Spotted Lanternfly: Vineyard Enemy

Everyone’s help is needed in controlling the latest threat to agriculture, not only in Pennsylvania but everywhere this pest is detected. The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a destructive invasive species that is having a significant impact on Pennsylvania vineyards. Native to Southeast Asia, the lanternfly was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014, and since then, it has rapidly spread to 51 counties throughout the state. The insect is known to feed on the sap of a wide variety of plants, including grapevines, and is considered a major threat to the agriculture industry. In this article, I will focus on the spotted lanternfly’s impact on Pennsylvania vineyards.

One of the most significant ways that spotted lanternfly affects Pennsylvania vineyards is by feeding on grapevines. The insect has piercing-sucking mouthparts that it uses to extract sap from the vines, which can weaken them and cause stunted growth, reduced yield, and even death. The sap that the insects feed on also attracts other pests and fungi, which can further damage the vines. The damage caused by spotted lanternflies can result in significant economic losses for vineyard owners, as well as reduced wine production.

In addition to the direct damage caused by the insect, spotted lanternfly also poses a threat to the indirect damage due to vineyard management practices. Vineyard owners and managers must take measures to control the spread of the insect, which can be costly and time-consuming. Some management strategies include removing host trees and plants, trapping and killing the insect, and using insecticides. However, many of these measures require specialized equipment and expertise and can have negative environmental impacts, not to mention the additional expense of labor and material to the grower.

The impact of spotted lanternflies on Pennsylvania vineyards also has broader implications for the state’s agriculture industry. The insect threatens other crops besides grapevines, including hops, apples, and hardwood trees. The cost of managing the insect and the economic losses associated with crop damage can have a significant impact on the state’s economy with an estimated loss of production well over 300 million dollars a year.

To mitigate the impact of spotted lanternflies on Pennsylvania vineyards, it is essential to develop effective management strategies. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has provided broad recommendations for vineyard owners and managers, including monitoring for the presence of the insect, removing the tree of heaven (a common host plant for the spotted lanternfly), and using insecticides targeted at the insect’s life cycle. Other research initiatives aim to develop biological control methods, such as the use of natural predators to keep the insect population in check. Pennsylvania’s U.S  Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey have co-introduced bipartisan legislation they say would stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly. The Spotted Lanternfly Research and Development Act would designate the spotted lanternfly as an invasive species and high-priority research target for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

Until we get any help from the government with this problem it will be up to all of us to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly. The best and most ecologically friendly way to destroy this insect is to smash, stomp, squish, swat, crush, and spray them with vinegar, or neem oil to name a few methods to kill this pest. If you find a spotted lanternfly please report it to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture by calling 888-4BADFLY  Thank You! 

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture 

Bloom Where You Are Planted

San Marco, a new vinifera wine grape cross variety has been generating plenty of buzz in the eastern United States since the Quarella family, owners of Bellview Winery imported vines from Italy and planted them in their Landisville, New Jersey vineyard more than ten years ago. 

My friend and winemaker Jerry Pompa (Instagram: @jerrypompa) piqued my interest in this promising grape after he attended a Quarella family presentation at the Eastern Winery Expo 2023. 

San Marco was created in 1993 by Marco Stefanini at Trentino’s Foundation Edmund Mach. Trentino-Alto Adige is Italy’s northernmost region. It has weather conditions similar to those found on the East Coast of the United States with its temperature extremes, both hot and cold. 

San Marco is a cross between two grapes of the Alto Adige, Teroldego and Lagrien. You can find my review of Castel Sallegg Lagrein 2019 and my interview with Castel Sallegg Director, Ulrike Platter by scrolling down this blog page. 

San Marco has loose, medium-sized oval berries with deep pigmentation of skin and flesh, like another teinturier favorite of mine, Saperavi. Cane pruning is required and training on a VSP (vertical shoot position) trellis provides the best results in the U.S., as opposed to the pergola method used in Italy. One thing holding this variety back in the U.S. is the discovery of Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus (GPGV) and Grapevine red blotch-associated Virus (GPBaV) on some vines. Growers in Italy have experienced this same issue but say it has yet to affect the quality of their fruit or spread to neighboring vines. Virus-free vines should be available from Double A Vineyards for $13.50 but are currently sold out. Jerry’s tasting notes for Bellview San Marco Outer Coastal Plain 2020 mention a dense plum color, black fruit, spice, cherries, and chocolate. 

