Here in the southern Alps most hillsides face towards the south. Glaciers have smoothened and manicured the landscape to produce ideal winegrowing terrain where the valley is open towards the Mediterranean. Soils consist for the most part of coarse sand, gravel and morainial deposits eroded from the surrounding mountains, though in the south around Tramin, and on the eastern side of the valley at Mazon and Buchholz they are rich in calcium carbonate, a prerequisite for producing fine wines. Today vineyards cover the lower mountainsides while the valley floor has become the world’s largest self-contained apple orchard. During the warm months of the year the heat of the valley is tempered by a strong wind from Lake Garda which picks up in the early afternoon and dies down again in the evening. All this diversity combines to make South Tyrol a truly unique winegrowing region.