A RENOWNED FAMILY WINE ESTATE IN ALTO ADIGE
Josef Hofstätter, a trained locksmith, operated a small restaurant in Tramin together with his wife Maria and produced wine in their cellar. Being business savvy and forward-thinking, he founded a winery in 1907 and successfully traded wine. Josef Hofstätter passed away childless in 1942 and his wife continued to run the business, assisted by their long-time employee, Konrad Oberhofer.
Konrad Oberhofer later married Maria Hofstätter’s niece, Luise, and eventually took over management of the winery. As a pioneer of quality wine production in Alto Adige, Konrad Oberhofer bottled his own wines instead of selling them in bulk. He also began to vinify single-vineyard wines. With this he lay the cornerstone for the philosophy of wines of origin at Weingut J. Hofstätter.
Paolo Foradori, son of a vintner family from Trentino, married Luise and Konrad Oberhofer’s only daughter, Sieglinde, in 1959. He brought the Barthenau, Oberyngam, Unteryngram and Oberkerschbaum wine farms into the family estate. Since then, the J. Hofstätter estate has been the only family winery in Alto Adige to own vineyards on both sides of the Adige River.
With the vinification of the Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano Pinot Nero, Paolo Foradori contributed significantly to the success of this grape variety in the Mazon vineyard. In Alto Adige and throughout Italy.
Martin Foradori Hofstätter, son of Sieglinde and Paolo Foradori, initiated an era of modernisation and expansion for the winery in 1992. In 1998, in the course of the remodel and expansion of the estate, the cellar tower was built. It stands quietly restrained next to the imposing parish church steeple yet remains a decisive feature of the village. In the following years a new wine shop, a show vineyard and, as a novelty in Alto Adige, an additional cellar with elegant concrete barrels were created. In 2007, Martin Foradori Hofstätter acquired the Vigna Rechtenthaler Schlossleiten, a spectacular Gewürztraminer vineyard above Tramin, not far from the Kolbenhof.
His passion for Riesling led him to venture into the Mosel/Saar wine-growing region in 2014, where he now has prime Riesling vineyards with Weingut Dr. Fischer.
More recently, in 2017, he expanded into the neighbouring Trentino region to the south with the purchase of Maso Michei . This once again highlights the position of the J. Hofstätter winery as one of the largest family wineries in Alto Adige with unique, outstanding vineyard sites.
Martin Foradori Hofstätter is one of the most vehement advocates of the philosophy of origin in Alto Adige. He uncompromisingly pursues the firm establishment of the Vigna classification as a designation of quality and single-vineyard origin.
Cellar – with a Difference!
“Historic substance should be made state of the art with respect yet decisiveness” – Martin Foradori Hofstätter’s credo takes shape in architectural innovations. The result is an architecture that is extraordinary without being pompous.
J. Hofstätter began to set innovative benchmarks in the early nineties. The estate has its headquarters in a stately building that was originally built for the Imperial and Royal post coach office in the 16th century and later became the Schwarzer Adler Inn that belonged to the current owner’s great aunt, Maria Hofstätter. Maria Hofstätter’s husband Josef produced his first wines in the inn’s cellar. His success and the separate vinification of individual vineyard parcels soon demanded larger quarters, but the space between the Roen Mountain and the late Gothic church was quite limited. Martin Foradori Hofstätter solved the problem by enlarging the cellar vertically. He built a modern wine tower in 1997 directly parallel to the church steeple, the landmark of Tramin-Termeno that can be seen from a distance. This daring juxtaposition became a happy coexistence.
The concrete barrels that were added to the cellar in 2013 are a novelty in Alto Adige. Their round shape allows gentle fermentation and saves energy – vineyard for vineyard. The barrels are aesthetically pleasing and have become a popular visitor attraction at the wine estate.
Cultivation of the Traminer grape variety in the vicinity of the village once called “Tremine” was documented in 1145 and is the source of the town’s name. Since the 19th century, the variety became known as “Gewürztraminer” due to its beguiling spicy fragrance.
This variety yields elegant dry wines with harmonious acidity in the Alto Adige mountains. Wine was first known in the Adige Valley when the Rhaetian people inhabited it around 400 B.C. The region’s wines were highly appreciated at the banquets of Roman emperors and their popularity among aristocrats and clergy spread north of the Alps in the Middle Ages. The historical importance of Tramin-Termeno, the little wine village south of Lake Kaltern-Caldaro, is documented in frescos in churches like St. Jakob in neighbouring Kastelaz or in the numerous aristocratic residences like the 16th century Ansitz Langenmantel. Inquisitive visitors can follow the fascinating history of various regional rulers on their journeys in Alto Adige.