In South Tyrol the matriarchy of Casa Walch

AndLena Waltz has always had his eye on perspective, it is no coincidence that he was born an architect. In 1988 he relocated everyone to the Alto Adige producing Chardonnay’s first vintage ‘Cardellino’ to make people forget about Schiava grapes and launch a new oenological course. “I have identified a widespread grape variety to ‘get’ out of the Alto Adige without injury.” A cultural, visionary exit, why in South Tyrol the winery that bears his name has roots that go deep and continue to expand. They have been at the helm of the company since 2015 daughters Karoline and Julia, the fifth generation at the top of the Tramin winery (Bz). In fact, matriarchy is in place on the wine route to South Tyrol. Like their mother, Julia and Karoline have long eyes both in the environmental protection phase and in the production phase.

Karoline, Elena and Julia Walch

Natural environment in the vineyard

Their perception of sustainability is not a facade. Nature in its 70 acres runs its course as independently as possible. The company maintains dry stones, fences and cypresses that create a natural environment for small animals such as snakes, lizards and birds, offering them shelter in their own niches. The same goes for the grass between one row of grapes and the other, which inverts alternately to protect the soil from drought, forming a warm, moist microclimate. Along the rows there are cereals and legumes whose roots soften the soil giving the vine more nitrogen and oxygen. No herbicides are used and the weeds at the foot of the vineyard are mechanically uprooted. Compost is also added to increase the amount of humus in the soil: soil activity is stimulated to produce the minerals necessary for the healthy growth of the vine. The technique of “noble pruning” is also used, not very deep incisions are made, to ensure the continuity of lymph flow and to ensure the health of the vine. The healthy growth of the vineyard is expressed in the long-term quality of the wines. After all, wine is not born in the cellar.

Ringberg Castle dates back to 1620 and overlooks Lake Caldaro in South Tyrol: the matriarchy of Casa Walch

Ringberg Castle dates back to 1620 and overlooks Lake Caldaro


The largest single-body vineyard in South Tyrol

In the productive sector they have revived the historic cellar (140 years old) of Castel Ringberg with 14 wooden barrels of 370 hl to mature some productions of the Castle overlooking Lake Caldaro. “From September they will host 10% of the company’s production – they explain – Here the wine will rest in its origin, because the cellar is under the vineyardA lady of his vineyard 20 hectares, the largest single-body vineyard in South Tyrol. Its expansion favors different functional microclimates for the production of Chardonnay Riserva, Sauvignon, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Lagrein Riserva and Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva. All with the additional geographical reference “Ringberg Castle Vineyard”, Which certifies a defined and cartographically limited vineyard and certifies that the grapes have been vinified separately for years.

The new cellar of Castel Ringberg Alto Adige: the matriarchy of Casa Walch

The new cellar of Castel Ringberg

Extreme vineyard

The same goes for Elena Walch’s “extreme” vineyard. “Castellaz it is extreme in three respects – say the sisters – For the slope of 63%, for the absolute south exposure and because the 5 acre vineyard is hit by Ora, the wind that comes daily from Lake Garda and from the mountain winds “. Here it is Gewürztraminer Vigna Kastelaz and the Merlot Riserva Vigna Kastelaz.

A vertical position

A winery that professionally focuses on individual vineyards and which, respecting the territory, forms its productive identity. In this line, during our visit, one was organized vertical of Gewürztraminer Vigna Kastelaz Alto Adige Doc. Vintages 2020, 2018, 2010, 2008, 2003, 1995. Wines with great aging potential, characterized by depth, finesse and elegance. A lively nature that knows how to keep all its fragrances over time.

Vigna Kastelaz Alto Adige: the matriarchy of Casa Walch

Castellage Vineyard

Wonderful Cuvée

Among the heavy wines of Elena Walch (production 2021 600 thousand bottles for 30 reports, export quota 50% in 70 countries) Grande Cuvée Beyond the Clouds And Aton, the last born, presented at the end of 2021. “Beyonds the Clouds – emphasize Karoline and Julia Walch – tells about all the vineyards of Alto Adige. First harvest 2000, is a blend of Chardonnay, 85%, and other 3-4 grape varieties. Every year the best grapes are picked on the same day. A complex and refined wine. From the Aton Riserva Pinot Noir 2017, 2,735 bottles were produced from a plot of 5 thousand meters of old vineyards. A pride of the territory, which represents the highest expression of Pinot Noir in Alto Adige “.

Rhythm change for Lagreen

One wine that somehow represents Walch’s women’s determination is Rosè 20/26, a blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Lagrein. A very successful wine. The grapes are squeezed and vinified together following the Saignée method, which requires the must to remain in contact with the skins for a while until it acquires this delicate pink color. Lagrein was initially at 30%, but Julia and Karoline halved the percentage, confirming that weighted determination is a family value.

Elena Waltz
Hoferstrasse 1 – 39040 Light Rail (Bz)
Tel. 0471 860172

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