The Haas family has been growing grapes in Montagna in the province of Bolzano in the Alto Adige for generations. However, it is only with Franz, the current proprietor, that they have begun to produce and bottle quality wines. Franz studied at Geisenheim before working as a broker of Italian wines into the German market. After several years, he took over the running of the family business. Franz Haas goes to tremendous lengths to grow good grapes and then strives to preserve the flavours of the fruit during winemaking. As a result, the wines that he produces are infused with great character and show a rare purity and balance on the palate.
The grapes for this wine were grown in hillside vineyards on the mid to high slopes around the village of Montagna, with south to south -west sun exposure. The soil is very rich and deep, with a high content of silt and clay due to the erosion of the mountain slopes above. Yields are 70 hectolitres per hectare. 2010 was the first year that fruit was included from their higher altitude vineyards (750-900 metres above sea level). These vineyards, which were ‘experimental’ when Franz first planted them, because of a law prohibiting plantings at such an altitude, are now legal since the law changed in 2010. Franz feels that the lower yields and longer growing season at such altitudes gives wines of greater complexity and intensity.
Fermentation took place in cool temperature controlled stainless-steel tanks, followed by small quantities in large oak casks, with no skin contact. The wine was left for four months on its lees to add complexity and give the wine a fuller body. Maturation took place in stainless steel tanks followed by three to four months ageing in bottle.
This Pinot Grigio is intense straw-yellow in colour, with a fragrant floral bouquet of sage, hay, almonds and sandalwood. After some time in the bottle, notes of honey and lime blossom develop. On the palate, it is fresh and medium bodied with great finesse and elegance.
It’s just crying out for antipasti, especially seafood and vegetable-based ones like seafood salad or marinated fish like octopus, vegetable-based risottos such as risotto primavera or sushi!