Wine of the Week: Alois Lageder, Schiava 2020 | Alto Adige, Italy

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the WeekSchiava | January 31, 2022

The Schiava grape, also called Vernatch, from the Latin “vernaculus” meaning “native,” has a long tradition in Alto Adige. Until a few decades ago, 80 percent of the area in South Tyrol (Alto Adige) was cultivated with Schiava. Meanwhile, that percentage has dropped to around 25 percent. However, the Schiava is still the most widely planted varietal in the region.

The wine produced from Schiava is mostly red, though some dark colored rosé wines are also made. Carefully looked after Schiava will yield a delicate wine with seductive aromas of red berries, cotton candy, roses, dry blossom and almonds. By means of its fine acid-fruit balance the Schiava manages to be surprisingly complex and profound.

Alois Lageder is a leading biodynamic producer in Italy who has for many years experimented with viticulture in juxtaposition to climate change. Beginning with the 2018 vintage, the winery engaged in longer skin contact during the vinification of this wine because it had proven to slightly lower the alcohol levels. Because of the longer skin contact, the wine is more complex and has more savory notes than the typical fresh and fruity Schiava from the region.

Origin: Alto Adige, Italy
Varietals: 100% Schiava
Sustainability: biodynamic (Demeter certified)
Suggested Retail Price: $18.00
ABV: 10.5%

The wine has a pretty, rather light garnet color. The bouquet flashes strawberries, spices and violet notes. The palate offers juicy red fruit flavors, a tangy acidity and a small amount of ripe tannins.

Suggested food pairings
: as an apéritif, pasta, pizza, cheeses and charcuterie – Alto Adige Speck, especially.

> For more information, visit the Alois Lageder official website.