2019 Thomas Niedermayr Hof Gandberg 'Freistil' Pet'Nat
Region: Mitterberg <Trentino-Alto Adige < Italy
Grapes: Bronner, Solaris, Souvignier Gris
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic since 1990; chalk and loam soils; fermented on the skins with no temperature control; aged in 500-liter wood barrel and stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 10ppm So2: 13.5% ABV; 333 cases
Winemaker: Thomas Niedermayr
The Trentino-Alto Adige region is on the Austrian border, sitting at high elevation in the Dolomiti (Italian alps), and boasts a very complicated geopolitical history. Once a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, it is now the combination of two autonomous provinces: Trentino (steeped in Italian culture and language) and Alto Adige, which is predominating German. This part of Italy looks and feels dramatically different then the rest of the country, with towns that are like typical Bavarian villages, a plethora of Medieval castles and the dramatic backdrop of the snowy Alps. It is also a source of some the greatest white wines in Italy.
Here young Thomas Niedermayr is working beyond organically, following in the footsteps of his father Rudi, who implemented organic farming and natural winemaking over 30 years ago. In 1994 he started working with fungus resistant grape varieties (PIWIs), which are now a signature of this family winery because they're naturally able to resist the common mildews that plague the region, eliminating the need for even organically-approved copper and sulphur sprays. After working on a biodynamic farm in Austria, Thomas joined in the fun in 2010, and a couple of years later he took over the estate.