The Haas family has been growing grapes in Montagna in the province of Bolzano in the Alto Adige for generations. However, it is only with Franz, the current proprietor, that they have begun to produce and bottle quality wines. Franz studied at Geisenheim before working as a broker of Italian wines into the German market. After several years, he took over the running of the family business. Franz Haas goes to tremendous lengths to grow good grapes and then strives to preserve the flavours of the fruit during winemaking. As a result, the wines that he produces are infused with great character and show a rare purity and balance on the palate.
The climate is Mediterranean rather than continental. Summers are very hot and the winters are quite cold, as the weather is not moderated by any nearby water. In the summer, Bolzano is one of the hottest cities in Italy, despite being only 70 kilometres from the Austrian border, as the heat is trapped in the mountainous valley. Grapes for the Pinot Nero are grown on the slopes of Pinzano and Gleno in the Montagna area and in Mazzon in the municipality of Egna. The three different vineyard sites range from 350-700m in altitude. Soils are extremely varied within a tiny area, ranging from clay in one vineyard to sand, limestone or gravel in a neighbouring one. Density of planting is between 8,000-12,500 vines per hectare. All vineyards are south-west facing, with yields of approximately 35-40 hectolitres per hectare.
Vinification took place in open top fermenters with a long maceration and constant punching down of the cap. Ageing took place in a mixture of small oak barriques and medium sized 'botti' for about 15 months prior to bottling, followed by five to ten months in bottle before release.
Ruby red in colour. The bouquet opens with notes of black cherries and raspberries, marzipan and plum jam, cloves and cinnamon, ending finally with some light earthy aromas. Fresh and lively on the palate, the wine is bolstered by elegant tannins which make it harmonious, round and very pleasant to drink.