Carli Erwin, second winemaker and agronomist of “Kellerei”, explains the particular vinification processes of their varieties
The Kurtatsch winery is located in one of the finest winegrowing areas in Italy, directly on the South Tyrolean Wine Route, in Cortaccia. It was founded in 1900 and is therefore one of the oldest and smallest social cellars in the entire province. Thanks to the multiplicity of soils and the variability of microclimate, the vineyards are between 220 and 900 meters above sea level. Carli Erwin, second winemaker and agronomist of the Kurtatsch winery, tells us about the knowledge and experience of his company.
How was the Kurtatsch winery born?
“Ours is a cooperative structure born in 1900: currently we have about 190 members who manage 190 hectares. More than 70% of the vineyards are on a slope. Most are located in the municipality of Cortaccia, but we also have members in the municipalities of Salorno, Magrè, Egna, Montagna and Termeno, all common sites in South Tyrol “.
What about your wines?
“Production is divided into two lines: Selection and Terroir. The Selection line is a first selection of our vineyards and provides a lower yield than the DOC; they are fresh, fruity wines that best express the variety. The Terroir line are made with the grapes of those vineyards, with a minimum medium age of 15 years, where the combination of variety and territory is best expressed. The white wines come on sale at least one year after the harvest, the red ones after two or three years. Great importance is reserved for sustainability, in fact, an internal regulation prohibits the use of herbicides and fertilizers “.
What are the winemaking processes?
“For the white vinification of the neutral or semi-neutral varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot bianco) we prefer the pressing of whole grapes, in order to have softer pressing and to use less sulphurous. For red varieties, the grapes are destemmed and fermented in steel vats. Punching and mixing with inert gas several times a day. Only Pinot Noir involves fermentation in wooden vats with a percentage of whole grapes (15-20%) preceded by a short cold pre-fermentation maceration “.
The Freienfeld is vinified only if the weather conditions are favorable in the course of the year. Why?
“Cabernet Sauvignon Freienfeld is a 100% wine produced from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which grow only in the most exposed and sunny Cortaccia vineyards. The soils are of a debris of calcareous origin; the soil must guarantee good drainage and heat up quickly. The harvest begins the last week of October. The wine is produced only in years when the perfect phenological maturity has been reached. It is a wine beside the maturity, must possess elegance, tannic structure and a longevity that exceeds fifteen years at least “.