Santa Maddalena 2014
"In the past, Santa Maddalena – a traditional cuvée blended from the two indigenous grape varieties Schiava and Lagrein – played an important role in wine making in South Tyrol and was one of the best known Italian reds. Today this fine fruity and typical elegant red wine, which takes its name from the wine growing village of Santa Maddalena, still has many adherents and is in the process of being rediscovered by many a wine connoisseur."
- Doc denomination: Alto Adige
- Variety: 85% Schiava, 15% Lagrein
- History of the variety: first vintage 1965
- Year: 2014
- Bottles produced: 33,000
- Yield: 63 hl/ha
- Quality line: The classics
Manual harvest and selection of the grapes; destemming followed by slow must fermentation at a controlled temperature and gentle agitation of the must in stainless steel tanks; malolactic fermentation and aging in big wooden barrels for 7-10 months; blending one month before bottling.
- Country: Alto Adige Santa Maddalena DOC
- Provenance: Bolzano
- Altitude: 250 - 900 m a. s. l.
- Slope: 5 - 70 %
- Orientation: South - Southwest
- Color: deep ruby red
- Smell: The Santa Maddelena appeals to the nose with clear primary aromas of black elderberry and cherry underpinned by bitter almond and a nuance of violet.
- Taste: With full fruit flavors on the palate, too, and yet soft and elegant at the same time, this red wine benefits from a balanced acidity and low tannin content – a unique feature of the schiava grape – to achieve a very agreeable finish.
A classic South Tyrolean pairing with a platter of cured meats like bacon and Bündnerfleisch or a venison carne salada with potted mushroom and a cream cheese mousse, or cold beef with vinaigrette dressing; equally attractive with tagliatelle with salsiccia or boiled beef with salsa verde and parsley potatoes.
2014 was an unusual viticultural year, which required a lot of time and effort of the vintners.
Due to the very mild winter the soil warmed early and subsequently on the lower sites shoots started already at the end of March. Spring too was characterized by very mild temperatures hence mid of May the first blooming inflorescences were observable. In comparison with 2013 vegetation was 2 weeks early, so that an early harvest seemed likely.
After a short dry spell during the blossoming and post-blossom season from the beginning of July onwards the weather changed completely. Also older winegrowers could not recall a summer with so many rainy days and so few hours of sunshine. Heavy and frequent precipitation impeded growth and led to a constantly high disease pressure. In several, especially early ripening vineyards, grape berries burst and were affected by rot.
The extraordinary climatic conditions remarkably slowed down vegetation and therefore the grapes matured only two weeks later than at first supposed. Harvest started on September 8th, 2014.
Thus, vintners had to keep calm and await the optimal harvest period. The harvest itself was very laborious, every grape was controlled meticulously and rotten or damaged berries had to be removed. Despite the adverse circumstances the vintners were able to deliver healthy and fully ripe grape material.
After the second harvest week, i.e. from September 20th, 2014 onwards the weather improved and with the golden fall weather the grapes on the medium-high and higher sites optimally matured.
The total quality of the vintage 2014 was thereby substantially increased.
One of the most famous sites in Alto Adige, with a history of wine-growing that goes back over the centuries, occupies the hills and steep slopes of the Santa Maddalena area north of Bolzano. The well ventilated and easily warmed morainic soils based on porphyry and dolomite produce the eponymous Schiava.
The high peaks of the main Alpine chain protect South Tyrol from the Atlantic winds and cold northerlies, while the region benefits from the Mediterranean climate from the south. That explains the pronounced differences between day- and night-time temperatures, which are the key to full maturity and elegant wines.
To the south, a number of mountain massifs like the Adamello also have a protective function. As a result, annual precipitation is only about one-third of the average for the southern Alpine foothills, and the number of hours of sunshine is higher. The climatic conditions are not unlike those to be found in wine-growing areas like the Swiss Canton Valais.
When the sun rises behind the mountains east of Terlano on one of the year’s 300 sunny days, it is already high in the sky as the wine-growing area has a westerly to southwesterly exposure. The lower atmospheric density permits more direct solar irradiation with less diffuse sunlight. That increases the difference between the slopes on the sunny and shady sides of the valley.
Microclimate in Terlano
Continental climate (Cfa Köppen-Geiger)
Annual sunshine hours: ø 2135
Maximum temperatures: 38,2 °C
Average temperatures: 12,9 °C
Minimum temperatures: -10,7°C
Annual precipitation: ø 558 mm
Average global radiation: 150,1 W/m²
- North foehn: cool and dry down-slope wind
- Ora: valley wind system from the south, bringing in air from the Po Valley
- Alcohol content: 13.0 % vol
- Residual sugar: 2.5 g/l
- Total acidity: 5.0 g/l
- Storage advice: Cool storage at constant temperatures, high level of humidity, good ventilation and as little light as possible
- Cellar temperature: 10 - 15 °C
- Minimum maturity: 1 years
- Serving temperature: 12 - 14 °C