It's always fun to try wines from new producers, so I was excited to get samples of two Pinot Grigios from Elena Walch, their typical bottling and also a single vineyard offering. Best known as the "Queen of Gewurtztraminer," she is now considered one of the best producers in the region and is credited with being one of the first to start the quality revolution in Alto Adige. Family-owned and operated, the vineyard is farmed using sustainable practices, with minimal intervention of herbicides and pesticides, with organically grown test plots a possible future course for them.
The Elena Walch Portfolio is divided into five collections:
- Selezione: Mostly monovarietal wines; from their own vineyards and from leased vineyards.
- The Favorites: Prime estate blends, exclusively from their own vineyards, excluded Ludwig
- Single Vineyard Castel Ringberg: Monovarietal wines from the Castel Ringberg estate above Lake Caldaro. The production here concentrates on family owned vineyards, separate ageing of grapes from the individual vineyards and special attention to the terroir characteristics of the wine lots.
- Single Vineyard Kastelaz: Monovarietal wines from the Kastelaz estate above Tramin village. The production here concentrates on family owned vineyards, separate ageing of grapes from the individual vineyards and special attention to the terroir characteristics of the wine lots.
- Grande Cuvée: Their great cuvée wines are born from the idea of blending the best, but at the same time very diverse grapes from their own various vineyards. Extreme selection of the grapes and precisely determined harvest times are critical to obtaining the best quality.
"The philosophy of the estate is dedicated to its terroir – the idea that wines must be the individual expression of their soil, climate and cultivation in the vineyard – and that this must be maintained according to principles of sustainability and passed on to the next generation. The firm belief that the quality of wine is created in the vineyard requires uncompromising work, taking into account the individuality of each vineyard. With 55 hectares in cultivation, including the two top vineyards Castel Ringberg in Caldaro und Kastelaz in Tramin."
Elena Walch video
2013 Alto Adige DOC: fermented at 18°C in steel tanks, then aged in steel tanks for several months on its lees; lemon yellow color; citrus, white flower, and herbal notes on the nose; pear, green melon, and citrus flavors; medium mouthfeel, crisp acidity, into a finish full of minerality; 12.5% ABV; twist off closure; SRP $17. Tasted initially with a dinner of roasted chicken and baked crisp sweet potatoes, great pairing - the crispness and acidity of this citrusy Pinot Griogio were both a complement and foil for the food.
Castel Ringberg 2013: grapes grown at 1150' elevation in soil with clay and chalk; 85% fermented in stainless steel (15% of the must ferments in 2nd and 3rd usage French oak barriques); undergoes malolactic fermentation; light straw yellow color; white pear, floral, and spice aromas; green apple, pear, melon, and citrus flavors; creamy mouthfeel, minerality and crisp acidity, and a lingering finish; 13.5% ABV; synthetic cork closure; SRP $23.Teuwen Communications is a full-service public relations agency in NYC that specializes in marketing and brand strategies for the wine and food industries. Led by Stephanie Teuwen, the agency provides high-energy, client-focused services across multiple platforms such as media and trade relations, event production, website building, social media management as well as creative and visual services.
These wines were provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.
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