Lageder will serve as brand ambassador and represent the wine estate in many international markets.

"Since childhood I have enjoyed spending time in the winery and have watched the processes with curiosity and interest.  I am excited to now be actively involved in bringing the ideas and philosophy of our family business to partners and customers around the world," Helena Lageder said.


Role as brand ambassador to commence in early 2019

Helena Lageder, born in Bolzano in 1992, has worked on many international film productions. She studied film at renowned institutions such as University of the Arts in London, the New York Film Academy and Hurtwood House. In recent years, she has already worked for the winery on several occasions at a wide range of events and film projects. She is now joining the sales team and will represent the Alois Lageder winery overseas as a brand ambassador. During the grape harvest and the months that follow, she will work in the vineyards and in the cellar, getting an in-depth insight into all departments of the estate while also making initial visits to sales partners, before taking on her new role in early 2019.

Alois Lageder: “It is such a joy and pleasure that Helena decided to join the winery. I have always seen a strong personal relationship with the partners to ensure that the company remains close to the market as the key to our estate’s success. As a family member, Helena will be the perfect embodiment of our values and visions, in particular on international markets.”

 

The Next Generation – All three siblings working for the wine estate

Anna Lageder, owner of event management agency “Walk Your Talk” and elder daughter of Alois Lageder, will remain responsible for the estate’s major events. She has already been organising the Summa wine event and the VIN-o-TON concert series for several years now.

Now that Helena Lageder has joined, all three siblings are working for the wine estate. “I am convinced that the estate can grow by combining the strength and energy of the younger generation with the experience of long-serving employees. It will take new ideas, creative and innovative approaches, and different perspectives to prepare the wine estate for the future and expand it in the long term,” says Alois Lageder.

 

 

Summa 20th anniversary  - To celebrate Summa’s 20th anniversary, 1.400 international visitors met 83 vintners and partners from all over the world at the Alois Lageder wine estate on April 9. More than 500 guests took part at the walking wine dinner the evening before, which was organized together with CARE’s – The ethical Chef Days.

Around 8,000 euros of donations will go to the Haus der Solidarität [House of Solidarity] in Bressanone (Alto Adige).

Magrè, April 11, 2017. On Sunday, April 9, over 80 vintners from Italy, Austria, France, Germany, and overseas gathered for Summa’s 20th anniversary at the Alois Lageder winery and invited 1.400 visitors to taste selected wines.

“Summa 2017 amazed us. The 20 years have brought us as vintners together with our customers and partners. This unity, joy, and energy was also fully reflected in the walking wine dinner,” said Alois Lageder, who started the event 20 years ago.

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the LÖWENGANG wines, the Tòr Löwengang rooms were opened for the first time: This year the 16th century historical residence and also the Renaissance palace Casòn Hirschprunn offered space for lively and intimate discussions between vintners, trade visitors, and private wine enthusiasts.

 

The celebrations were kicked off with a walking wine dinner the evening before, organized in partnership with CARE’s – The ethical Chef Days. Two-Michelin-starred chef Norbert Niederkofler and six other top international chefs prepared dishes for the guests at several stations in Tòr Löwengang and Casòn Hirschprunn, with numerous wine growers showcasing more than 80 wines to accompany them.

Visitors enjoyed a varied program at Summa on April 9, including vertical tastings, wine tastings such as COR Römigberg - Vertical tasting or 20 years of Summa 20 years old vintages, seminars, presentations, and workshops, guided tours around the wine estate and garden, or carriage rides through the vineyards. The event’s great success was also down to the valuable cooperation with numerous gastronomy partners.

Summa, which was held over the course of several days in previous years, took place on one day this year: “We wanted to return Summa to its original format for its landmark anniversary and concentrate on one day, where concise discussions and personal exchange are possible”, explains Alois Clemens Lageder.

Summa has also had a humanitarian focus for many years. This year, the partnership with the Haus der Solidarität [House of Solidarity] in Bressanone was continued. Thanks to the valuable and generous support of all the participants and visitors, this year’s Summa raised about EUR 8,000. Summa thus contributes toward helping people in desperate need, such as traumatized refugees and people with severe mental illnesses or addiction issues. 

 

 

The New Winery  - An Integrated Concept

“Bringing nature indoors.” That was Alois Lageder’s goal for the project and construction of a new complex of winemaking facilities and cellars at the historical Löwengang estate in Magrè.

