VINEYARD | The Epokale gewürztraminer bunches come from two vineyards near Maso Nussbaumer, in Sella, a few kilometres from Termeno, in the province of Bolzano. Located at an altitude between 400 and 450 metres, the vines are at least 30 years old and sink on soils rich in calcareous gravel and clay, with a background of porphyry rock. The exposure is south-east, cold nights respond to hot and sunny days, with the whipping air coming directly from the mountains. The grapes are harvested towards the end of October. After fermentation the wine rests in small steel containers, in contact with the yeasts, for about eight months. The yields are very low, under 30 quintals per hectare. Peculiarity: after bottling, the wine is transported to the Schneeberg mine, in Val Ridanna, at over 2,000 meters above sea level. Here it rests for seven years in the dark, at a depth of 450 metres below the mountain, at a constant temperature of 11°C and 90% humidity.
PERSON | There are 260 members who today make up the Termeno cooperative, winegrowers who with their families tend to about 270 hectares of vineyards that extend from the eastern side of the lower Alto Adige to the western side, relying on plots that rise from 220 metres up to the most high vines of Glen, where pinot nero reigns supreme. Gewürztraminer and chardonnay compete for the best exposures in Termeno, with the former occupying the sunniest and warmest areas, while the latter climbing the hills in search of finesse. The first vintage of Epokale was 2009, a wine born from the will of oenologist Willi Stürz, sure that the two vineyards of Sella needed a postponed harvest and a very long ageing in bottles to fully express their character.
WINE | Epokale really gives something special in the glass. The aromas are fascinating and seductive between tones of white rose, helichrysum, wildflower honey and peach. The mouth is stunned by the concentration of flavour, but at the same time by the gracefulness and articulation. The sweetness is perfectly whispered, from a tactile point of view it is nothing short of creamy and satisfying, inviting and iridescent. The references are intense but suffused, never pungent, alternating notes of laurel and basil, yellow fruits, gentian and saffron. The register that strikes us is this perfect harmony between acidic tones and a velvety and suffused sweetness, for a flavour profile that is nothing short of original, deep and layered. The finish is virtually endless.