Konrad Oberhofer - Pirchschrait
Gewürztraminer – the Great Growth
Since 2006, a small quantity of Gewürztraminer is selected from the Pirchschrait vineyard for extended maturation on the fine lees in cask. After ten years, this wine is now bottled for the first time – a Gewürztraminer with enchanting aromas, discreet fruit sweetness, minerality, and concentration.
This wine embodies the inimitable character of the Pirchschrait vineyard parcel (Vigna) located on the slope above Tramin at the Kolbenhof farmstead. Only the very best grapes allow long maturation in cask. Just like the Pinot Noir selected from the Vigna Roccolo, the Gewürztraminer from the Vigna Pirchschrait is also named after a vintner that contributed greatly to the success of the J. Hofstätter wine estate: Konrad Oberhofer.
Hommage is paid the grandfather of the current vintner, a pioneer of the single-vineyard philosophy in South Tyrol (Alto Adige). Konrad Oberhofer was already vinifying grapes from individual vineyards separately in the 1930s. His goal was to make is possible to experience the unique character of each vineyard site.
His grandson, Martin Foradori Hofstätter, takes the Pirchschrait a step further by fermenting only hand selected grapes and allowing the wine to mature exceptionally long.
White wines have the capacity to age much longer than red wines! That may seem surprising, but it is true. The proof that even decades-long storage can suit Gewürztraminer well, lies in the wine estate’s family cellar. Old vintages and rarities that offer astounding taste experiences are kept there. If the content of these bottles is so enchanting, then all experience says that a wine matured in cask should be even better.
True indeed: after ten years’ maturation on the fine lees, the Gewürztraminer evolved splendidly under the oenologist’s careful observation. Its texture is tightly woven, its vitality fresh. The fine lees impart enchanting aromas of toasted bread, medlar, blossom honey, and dried fruits. The fruit sweetness recedes discreetly during the years of maturation, while the minerality gains in expression. What began ten years ago has withstood the test of time. This great growth reveals a subtle play of aromas and flavours in the glass.
Gewürztraminer vines react sensitively to temperatures. This historic vine variety is in its element at Kolbenhof in Söll above the village Tramin. There, on the west bank of the Adige River, it enjoys pleasant morning sunshine and, thanks to brisk mountain down draughts, sufficient coolness in the evenings.
For ages, the Kolbenhof has been the most renowned farmstead near the village that gave the “Traminer” grape variety its name. The positive attributes of the farm’s vineyards were known to the Jesuiten monks of Innsbruck, who produced wine at Kolbenhof from 1722 until the dissolution of the order in 1773. Afterwards the terrain was owned nearly uninterruptedly by the Barons von Unterrichter zu Kaltern, who resided nearby in Schloss Rechtenthal. Josef Hofstätter purchased the property on which an imposing manor house had been built at the beginning of the century in 1930. The vineyard slope to which the Pirchschrait parcel belongs is planted nearly exclusively with Gewürztraminer.
Gewürztraminer also grows in the Vigna Rechtenthaler Schlossleiten – an extreme vineyard for powerful wine. More soon…