Focusing on sustainable construction techniques, biological building materials, and the use of renewable sources of energy, the project was inaugurated in 1995 and was soon recognized as the harbinger of contemporary winery architecture in Alto Adige. A light-filled building with low-energy-consumption; abundant glass and wood; roofs with southern exposure that utilizees photovoltaic solar energy for most of the winery’s energy needs. The result is a place where wine and man co-exist in a natural, healthy, and aesthetically satisfying context that is free from harmful influences (e.g. electro smog), and which also fulfills the criteria for sustainable economic and agricultural activities.

 

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History

Alois Lageder is a synonym for the highest standard of quality in viticulture and winemaking, for a sustainable, holistic corporate philosophy, and for a wide spectrum of cultural and artistic activities. Founded in 1823, and now directed by Alois Lageder, representing the fifth generation of family ownership, our winery combines tradition and innovation.

 

“Quality results from a large number of single and often tiny details,” says Alois Lageder. “In our daily dealings with wine, we are first of all concerned with respecting the harmonious interaction of many different factors, and with working in accord with nature.” The roots of our winery goes back to 1823, when Johann Lageder laid the foundations in Bolzano of the activities in which we are involved today. Winemaking has been a part of the history of the Lageder family for more than a hundred and fifty years, and throughout that period of time we have always been committed to the highest standard of quality.

 

Holistic thinking is a sum of sustainable agricultural and business practices, respect for nature, appreciation of the surrounding environment, and responsibility to future generations. It’s also a question of looking beyond the theme of wine. In collaboration with the Ecological Institute of South Tyrol, we also sponsor and engage in ecological projects. “Wine,” says Alois Lageder “is a product that offers an complex experience. It brings many different areas of life together.” All the various facets of the life of our winery come together at our Weinschenke Vineria Paradeis: a place to which we are happy to invite you to become acquainted with the world and the wines of Alois Lageder.

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Vineyards

The principles of holistic thinking and sustainability guide everything we do in our vineyards and winery. Respect for nature is our highest priority and is expressed through our commitment to biodynamic agriculture. We carefully and consistently attempt to take the best possible advantage of the characteristics and special features of every individual locale. The Alto Adige region offers an enormous variety of sites, exposures, soils and microclimates, and thus the best prerequisites for highly individual wines, marked by distinctive terroir.

 

Work in the vineyards is guided by the cycles and forces of nature, from the initial planting of the grapevines to choosing the right moment for harvest. The vineyards that belong to the family (about fifty hectares) located at Magrè, Cortaccia, Termeno and Caldaro are cultivated with biodynamic methods, controlled and certified by the Demeter Association. The Lindenburg vineyard at Bolzano and the Krafuss vineyard at S. Michele/Appiano are in conversion. These are the grapes from which we make wines of the Tenutæ Lageder assortment, wines of the greatest authenticity.

 

They are flanked by the Alois Lageder assortment of wines: largely varietal wines that are typical of our region, and which meet our demanding standards of quality. These wines are made of grapes from the best vineyard locations of quality-conscious growers, with some of whom our relationship goes back many decades.

 

We launched a project several years ago with the concrete goal to raise the awareness of our partner companies for sustainable agriculture. Of the approx. 120 hectares of land from which we obtain grapes, 30 hectares - at the beginning of 2014 - are already under biodynamic cultivation or partly bio-organic.

 

Our portfolio of wines is divided into three groups - the Classic Varietals, the Terroirs, the Estates - a selection based on both the quality of the wines and their origin.

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Winemaking

Healthy, perfectly mature grapes, careful and protective working methods in both vineyard and cellar, and time, first of all, are the most important preconditions for the production of exceptional wines. The principle that guides our work in the cellars at the Löwengang estate winemaking facility is to preserve the qualities that originate in the vineyards. Our recently constructed cellar complex in Magrè, built in accordance with the principles of biological building, therefore makes use of innovative concepts and techniques: the grapes thus move along a downwards path through our vinification tower-some seventeen meters tall--conducted solely by the force of gravity.

 

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Inside information

Our story, like so many of those in Alto Adige, has its beginnings in a high, alpine valley. Early in the nineteenth century, a young man from the Himmelreichhof farm –near the village of Albions, at the beginning of the Val Gardena, tied his belongings up into a bundle. The time had come for Johann Lageder to bid farewell to the family farm: he was ready for the path that would take him down into the city of Bolzano, where he intended to stand on his own two feet. He found employment with a wheelwright. Johann possessed both expert craftsmanship and an entrepreneurial spirit, and in 1823 he was able to acquire the workshop. At the same time he also began to deal in wine. In 1855, his two sons divided his worldly belongings between them. The elder son took over the wheelwright shop; the younger son, Alois Johann, inherited the wine trade. He also inherited his father’s entrepreneurial spirit and intended to expand the business, with the purchase of his first vineyard and he began to cellar wines made from the fruit grown on his own properties, as well as from grapes purchased from other growers in the area.

