Alto Adige is a land of spectacular contrast and diversity. Positioned in northeast Italy, on the sunny side of the Alps, it is an area where men and mountains have met for centuries. It is a frontier region; not just politically but geographically, climatically, and viticulturally. Winemaking here requires a special skill set.
Vineyards are planted from 200m to 1000m and experience huge diurnal swings in temperature, while alpine geology delivers an immense diversity of soils.
This goes part way to explaining how, in a region no larger than St Emilion in Bordeaux, there are nevertheless over 20 different grape varieties grown. These are cultivated by around 5000 individual wine growers owning, on average, just 1 ha of vineyard each, and yet between them, they manage to produce 98% of Italy’s DOC, top-quality wines which are increasingly successful in finding their way into international markets.
Join Nancy Gilchrist MW to learn more about this extraordinary yet relatively little-known region, and discover some of the measures this finely balanced ecosystem is adopting in the face of climate change.
Nancy is an independent wine educator and a Master of Wine since 1995. She was the wine columnist for The Boston Globe before returning to the UK where amongst many other things she created Academie du Vin @ 67 Pall Mall and was a director of Christie's Wine Education. She still lectures at Leith's School of Food & Wine and is an acknowledged reference on the interaction of food & wine. She also specialises in the wines of South Africa and is UK Ambassador for the Consorzio Vini Alto Adige.
Two languages spoken side by side is only one of the many unique characteristics of this stunning wine region, formerly a part of Austria, and since 1919, a part of Italy. Today it embraces the best of both cultures and languages but identifies as purely South Tyrolean.
Nestled in the northeastern part of the country, in the shadow of the dramatic Dolomite Mountain peaks, Italy’s northernmost wine region enjoys a perfect balance between the brisk Alpine air and the Mediterranean sun. Here, beautiful high-altitude, terraced vineyards are set against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains where aromatic grape varieties thrive in the long sunny growing season.
Join May Matta-Aliah, Regional Ambassador, to learn what makes this small jewel of a wine region capable of producing the highest percentage of DOC/DOP wines in the country.
May is a New York based wine educator and President of In the Grape. She is a seasoned presenter, an accredited educator, and brings over 15 years of experience and knowledge to all her work.
In her teachings, May leverages her wide breadth of knowledge, her hands-on industry experience along with insights gained from her extensive travel to the world’s wine regions.
May is a firm believer in making wine and spirits education accessible to everyone from wine trade professionals to curious appreciators. Her experience includes a long-standing affiliation with the prestigious International Wine Center, where she has been teaching the classes of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, to frequently sold-out consumer classes at a variety of venues around New York City.
She has designed and taught custom courses to industry organizations and presented at large trade conferences such as Tales of the Cocktail, San Antonio Cocktail Classic, New York Wine Expo, Society of Wine Educator Annual Conference and the Wine Scholar Guild Conference.
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