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|Appellation/Sub-Region||Alto Adige Valle Venosta DOC|
|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown|
The Alto Adige is the northernmost region in Italy, nestled at the feet of the Dolomites and the Italian Alps, and bordering both Austria and Switzerland. Also known as Südtirol (South Tyrol), the inhabitants of this autonomous region speak three languages: Italian, German, and Ladin (an obscure Romance language). The topography is just as diverse, with dramatic differences in climate and soil conditions and an array of varied microclimates. In addition, the area lays claim to the origins of three important grape varietals: schiava, lagrein, and gewürztraminer.
The Pratzner family’s vineyards are situated on the south-facing slope of the Venosta/Vinschgau valley, just a few kilometers south of the Austrian border, at an altitude of 600-900 meters. Despite the alpine setting, the area has a long, warm, and sunny growing season. Run by Franz and Bernadette Pratzner, along with their daughters Magdalena and Michaela, Falkenstein focuses on white varieties, especially riesling, as well as pinot noir. All of their white wines age in casks made of acacia, a neutral wood known to accentuate a wine’s floral aromas. As with all of their white wines, the Pratzners’ gewürztraminer spends ten months on the lees in those casks. Boldly full-bodied, it nevertheless sings with acidity, melding lychee and other tropical fruit flavors with notes of clove and flowers. The finish is long and savory. Organically grown.