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.
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 are all south-west facing and range from 350-900 metres 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.
The 2017 vintage provided some challenges. A relatively warm winter meant that flowering began in early spring and a frost at the end of April affected some of the crops. Hail storms in July and August also caused damage in the vineyards and the yields were subsequently lower than normal. However, the quality of the grapes was good.
Fermentation took place in open top, stainless-steel tanks with a long maceration and frequent punching down of the cap. This enabled the extraction of colour and fragrances from the skins. Ageing took place in a mixture of small oak barriques and medium sized 'botti' for one year, followed by five to ten months in bottle before release.
This wine is ruby red in colour and the nose opens with notes of black cherries, raspberries, marzipan, plum jam, cloves and cinnamon, ending finally with some light earthy aromas. On the palate, this wine is fresh and lively with elegant tannins.