2020 Thomas Niedermayr 'Summ'
Region: Mitterberg <Trentino-Alto Adige < Italy
Grapes: Solaris, Bronner, Souvignier Gris
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic since 1990; chalk and loam soils; destemmed with care, spontaneous fermentation initiated by vineyard-own yeast. One part fermented on the skins. 8 months maturation in neutral oak & steel. Bottled unfined & unfiltered with no added So2 in April 2021; zero-zero; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Thomas Niedermayr
NEW WHITE BLEND FROM OUR FAVORITE NATTY ALTO ADIGE MAKER! But first a refresher on the place: Alto Adige is the most northernly Italian region, sitting at high elevation in the Dolomiti (Italian alps), and boasts a very complicated geopolitical history. Once a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Alto Adige is still predominating German. It looks and feels dramatically different than the rest of the country, with towns that resemble typical Bavarian villages, plus 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.
Although most of the winemaking of Alto Adige is still at the co-op level, there are a handful of independent winemakers in the area. Like the young Thomas Niedermayr, whom we first met at RAW LA, who manages 5 hectares of vineyards at his family-run winery. After working on a biodynamic farm in Austria, Thomas took over for his father, who has cultivated grapes organically, with a strong emphasis on biodiversity, since the late 80's. He has focused on hybrid grape varieties that were created to resist some of the common mildews that plague the region, eliminating the need for even organically-approved copper and sulphur sprays.
We had the opportunity to visit Thomas, and spend an idyllic evening having dinner in the garden with his family at their heavenly biodynamic estate which is a literal Garden of Eden, bursting with life and love. Here we tasted 'Summ', his brand-new white, with which we promptly fell in love and ordered as much as we could get. It's a blend of 3 PIWI varietals (grapes bred to be 100% fungal resistant), all of which happen to be subtly aromatic Glowing a hazy golden yellow in the glass, Summ is light and fresh, with a touch of tongue-tickling effervescence on a palate of golden apple, pineapple and ripe nectarine on the (alpine) rocks! So delicious, this is what we'll be sipping on these warm September nights.