Alois Johann’s eldest son, Alois II, shared his passion for wine and was soon able to purchase other vineyards for the family, in the area of Santa Magdalena, in the northern Bolzano hills. Santa Magdalena was one of the two wines in which he specialized; the other was Lagrein, also from vineyards in the Bolzano area. Alois II was one of the first winemakers to recognize and insist on the importance of site and terroir. He was soundly acquainted with the various microclimates on the slopes surrounding Bolzano and had a keen ability to preserve and underline the subtle differences between them.

This precocious specialist knowledge was once again followed by an heir with an entrepreneurial mind and spirit, Alois III, who thought in even more global terms. He saw the indigenous varietals of Alto Adige to be one of the region’s strengths, and in addition to working with local varieties such as schiava (Vernatsch) and Lagrein, he strove to expand his portfolio. In 1934, he purchased the manor house and vineyards of the Löwengang estate in the village of Magrè, at the southernmost tip of Alto Adige. Here he found what he was looking for: excellent exposures not only for white-wine vineyards, but also for robust red wines such as Cabernet, Sauvignon and Merlot. Deciding that the transport of the delicate fruit harvested took too long by ox cart to Bolzano, he founded a winemaking facility and cellars at the Löwengang estate in Magrè as well as in other wine-producing villages. Before long farmers in the surrounding areas were also supplying him with their grapes. The winery became well established, but Alois’ sudden death in 1963 resulted in a series of sweeping changes.

 

His designated heir and only son Alois IV was the youngest of six children, and only twelve years old. The challenging task of guiding the winery through the difficult next few years was thus to fall to two powerful and enterprising women: Christiane Rössler, his widow, and his eldest daughter Wendelgard, who at the time was only twenty-one years old. In addition to helping to guide the firm she also became the winery’s public face and representative, no easy task for a young woman suddenly thrust into the center of a business and field dominated by men. She was not, however, someone easily discouraged, and she managed, with the support of the family and especially of her mother, to successfully steer the business along its future course. In 1969 she married the winery’s cellar master Luis von Delleman, who, though young himself, had already acquired a wealth of experience in numerous wine-growing regions in Europe. He assumed responsibility for cellar operations. He soon became well-known as an extraordinary white-wine specialist. The Italian market showed great demand for the fresh, fruity wines of its northernmost region, but most of the wines were still sold in bulk. It wasn’t until the start of the 1970s that the company began more and more to bottle its own wines, and to market them under its own Alois Lageder-label.

The Lageder-family winery was experiencing a difficult time when the current Alois Lageder, after studies in economics and viticulture, assumed leadership of the firm at only twenty-five years old. The image of Alto Adigewines had suffered greatly as a result of years of perception as products for mass consumption. With the support of his sister Wendelgard and of his bother-in-law and cellar master Luis von Dellemann, Alois Lageder undertook the task of repositioning the winery. He was convinced that the region in which he was born had great unexploited potential, and he firmly set a course that aimed strictly for quality. He purchased additional vineyard properties and made use of innovative methods both in the vineyards and in the cellars. He began to trellis his vines on wires, and also reduced their yield.

Inspired by meeting the legendary California vintner Robert Mondavi in 1981, Alois experimented also with the maturation of wines in small oak barrels. Wines such as his red Cor Römigberg Cabernet Sauvignon and his white Löwengang Chardonnay created a whole new style and quality standard on the Alto Adige wine scene. In 1991 Alois purchased the Hirschprunn estate, a renaissance mansion in Magrè with over thirty hectares of vineyards around the village. In 1995 he constructed a high-tech winemaking facility and cellar complex in Magrè, which soon proved to be the precursor of a veritable boom in modern architectural structures at wineries both in Italy and abroad. Since the beginning of the 1990s, he has also blazed a trail of his own in viticulture: today about fifty hectares of vineyards belonging to the family adheres to the principles of Biodynamic agriculture.

The name Alois Lageder thus stands today no less for tradition than for innovation. In the spirit of a holistic corporate philosophy, Alois IV has also created a permanent place for contemporary art and music at his winery, an innovative move in which he has the support of his wife, the dance-theater choreographer Veronka Riz, and of their three children. His commitments have also extended to spheres beyond his wineries: for over ten years, he was the president of Bolzano’s Museion, Museum for Contemporary Art, and the driving force behind the construction of its new extension, which opened in 2008. At the beginning of 2009, he was elected to serve as the president of Bolzano’s Ecological Institute.

 

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6 different wines with 11 vintages

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