In recent years the concept of organic and biodynamic wine production have become extremely popular, both because many consider them to be healthier due to the absence of man-made chemicals in the resulting wines and also because many believe such wines to be truer representations of the land that gave them life.
While a host of newer companies have been founded in recent years to explore these principles, many more storied producers have also expanded into biodynamic farming methods to offer customers everything they could possible want from their wines.
Alois Lageder is one such producer, so here we shall take a brief look at the company’s history and one of its most famous biodynamic wines.
The story of the Lageder family stretches back almost 200 hundred years and finds its roots in the alpine valleys of Alto Adige. It was here that a young man named Johann Lageder was born and raised on the family farm. He eventually made the decision to move to the city of Bolzano, where he aimed to build his fortune through his entrepreneurial spirit. He found employment as a wheelwright and was eventually able to acquire a workshop where he could put his talents to good use.
In 1823, right around the time that he founded his workshop, Johann also began to explore his passion for wine and began dealing. This is as far as his own activities extended and it was left to his sons to move the family businesses forward upon Johann’s passing in 1855. While the eldest took over the workshop, the youngest, Alois Johann, inherited the wine trade and made the decision to expand upon it.
It was he who purchased the family’s first vineyard and he began to make cellar wines that were made from a combination of the grapes he grew himself and ones purchased from nearby farmers.
The company’s popularity began to grow and, over the course of six generations of wine experts, Alois Lageder has flourished, expanding its reach enormously and continuing to provide wines that sate the appetites of consumers all over the world.
The key ingredients to the company’s success have always been the passion and human commitment that is poured into the company by all of those who work within it. While the family helms operations and ensures that the wines the company produces reach the high standards that are expected by customers, those who work in the fields and cellars are also crucial to the success and, by working together, the company is able create wines that are representative of the land.
This has led to the name Alois Lageder becoming a byword for quality in viticulture and winemaking, which is a reputation those within the company take extremely seriously. In more recent years the company has expanded the sustainable and holistic corporate philosophy that it has maintained throughout its history to the lands that they tend, allowing for further innovation and the enrichment of their vineyards.
As the company says: “Quality results from a large number of single and often tiny details. In our daily dealings with wine, we are first of all concerned with respecting the harmonious interaction of many different factors, and with working in accord with nature.”
Bringing all of these details into harmony with one another is the key aim of the company in the modern era and has allowed for a corporate balance that reflects the balance achieved in their wines.
They are committed to maintaining the integrity of their vineyards through biodynamic agriculture, demonstrating a deep respect for nature as they aim to emphasize and accentuate the key qualities of each location that hosts one of their vineyards. In doing so the company takes into account everything from soils and exposures through to microclimates to create wines that are as distinctive as the terroirs that birthed them.
Furthermore, the company works closely with contracted growers to allow for more diversity in their product offering that stretches outside of the fifty hectares of land that Alois Lageder actually owns. These relationships have been cultivated since the very founding of the company and have been a key component in the producer’s success. Respect for these business partners, alongside a lofty set of standards that are held by all involved, ensure the grapes used in any bottle produced by Alois Lageder are of the highest standard.
Through all of this, the company holds a deep-seated sense of responsibility when it comes to future generations of winemakers. This has led the company to collaborate with the Ecological Institute of South Tyrol on a number of ecological projects, allowing them to develop a greater understanding of their land and how to preserve and enrich it for those to come.
As the company says “Wine is a product that offers a complex experience. It brings many different areas of life together.” With that in mind, let’s take a look at one of the most impressive vintages to emerge from Alois Lageder in recent years.
It is likely our American readers who will be most interested in Alois Lageder’s Cabernet Sauvignon, given that it is the most popular wine stateside, however, we full recommend that everybody reading this takes the time to sample this most stunning of biodynamic wines.
Featuring an extremely deep and intense colouring that brings to mind red cherries, the wine makes an impression from the moment it is poured. You will encounter and immediate and pronounced aroma that is both fruity and spicy at ones, with interesting floral notes starting to seep through as the wine settles.
The taste of spiced oak will become more obvious when the wine is introduced to the palate and the intense taste is complemented by a fresh and fruity aftertaste that makes the wine a true joy to drink. While the tannins are strong, most likely due to the methods used in production, they are balanced perfectly by the fruity overtones of the wine to create an overall package that is truly representative of the hard work put into its creation.