A RENOWNED FAMILY WINE ESTATE IN ALTO ADIGE
Weingut-Tenuta J. Hofstätter is located in Tramin-Termeno right on the bustling village square along site the city hall, bar, and church where Josef Hofstätter began making wines a good one hundred years ago. Family Foradori Hofstätter now operates the wine estate backed by four generations of accumulated experience, particularly with demanding varieties like Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer. These are the signature wines of the estate and the region along with the other local varieties Lagrein, Pinot Blanc, and Vernatsch. The size of the vineyard area still allows J. Hofstätter to largely practice manual cultivation except where best technology is worthwhile. The cellars are highly modern and make gentle vinification and perfectly tempered storage of the wines possible.
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 fruit from 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 South Tyrol (Südtirol-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 South Tyrol (Südtirol-Alto Adige) Alps. 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 its popularity among aristocrats and clergy spread north of the Alps in the Middle Ages. The historic 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 South Tyrol.
Vigna – Top Terroir!
The word “Vigna” on the label signifies a single-vineyard wine made from grapes sourced from a single, precisely demarcated vineyard parcel. The French call this a “cru”, a wine that speaks of its origin. This classification distinguishes the J. Hofstätter wines that best embody the intrinsic quality of an outstanding vineyard year for year.
The wine estate has labelled the Pinot Noir Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano and the Pinot Blanc Barthenau Vigna s. Michele with their specific vineyard parcels since 1987. Grandfather and father recognised the exceptional quality of these sites and planted them with the best-suited varieties. The historic roots of wine, its origin and identity, continue to be preserved today just as the estate pioneers intended. J. Hofstätter was the first winery in South Tyrol (Südtirol-Alto Adige) that was able to write “Vigna” on its labels because it always preserved the historic site and farmstead names and vinified demarcated vineyard parcels separately. Just as his father Paolo before him, vintner Martin Foradori Hofstätter makes tradition and terroir the focus of his work. Independent of fashion and passing market trends, he continues dedication to the maximum expression of vineyards. But this is a tremendous commitment. The harvest volume of small parcels is always limited and thus also the quantity of wine. Vagaries of the weather further obligate the vintner to intense labour and unpredictable measures. This can however pose an added attraction to the wine connoisseur. Each vintage carries the mark of unique weather conditions and bears inimitable character.