It is exciting to see a new red wine grape emerge with the potential that San Marco has. The wine culture in America continues to evolve and improve, albeit slowly but the future of this grape and others look bright.

Photo Credit: Jerry Pompa and

Book Release: Grapes of the Hudson Valley 2nd Edition

I heard from Steve Casscles the other day. He told me his authoritative book about cool climate grapes of the Hudson Valley and other regions of North America has been published in a revised and updated Second Edition that includes two new chapters on rarely covered 19th-century Heritage grape varieties developed in New England. Steve gave me a peek at a couple of interesting facts he uncovered in his extensive research.

Catawba is 1/2 vinifera, and Concord comes from Catawba and is 1/4 vinifera !! There are many Catawba and Concord hybrids so what we thought was all labrusca is really 1/4 or so vinifera.

Also that the ES Rogers hybrids have been forgotten and are really good grape varieties that were used by TV Munson for his many grape breeds, and Winchell, a chance seedling from VT is the basis of all the Cornell white wine grapes.

Steve also provided me with an in-depth look at what you can expect to find in his latest publication. 

I am very pleased to announce that the newly revised second edition of Grapes of the Hudson Valley and Other Cool Climate Regions of the United States and Canada, 2nd Edition, Revised & Updated to Include New England Grapes is NOW IN PRINT AND AVAILABLE at 

This second edition contains two new chapters on rarely-covered 19th-century Heritage grape varieties developed in New England. I grow many of these varieties, such as the E. S. Rogers hybrids, Agawam, Salem, Massasoit, and Lindley, and grapes bred by E. Bull, Captain Moore, Diane Crehore (one of the few women grape breeders in the US). These New England heritage varieties are hardy, fungus disease resistant, & productive in the field, and make quality wines in the cellar and co-ferments in the brewery.  These New England heritage grape varieties are now finding their way into co-ferment beer/wines.  Many of the Rogers’ hybrids found their way into the grape varieties bred by TV Munson.  

The book includes new revelations about the true genetic ancestry of grape varieties such as Catawba, Concord, Chambourcin, and Vignoles.  It updates the genetic history of Catawba and Concord now that it is clear that Catawba is one-half vinifera (Semillion) in its parentage and that Concord is an offspring of Catawba, which means it is one-quarter vinifera in its genetic ancestry. This is a significant revelation because there are many Concord and Catawba heritage hybrids such as Iona, Jefferson, Diamond, Diana, and Dutchess, which have now conclusively been determined to have significant European vinifera heritage. Further, it conclusively delineates the ancestry of the French-American winemaking grape varieties Chambourcin and Vignoles (thanks to Dr. Bruce Reisch for pointing out the new genetic information about Vignoles).

It evaluates over 200 cool climate grape varieties with an eye towards assisting fruit growers and winemakers across the United States, Canada, Northern Europe, and Northeast Asia to identify grape varieties that are hardy, fungus disease resistant, and productive so that they can be grown either in a sustainable manner with minimal pesticide applications, and in some cases organically.

This second edition will offer guidance to our struggling growers and wineries going forward as we jointly face our increasingly changing climate. The Cool Climate grape varieties that this book covers could help our local growers to identify and grow grape varieties that can be grown more sustainably, are productive and make quality wines, beer/wines, cider/wines, and distilled products.  

  Copies can be purchased at  

Thank you Steve for your tireless efforts to provide us with this important information. The answer to the threat of a changing climate poses to our vineyards may lay in these long-forgotten grape varieties.

Photos Courtesy: Steve Casscles

Review: Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Rosé 2021

Next in my series featuring widely distributed wines that can be easily found in your area is one that doesn’t come to mind when you go looking for an inexpensive easy drinking wine for a relaxing evening on your deck or poolside. Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Rosé 2021 is just one bottling in a long list of drinkable offerings that this Washington state winery group produces in large volume. This Rosé is 55% Syrah, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Grenache. Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Rosé 2021 opens with notes of watermelon and strawberries followed by flavors of citrus on a light body. Priced at around $15 or less it is a good choice to pair with the lighter fare that is popular during the warmer weather. If you like to “Rosé all day” with your wine glass filled to the brim with ice then this Rosé is for you with its 12.5% ABV and crisp dry profile.

