St. Michael Eppan, the innovative Winery situated along the Wine Route, is considered one of the best wineries in South Tyrol and Italy. St. Michael Eppan Winery, with its 355 members, 350 hectares of vineyard and 2.5 million bottles sold every year, has become renowned worldwide. The „Sanct Valentin" label alone is enoughenough to thrill wine lovers and connoisseurs.
Among all the awards won by our Winery, it is important to remember that "I Vini d'Italia„ , the Gambero Rosso & Slow Food wine guide, chose St. Michael Eppan as the best „Italian winery of the year 2000". It also named Master winemaker Hans Terzer, famous oenologist and absolute forerunner as regards South Tyrolean white wines, one of the best ten Master winemakers in the world.
Tradition and experience characterise the 97 years history of the St. Michael Eppan Winery. Founded in June 1907 during economically trying times, the cooperative already showed a commitment in its nascent years to the support of quality wine production and to ensuring a reasonable income to winegrowers.
In 1909 the winery building was finished in an Art Nouveau style. The plans for the cellar and the construction methods used were way ahead of their time. Indeed, the main parts of the building are still fully operational today.
After a long period of expansion, modernisation and adaptation to meet modern demands, the recent extensive restoration work represents the latest important development in the history of our Winery. Ancient versus new, traditional versus modern, all combine beautifully to create a harmonious and functional symbiosis. To ensure the best quality wines, our Winery continues to use the typical wooden casks that date back to its foundation, as well as the state-of-the-art winemaking techniques.
The administrative offices and hospitality rooms are new and elegantly furnished. The new sales area at the entrance to the Winery, distinctly Mediterranean in flavour, welcomes in visitors to taste and discover the great wines of the St. Michael Eppan Winery.
On the one hand, tradition and cultural heritage are always present in our winery, on the other hand, they are joined by the most modern winemaking technology.
Fresh, healthy grapes are vinified separately according to their origin and quality. We must recognise what nature gives us and correspondingly work with it and refine it with care.
Attention to the features of our vineyards, even in the cellar, has become almost an art for us. Our work is based upon innumerable trials and vast experience. Regular inspection during every winemaking stage is one of the basic principles of our winery.
The old cellars that date back to the foundation of our winery still contain the relics of past times: the great wooden casks with their bases valuably inlayed for special occasions.
In the past, wood was the only material used in a cellar, but over the years, concrete and stainless steel have also begun to be used.
Today, the wine world is rediscovering wood, which is enjoying something of a revival. During the last few years, we have completely renovated our cellar, by introducing large oak casks with capacities of 4,000 - 7,500 litres. Wine processing, in the big South Tyrolean wooden casks, plays a fundamental role in our winery.
Since the Eighties, the heart of our winery has been the barrique cellar, one of the largest in the province. Our highest quality wines mature here in several hundred small casks of French oak. In our barrique cellar, red wines mature for months and years, as well as great white wines during their refining stage, up to their maximum ageing.
As a result, we are able to present today complex wines with a perfect symbiosis of fruit and wood.
Our work begins in the vineyard. Climate, topography and soil comprise the natural habitat of the vines. It is our job to care of this habitat and cultivate it in the most natural and environmentally-friendly way possible.
Our land is our most important asset. Through our environmentally-friendly work in the vineyard, we maintain the biological equilibrium of the vine in a natural way.
The vegetation between the rows regulates air circulation and the water balance of the soil, promotes the formation of humus, protects against erosion and creates the ideal environment for useful insects. Where necessary, we prefer to use organic fertilisers rather than chemical ones. In fact, the biological fungicide treatment is becoming more and more popular.
The choice of the most suitable grape variety for a specific area depends on the soil structure and microclimate.The traditional South Tyrolean viticultural method has always been the pergola one, but today it is being replaced by the French wire frame system, also known as Gujot. This system is mostly used in flat or not so steep vineyards, with the exception of the Schiava, because it is economical and simple and yields greater quality wines in smaller quantities.