The Giovanett family had been cultivating wine in Südtirol for over 100 years before that southern part of Austria became annexed by Italy after WWI. Thus, when Alfons Giovanett was growing up post WWII in the beautiful environs of the Alps in what is now called Alto Adige by the Italians and still Südtirol by its German speaking inhabitants, he knew he wanted to perpetuate the family vocation. He earned an Enology degree from the prestigious wine school, San Michele all'Adige, and became the winemaker for Cantina Terlano, the famous co-op that was launched in 1893. In 1970, while still working at Terlano, Alfons founded his own winery, Castelfeder, in the village of Egna, about 25 kilometers south of Bolzano, the capital city of Alto Adige. He made very small quantities of red wines mostly from the local varietals of Lagrein, Schiava and Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) that he would often sell to other producers in the area. In 1989, Alfons' son, Gunther, took over and relocated the winery further south to Cortina, where he purchased more vineyards and expanded the overall production. Today, Castelfeder is a real family venture with Gunther's wife, Alessandra, handling the administrative side of the business, their son, Ivan who has been the winemaker since 2006 and his sister, Ines, who manages the sales and marketing. The estate covers 50 hectares of vines planted to the original red grapes noted above, along with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and the white varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Kerner and Moscato Giallo.
Black plum, black licorice and violet mingle with earthier elements like leather, iron and forest floor in this 100% Lagrein from Alto Adige, Italy. The medium-bodied palate exhibits firm yet approachable tannins that are in perfect balance with a fresh and buoyant acidity. A portion of the wine ages in barrique for 10 months which lends a hint of baking spice as in clove and sandalwood that lingers onto the long and succulent finish. Enjoy with something hearty and gamey like rack of lamb, veal ravioli or bison burgers.