2nd Annual Saperavi Festival Trade & Media Event Finger Lakes Press Release

I wanted to share this press release I received from the co-founder of Saperica, Erika Frey. The 2nd Annual Saperavi Festival in the Finger Lakes will be held on May 12-13, 2023. For more details see the following press release.

March 23, 2023,

2nd Annual Saperavi Festival in the Finger Lakes Press Release

Saperica, Inc., Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, Chama Mama Restaurant, and the National Wine Agency of Georgia presents the 2nd annual Saperavi Festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Hammondsport, New York – Saperica, Inc., is pleased to announce that the 2nd annual Saperavi Festival will take place at Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in Hammondsport, New York on Saturday, May 13, 2023. The festival will bring together producers of Saperavi and Rkatsiteli wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York along with their counterparts from the country of Georgia and throughout the USA. Authentic Georgian cuisine with a modern twist will be featured from New York City restaurant, Chama Mama. Sponsorship will be provided by the National Wine Agency of Georgia.

Saperavi Festival attendees will have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines crafted from the Saperavi and Rkatsiteli grape varieties which are native to the country of Georgia and have been grown in the Finger Lakes region for over 60 years. The wines will be paired with Georgian food specialties like Khachapuri, Khinkali, and Chakapuli. Cooking demonstrations will be presented throughout the afternoon.

The Saperavi Festival will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2023, from 12pm to 4pm, on the grounds of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery located at 9683 Middle Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840. More detail and tickets are available for purchase at Eventbrite via this link:

The event can also be found on Eventbrite by using the search words “saperavi festival”.

Members of the trade and media are invited to participate in educational seminars and events which will occur on Friday, May 12, 2023, from 12pm to 4pm on the grounds of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery located at 9683 Middle Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840.  For more information about attending as a member of trade or media, please send an email to

The 2nd annual Saperavi Festival is organized by Saperica Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Saperica’s mission is to promote Saperavi and other Georgian grape varieties along with Georgian gastronomy and culture in the Finger Lakes, NY, and around the U.S., by organizing and facilitating educational seminars and exchange programs between the regions, for wine and culinary professionals and enthusiasts. Any proceeds from the festival will help to fund future Saperica programs.

For additional info, please visit

Email questions to

We hope to see you at the festival!

Review: Carnivor Zinfandel 2019

In my latest look at widely distributed wines that are moderately priced and worth your consideration, I review Carnivor Zinfandel 2019. Carnivor Wines is a Gallo Winery Inc. label produced in Modesto, California. Carnivor uses Zinfandel grapes sourced from warm-weather vineyards in Lodi, California. Their winemakers give these grapes a brief cold soak to coax extra color and tannins from them. The must is fermented at a warm 88-90F. The wine is aged in French and American oak to soften its tannins and balance its structure. Finally, the Zinfandel is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, adding color and structure plus some Merlot to impart a softened character. 

Carnivor Zinfandel 2019 is balanced on a medium body and a smooth finish. Nothing about this wine is overwhelming whether it be the aromas of toasted oak, the flavor of blackberries, tamed acidity, or a controlled finish. Everything about this wine is designed to be bold but not offend the mainstream red wine drinker. Priced at well below $13 a bottle this wine deserves serious attention when you are scanning the shelves for a dependable “everyday” wine that will please a wide range of palates. Carnivor Zinfandel 2019 pairs well with all red meat, after all, Carnivor’s tagline, is “Meat was made for Carnivor” but red meat isn’t the only thing it pairs well with. It is also a good wine to drink with your pizza or any dish that features a hearty dark red tomato sauce. The winemakers at Carnivor must be commended for producing a wine of this quality for a bargain price and doing it on such a large scale.

Review: Arrowhead Wine Cellars Riesling

Arrowhead Wine Cellars is located in North East, Pennsylvania on the southern shore of Lake Erie. Nick and Kathy Mobilia are third-generation owners of Mobilia Fruit Farms. In 1998 they started making wine from their grapes that until then they had been pressing into juice for other wineries. Today, Arrowhead Wine Cellars produces 32 varieties ranging from Red, White, Blush, Sparkling, Ice, and Fruit wine.

