Lovers of white wines take note, with its pronounced hints of fruit and spice, quick and engaging play on the palate, and intense and unmistakable aromatics, Abbazia di Novacella’s Grüner Veltliner Praepositus is one of the brightest and most original expressions of this special grape variety.
Grüner Veltliner is a grape that has its origins in Austria, where to this day it remains the most cultivated white grape. Probably derived from the natural crossing of Traminer and St. Georgen, an Austrian autochthonous grape also known by the name Weissgipfler, Grüner Veltliner also found perfect terrain in the Alto Adige area of Italy, where the combination of soil and climate merge to create the ideal growing conditions for the fruit to reach its maximum expression. One area where this variety has thrived the most has been in the vineyards of the Valle Isarco in the Brixen Bassin, a picturesque valley dotted with ancient castles, cozy farmhouses, old monasteries, and majestic mountains. Nestled in the heart of this bucolic setting is one of the world’s oldest wineries Abbazia della Novacella. Established in 1142, this historic wine house has been carefully cultivating its Grüner Veltliner vines on the terraces of the valley where the expression of the land and the grape come together to create a product of the best quality.
“Grüner Veltliner is certainly one of the wines having a strong personality among those produced at Novacella – hard to forget from the very first tasting,” explains Werner Waldboth, sales manager of the Abbey’s winery. “Its bouquet, particularly incisive and intense, all play on fruity and spicy notes. Its great crispness on the palate, as well as its excellent capacity to be aged, has made it one of the most precious wines of the Praepositus collection.”
Abbazia di Novacella grows its Grüner Veltliner at an altitude between 650 and 700 meters above sea level, in soils composed of permeable morainic deposits, rich in mycascist, paragneiss, and quartzite. “These are poor soils but ideal for this grape variety which tends to give abundant yields at the expense of quality, but which, if raised with care, can instead express a truly unique character, with a component of acidity and minerality which make it very dynamic to the palate,” continues Waldboth. To this, it should be added that the predilection for cold climates of this grape variety finds a perfect match with the altitude of our vineyards, especially at a time when the issues related to global warming are more and more important and crucial to face for the viticulture of the future.”
Alto Adige Valle Isarco Grüner Veltliner Doc Praepositus is harvested towards the middle of October and vinified for two-thirds in stainless steel tanks and the remaining third in 30-hectoliter oak casks. After one year of aging on its lees, it is refined for one more year in the bottle before release.
Golden yellow in color, as soon as it is poured in the glass, it releases an intense aromaticity ranging from fruity notes of ripe apple and quince to citrus fruits, with a touch of honey and an especially characteristic pink pepper. On the palate, the wine’s fresh component is well balanced by a savory note, with a finish reminiscent of anise and again more spicy nuances.
“Also, Grüner Veltliner, just like all the other wines of the Praepositus collection, is now sold in the new vintage starting from October 1st and not from June 1st,” concludes Waldboth, “A decision we made last year which we are sure will give even more complexity and aging potentiality to the wines of this historical selection from Abbazia di Novacella.”