I went there last week during a clear and pleasant autumnal day.
The winery, run by Motta family, is located in Gleno (Montan/Montagna), halfway up the slope that looks out onto the Adige Valley and reachable by a steep mountain road. I am sure during winter this could become a challenge!
Once arrived to the “maso” a breath-taking panorama will open up in front of you: the view reaches almost 180° from Egna/Neumarkt to Tramin/Termeno and further afield to the Lake Caldaro. The traditional mountain structure dates back to 1812 and hosts the family’s home, while a new part is dedicated to wine-making.
Did you know? The woods of the Monte Corno National Park enclose Maso Thaler and abound with wild animals. This year Maso Thaler had to protect his estate with wire mesh fences, because roe deers were eating up vines and grapes!
Francesco and his charming wife Elisa welcomed and guided us through a relaxing and fascinating stroll in the vineyard, at 630 meters above sea level (and therefore among the highest altitude vineyards in South Tyrol), answering to our curiosities and telling about their work.
We visited the cellar, a work in progress place full of aromas. When we entered the room dedicated to fermentation in temperature-controlled steel casks, the first sensation we felt was the pungent smell of grape and fermentation. We had the great luck of tasting a sip of the new, not yet filtered Chardonnay: a cloudy and still immature wine, with strong varietal aromas, that will later age in the bottle.
The ageing cellar, by contrast, is full of the wooden barriques, used for malolactic fermentation and ageing of some wines like Pinot Noir. If you think that this is probably the most apt area in Italy for the cultivation of Pinot Noir grapes, you could imagine how much passion and attention do this family pay to the wine making process. The goal is to get the best quality Pinot Noir every year, in spite of difficult years or exceptional weather conditions (like 2014, for example). In my opinion, they definitely succeeded!
Moreover, we sat down together and had a tasting of the whole wines selection:
Chardonnay DOC, Manzoni White IGT, Iuturna White Alto Adige DOC (unfortunately out of production now), Sauvignon DOC and Pinot Noir Alto Adige DOC.
Peculiar orientation of the vineyards, perfect sun exposure, natural breeziness, daily sharp temperature differentials and characteristic acidity guarantee freshness, flavour fullness and long life to all these wines.
My favourites? So difficult to tell…
I would say Manzoni White, because it’s rare in South Tyrol and reminds me of my past in Veneto, and Pinot Noir, because I love Pinot Noir and find it’s perfect for food pairing.
Did you know? Maso Thaler won several prizes at the CERVIM International Mountain Wine Competition, which promotes wines produced in mountain areas or in areas with difficult conditions. In other words, the so-called ‘Heroic wines’.
I have to say it has been definitely an unforgettable day, enriched by a personal and tailored visit and by lasting visual and sensoric memories.
Would you like to join next visit? Contact me, it will be a pleasure to share such an experience with you!