Arrowhead Wine Cellars Riesling is an off-dry, light-bodied, and very lightly colored Riesling. It is an easy-drinking wine with muted flavors of apricot and melon that would pair well with spicy Thai and Chinese dishes. $15.99

Review: Josh Cellars Pinot Noir “Central Coast” 2020

If you ever find yourself scanning the shelves of a grocery store or wine mega store searching for a bottle of Pinot Noir that you will enjoy drinking but only costs around $15, more or less, then Josh Cellars Pinot Noir “Central Coast” 2020 just might be the one you’re looking for. 

Josh Pinot Noir is not a small production, celebrity hyped cult wine made by a famous trending winemaker with a big price tag. This California Pinot Noir is a processed wine (A.K.A. mass-produced wine) that is in wide distribution and is targeted to meet the preferences of the largest segment of the U.S. wine market. 

Josh Cellars Pinot Noir “ Central Coast” 2020 is a light ruby color (note the color fades near the rim) with faint aromas of red cherries and raspberries. Flavors of black cherry and light vanilla give way to spice in a light body. The acidity is middle of the road and the finish is acceptable. Pair it with pasta in a light red sauce, as well as, roasted chicken or pork.  

The Climate Times They Are A Changing

The debate over whether changes in our environment are the consequence of human activity or the product of natural forces that have been shaping the Earth’s weather since the dawn of time has thrust itself into the global conversation like never before. Scientists have documented the shrinking of the ice shields globally, an ever-increasing number of record-high temperatures, and the toll of prolonged droughts are inflicting on all life on this planet. Life on Earth is persistent and will adapt over time to long-term fluctuations that threaten its existence.

After hearing numerous reports of how vineyard managers are adjusting to preserve the production and quality of their vines I wanted to hear from the winemakers themselves why they are moving proactively to stay ahead of climate change related problems and exactly what measures they were implementing now in hopes of being successful in the long run. Vineyards are our proverbial “Canary in the coal mine” and they are signaling a warning of problems to come. 

For this article, I had the unique good fortune to draw on the expertise of individuals who are not only well-known winemakers, growers, and wine media authorities but also good friends whose opinions I trust. The following are their personal observations and first-hand accounts of how climate change is affecting winemaking operations in their area.

J.Stephen Casscles is a renowned vintner, horticulturist, and author that is currently working in partnership with the Milea Estate Vineyard in the Hudson Valley of New York to produce their Hudson Valley Heritage Wines. You can purchase the rare wines made with their estate-grown heirloom grapes from the Milea Estate website Here’s what Steve told me about how climate change is impacting vineyards in the Hudson Valley.

“The 2022 grape growing season was very difficult for the Hudson Valley and Eastern Massachusetts. In varying degrees, we had a drought that started in April and ended in late September in Eastern Massachusetts. For us in the Hudson Valley, our drought started in May and lasted until the middle of August.  Our temperatures were on average 3 to 4 degrees warmer than usual (and our norms in the summer have been going up for some time), In the Hudson Valley, we had a very wet September with 50 to 60 percent more rain as we were starting the earliest harvest season I have ever witnessed. With the ground so dry and sun-baked, all of the September rains (which can in 3 torrential downpours, so that much of the rain could not be absorbed in the soil, so we had flooding, which encouraged soil erosion.  Our Fall was warmer than average by 3 to 4 degrees so while my interspecific hybrids hardened off, many vinifera did not harden off as well. Hence, when we had our Christmas Eve Bomb Cyclone, where temperatures fell from 53 F to 9 F in about 12 hours, we had some vine damage.  After 3 days of fridge temperatures, we then experienced above-normal temperatures.  While, this seems to be a uniquely hard growing season, with climate change, this may be the “new norm”.  That is warmer Springs with sudden last Spring frosts, warmer and wetter summers, and falls, that end abruptly with our now fairly common Christmas time polar vortex or cyclone bomb (I see this in reverse too as a bomb cyclone).  Hence, I am expecting that the weather patterns that we saw in 2022 will become more common.  At my vineyard and at the Milea Estate Vineyard Heritage Grape/Wine Project, I have been shifting my work to not only find suitable interspecific hybrids that are cold hardy, fungus disease resistant, and make quality wine…. also include grapes that in addition to the above goals, also can produce a secondary crop with secondary buds when we get more commonly late spring frosts. In addition, because of our increasingly warmer falls, our grape wood is not hardening off to face our more commonly occurring Christmas-time polar vortex or cyclone bomb.  In association with the Milea Estate Vineyard Heritage Grape/Wine Program, we are now making wines out of these heritage varieties that can roll with the punches that Mother Nature is sending our way.   ***** Grape varieties that meet all 5 criteria listed above to better face our changing climate are Chelois, Pallmer, Burdin 6055 (reds), and Jefferson (a pink grape that makes a white wine).”

