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9 Top White Wines From One of Italy’s Smallest Wine Regions

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Alto Adige is one of Italy’s smallest wine regions, it sits in the north near the Swiss and Austrian boarders. This mountainous region sprawling along the Alps and Dolomites lends a distinct aspect for growing wine grapes. The cool-climate is ideal for producing crisp wines with higher acidity—great for food pairings.

The region produces a variety of bottles but is most celebrated for its white wines delivering crisp mineral character and extraordinary aromas. While Pinot Grigio is synonymous with Italy and is grown with much success in Alto Adige, the diversity of grapes is well documented. Popular international varieties such as Pinot Bianco, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling can be found across the region, as well as lesser-known grapes such as Müller-Thurgau and Kerner.

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Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano 2020 Sanct Valentin Sauvignon (Alto Adige); $48, 95 Points. The benchmark wine for Sauvignon in Italy, this classy white opens with varietal aromas of elderflower, stone fruit, citrus and a botanical herb. Showing elegance and restraint, the delicious palate delivers succulent grapefruit, peach and fennel seed while a mineral note suggesting oyster shell lends depth before a lemon drop finish. Bright acidity keeps it energized. Drink through 2028. —Kerin O’Keefe


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Tiefenbrunner 2020 Feldmarschall Von Fenner Müller-Thurgau (Alto Adige); $38, 95 Points. Made from one of the highest vineyards in Alto Adige, this delicious white has aromas of spring blossom, yellow stone fruit and hazelnut. Fermented in concrete tanks and large casks, the elegantly structured palate features ripe apricot, juicy peach, fennel seed and lemon drop. Mineral notes suggesting wet stone and bright acidity lifts the rich flavors. —K.O.


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Cantina Produttori Bolzano 2021 Dellago Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige); $29, 92 Points. Delicate, inviting scents of white stone fruit, hay and spring field flower shape the nose. On the elegantly structured palate, tangy saline and hazelnut notes accent a core of creamy pear and white peach. It’s balanced, with fresh acidity. Editors’ Choice —K.O.


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Nals Margreid 2020 Pitzon Riesling (Alto Adige); $19, 92 Points. Aromas of white rose, yellow stone fruit, Alpine herb and citrus shape the lovely nose. Vibrant and linear, the savory palate features juicy grapefruit, ripe apricot, lemon drop and mineral notes recalling oyster shell. Bright acidity keeps it energized. —K.O.


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Rottensteiner 2021 Sauvignon (Alto Adige); $27, 92 Points. This polished, full-bodied white has aromas suggesting elderflower, citrus and green melon. Showing restraint and finesse, the fresh, savory palate features juicy grapefruit, peach and gooseberry alongside hints of Alpine herb. Editors’ Choice —K.O.


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Cantina Kurtatsch 2018 Amos Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige); $44, 90 Points. Aromas of honey, hazelnut and beeswax follow over to the polished palate along with mature yellow pear and ripe apple. Notes of Alpine herbs and slate lend depth while bright acidity keeps it balanced. —Kerin O’keefe


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Elena Walch 2021 Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige); $18, 90 Points. Aromas of white stone fruit, spring blossom and a whiff of chamomile lead the way. The savory, creamy palate offers Bartlett pear, white peach and hazelnut alongside fresh acidity. —K.O.


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Englar 2019 Riesling (Alto Adige); $16, 90 Points. Aromas of beeswax, yellow stone fruit and a whiff of petrol shape the nose. The savory palate is racy but also shows depth, delivering juicy apricot, yellow peach and tangy mineral notes suggesting flint and saline. It’s balanced and full of energy thanks to vibrant acidity. —K.O.


Photo Courtesy of Petter Zemmer

Peter Zemmer 2021 Pinot Grigio (Alto Adige); $35, 90 Points. The delicate nose offers inviting aromas of sun-warmed hay, white stone fruit and a whiff of bread dough. On the elegant, linear palate, savory notes suggesting saline accent ripe yellow pear before closing a note of hazelnut. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced. —K.O.


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