Both Sides of the River Valley

For more than a century, we have been dedicated to the cultivation of the demanding grape varieties Pinot Nero and Gewürztraminer. Lagrein, Sauvignon Pinot Bianco and Schiava are also a part of our winery’s assortment.
Our farmsteads and their vineyards are located on the east and west side of the Adige Valley, in the mountainous Valle dei Ronchi in southern Trentino, and in the Mosel, home of world famous Rieslings.
The vines grow on high plateaus and slopes at altitudes ranging between 250 and 850 metres (820-2790 feet), where they enjoy ideal growing conditions. Vines benefit from good aeration – either cool fall winds from the mountains or warm breezes from the south, according to the time of day. Whether grapes ripen in the morning or evening sun depends on exposition and which valley side. There could not be a more fascinating diversity of microclimates.
Soils are equally varied. Depending on site location, soils can be gravelly and sandy with calcareous components or of volcanic origins.
Whether the demanding Gewürztraminer or the sensitive Pinot Nero, each grape variety is grown where it feels most at home, where terroir and microclimate offer the best conditions.
J. Hofstätter wines that carry the term “Vigna” on the label, denote great growths from precisely demarcated parcels that embody the quality and style of a particular exceptional vineyard year after year.

The Kolbenhof vineyard is located on a prominent slope above Tramin-Termeno that offers ideal conditions for Gewürztraminer, a variety that is closely linked to the history of our estate and to the village named after it. This vineyard enjoys the morning sun on the west side of the Adige River and brisk mountain fall winds provide sufficient coolness in the evening.

The Jesuit monks of Innsbruck recognized the virtues of this vineyard and produced wine from it in the 18th century. Also located at Kolbenhof, is the historic Pirchschrait vineyard parcel, which is likewise planted with Gewürztraminer and vinified separately as Vigna Pirchschrait.

Adjacent to Kolbenhof is an extremely steep, south-facing vineyard called Rechtenthaler Schlossleiten. “Leiten” is the local dialect for a steep slope. This site drops into the deep Höllental gorge and has a very unique microclimate. Grapes ripen quite slowly in the persistent coolness and are handpicked in November. At this point they are beginning to shrivel and are particularly flavourful – perfect for the Vigna Rechtenthaler Schlossleiten Gewürztraminer Spätlese.

The gravelly soil of the gentle slope at the foot of Söll Mountain below Kolbenhof is predestined for the local Lagrein variety. The name of the site, Steinraffler, stems from the geological conditions. “Stein” is stone and “raffler” means collector – river stones transported by a small stream have collected here.

The soil and unique microclimate, determined by the warm Ora from Lake Garda and winds from Lake Caldaro, offer best conditions for our Vigna Steinraffler Lagrein. This autochthon black grape has been cultivated in Alto Adige since the 13th century. At 250 metres (820 ft.) above sea level and with easily warmed soils, the Vigna Steinraffler Lagrein could not be better suited for this variety.

Mazon and its extraordinary Pinot sites are located opposite Tramin-Termeno on the other side of the valley. These vineyards face toward the evening sun and the Ora wind that travels up the valley into the early evening hours. This keeps demanding Pinot grapes dry and healthy.

Ludwig Barth zu Barthenau, a university professor with a passion for wine, planted Pinot Nero at his Mazon estate at the end of the 19th century. His introduction of the variety in the region proved to be quite successful.
J. Hofstätter continues the legacy of this pioneer at the original Barthenau farmstead vineyards, which stretch to neighbouring Yngram farmsteads. The Barthenau Vigna S. Michele Pinot Bianco, the Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano Pinot Nero and the Riserva Mazon Pinot Nero all thrive here. In the heart of the vineyard is the Vigna Roccolo, a parcel with 70-year-old vines that grow on a traditional pergola training system.

Vittorio Foradori, the grandfather of the current vintner, replanted Ludwig Barth von Barthenau’s original Pinot Nero site once again with this aristocratic variety. Thanks to the dedication of Paolo Foradori, Martin’s father, the high plateau above Egna achieved renown. Today it is not only the most famous vineyard in Alto Adige, but the most highly celebrated site for Pinot Nero in all of Italy.

The Oberkerschbaum farmstead lies between 750 and 800 metres (2460-2625 feet) above sea level. The south-facing slope is predestined for white wine varieties.

We planted Sauvignon in this special site 20 years ago. Here the grapes for our Vigna Oberkerschbaum Sauvignon ripen slowly and are harvested late. These conditions enhance refreshing varietal character with pronounced mineral and fruit aromas.
The farmstead is situated high above the valley floor and offers a spectacular view of the craggy peaks and cliffs beyond Alto Adige and into the Trentino region. Oberkerschbaum is located on the Gfriller Pass road, which leads to the Cembra Valley and was once an important trade route. The famous artist and theorist Albrecht Dürer travelled this road  on his way to Venice in 1505.

Maso Michei lies highly elevated in a remote mountain landscape in southern Trentino. Vines grow here in pristine natural surroundings on a sun-drenched slope at 790-850 metres a.s.l. (2590-2790 feet).

In this remarkable location for viticulture, vines grow slowly and grapes ripen late.
The vineyards yield crisp, fruity wines with good ageing potential: Michei Müller Thurgau and Michei di Michei Müller Thurgau with an elegant spicy aroma, Michei Sauvignon with remarkable minerality, and the highly appreciated Trentino sparkling wine “Trentodoc” from the varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Nero.
With the purchase of Maso Michei and its 13 hectares of vineyards in the “Valle dei Ronchi” above Ala, Martin Foradori Hofstätter returns to the roots of his forefathers in Trentino – to a place with a special aura that invigorates both man and wine!

The geographic attributes of a vineyard parcel can be described in words, but are better elucidated with a detailed map. Those who wish can follow the roads depicted on the map to explore the terrain.

The geographic attributes of a vineyard parcel can be described in words, but are better elucidated with a detailed map. Those who wish can follow the roads depicted on the map to explore the terrain.

 

The cartographic representation illustrates vineyard exposition to sunshine and wind according to elevation, gradient and slope aspect. Vintners employ their knowledge and intuition for the dictates of nature to choose the most suitable grape variety for each parcel. In this way, wine identity, historic roots, authentic expression of origin, and commitment to the estate are preserved.