To get a glimpse into how climate change is altering the environment south of the equator in Australia I contacted Dan Traucki, acclaimed journalist, wine consultant, and Director of WineAssist for his candid insights on this subject. 

“The biggest single thing that growers are doing to combat global warming in the vineyard, is experimenting with and planting new (emerging) varieties.

From the coolest areas through to the warmest they are looking at what they grow and moving towards more heat and drought-tolerant varieties.

Australia has gone from growing around 80-90 varieties prior to the turn of the century, to currently growing 156 varieties and rising.

The charge is being led by the growers in the warmest areas such as South Australia’s Riverland, due to its hot climate and from time to time the restrictions the government places on irrigation (due to drought). Many growers are experimenting or have adopted Mediterranean varieties that are much more suited to this climate than the traditional Chardonnay, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot. Sure they still make a Shiraz and Cabernet but their focus and emphasis is on the “new” warmer climate varieties.

When I was the CEO of a grape growing company (1,500 acres) up there in 2001-2004, the region was mainly a bulk wine-producing region producing no more than 15-25 varieties (the classics), whereas today there are a number of excellent small/ish producers producing an array of interesting and exciting varieties, for example, Bassham Wines produces 24 different varieties- having just recently launched Arinto, Fiano, Montepulciano and Nero d’Avola to mention but a few. Whilst out of the 13 wines that 919Wines produces only three are “traditional” or classic varieties.

The Barossa, the traditional home of mighty Aussie Shiraz, is now becoming well known for other big and interesting reds such as Durif & Zinfandel- in fact, in my opinion, Australia’s best Zin’s come from the Barossa.

Right across the country regions are exploring new more heat-tolerant varieties suitable for their particular region. Thus Australia now has over 400 Tempranillo growers amongst its 2,600 wineries, compared with 60 in 1990.

The other development is the rising number of vineyards that are converting to either Organic or Biodynamic. Whilst mainly done for environmental reasons, I have been told that there are climate change benefits in that these practices make for a more natural vineyard that requires slightly less irrigation, thereby helping with the upcoming and ongoing challenge of water availability. 

The Mighty Murray River upon which South Australia depends for almost all its water for humans and irrigation, which has been in drought for several years is currently flooding and is expected to peak at a new record- even higher than the devastating 1956 flood- many vineyards are underwater and I saw images of one where only the crowns of the vines were visible above the water!!

Meanwhile, within 50 kilometers of the flood zone, there are catastrophic bushfires raging.

Half the emergency services are battling floods and the other half raging bushfires all within the one county, for the first time in recorded history!!!”

Award-winning winemaker, grower, and owner of Chateau Niagara, Jim Baker gives us his take on how climate change has altered his winemaking operation on the Niagara Plain in Newfane, New York.

“We had a devastating cold snap in the third week of January 2022. As a result, our vineyard died back to the ground. As part of the farming culture in cool climates, we hilled up our vines, basically plowing a mound of soil up onto the plant. This allows us to use the soil as insulation from sudden, deep cold snaps. This protected the dormant buds at the graft union and when spring hit, after we de-hilled the vines, these buds sprang into action. We spent the summer regrowing them but alas, had no harvest. 

So one of the effects of climate change is more extremes. Our summers have been generally a bit longer, our winters shorter, and overall milder. I noticed the shoreline of lake Ontario had no ice built up this year. Another observation is that the high-humidity disease of downy and powdery mildew has been tougher to deal with. The effect has been subtle on the insect population as well, with more Japanese beetles overwintering as grubs and emerging to feed on the grapes. On a more positive note, the number of growing degree days is increased,  resulting in riper fruit with improvements in the Bordeaux reds in particular. Overall it seems positive for us, at least that is the view from Niagara.”

The following are excerpts from an interview I did recently with Ulrike Platter, Director of Castel Sallegg in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. You can read the interview in its entirety in an earlier post on this blog.

In addition, 80% of our vines are 30-50 years old, which means that the roots are growing very deep to get enough water for themselves even in a very hot season. These vines are stable.

“Our vineyard manager noticed the changes, especially this year, which was hot and dry. Since Castel Sallegg is more of a red wine winery (we produce 58% of red wines) and we often had difficulties in the past years, with the red grapes, such as Lagrein, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon fully ripening, so 2022 was a great year for us.

Problems can be seen in younger plants or new plants.

For this purpose, we invested in a project for the next few years, which will digitize needs-based irrigation. This means that the humidity of the soil is measured by soil sensors and the wines in different places were partially watered by a targeted system.

Since we have some vineyards on a slope and the vines get less water at the top by draining and the vines at the foot get more water we can irrigate more targeted and water-saving.

We have also noticed increased hail in recent years. For this reason, we will place our most important vineyards under hail nets in the next 2-3 years.”

The following is an excerpt from a recent interview I did with Andrea Moser, Chief Enologist at Erste+Neue a winery and vineyard located in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy.

“Facing the challenges of climate change is becoming increasingly important in every wine-growing region of the globe, and in South Tyrol, too, it is no different.

However, Alto Adige and specifically our area benefits greatly with respect to this issue, in fact, our orographic situation is very particular. The vineyards start in fact with the red varieties at about 230 m.a.s.l. and arrive in just a few kilometers to elevations of about 700 m.a.s.l. where the white varieties find excellent ripening conditions. This large elevation range, combined with a constant south-to-north wind “the Garda Hour” and strong temperature fluctuations between day and night due to the mountains that surround us (Mendola range), allows us to consistently obtain high qualities on both red and white grape varieties.

Ripe but fresh and elegant reds and whites with low ph, good acidity, crisp and fresh that perfectly embody the spirit of our territory and our vineyards located in the middle of the Alps.”

It doesn’t matter which side of the climate change debate you favor, there is no denying that the environmental forces in the vineyards of the world have changed and continue to do so. The grapes in northern vineyards are ripening more fully as the growing degree days increase and the growing zone edges further north each year. The vineyard managers and winemakers whose vineyards are located in the traditionally ideal spots for growing wine grapes are being forced to adapt to earlier and earlier harvest dates. One of the options being explored is to seek higher ground and the advantages that come with planting at altitude now affords. The rise in air and ground temperatures aren’t the only danger we have to worry about. Historic droughts, huge storms, floods of biblical proportions, and freakish weather events have become the new normal that must be endured and prepared for as we enter an era of unprecedented climate uncertainty. 

These are immense problems that must be addressed universally but solved locally. In a world facing such extraordinary challenges, you might be wondering what you can do to help. The only thing any of us can do is to be thoughtful of how our actions affect the environment and all living in it because we can only control what we do and that is what really matters. You can help by sharing a link to this post on your social media to raise awareness and sensitivity to our current situation.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Wine Review: Castel Sallegg Lagrein 2019

Here’s an opportunity to experience a little taste of the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy through their native grape Lagrein. Lagrein is the oldest indigenous grape variety of the Alto Adige region and a relative of Syrah and Teroldego. Alto Adige is Italian for South Tyrol (Südtriol in German). It is Italy’s northernmost district and is also one of its smallest. The landscape is punctuated by the peaks and valleys of the Dolomites and Italian Alps. The producers in this area focus on quality over quantity. Most, if not all, of their wine, is terroir-driven. Castel Sallegg Lagrein D.O.C. 2019 is one of those wines. Made with 100% Lagrein grapes manually harvested from their humus-rich clay soil vineyards in the vicinity of Lake Caldaro.The grapes are then selected, destemmed, mashed, and, malolactic fermented at a controlled temperature in stainless tanks. It is aged in stainless steel (80%) and French oak for twelve months. It is blended for two to three months and bottle aged for an additional six months.

Castel Sallegg Lagrein 2019 has a very dark ruby color with faint floral aromas. Flavors of mixed black fruits are carried on a structured medium body with mild tannins appearing mid-palate. More than ample acidity throughout. Pairs well with any grilled or roasted red meat or pasta in a hearty red sauce.