This Kerner from Alto Adige in Italy comes from one of the oldest active vineyards in the world: The abbey of Novacella founded around 1142. The soil and altitude is perfect for Kerner, an almost forgotten aromatic grape variety that is a crossing between Trollinger and Riesling and named after Justinus Kerner, a german poet known for his poetry on wine (He once wrote a poem entitled Wohlauf, noch getrunken which translates as “Arise, still drunk”!)
Aromatic peaches, apricots, and spring flowers.
On the palate, the wine is very well balanced of tartness and sweetness. Green apple, almonds and key lime.
It is a perfect match for summer pasta salads and shellfish, as well as spicy dishes. Its full flavor would hold up even against grilled white meats, fish and poultry.
Wine & Spirits: 91 points (2016 vintage)
James Suckling: 91 points (2015 vintage)
The Abbazia di Novacella winery is among the oldest active wineries in the world. At its founding, Abbazia di Novacella was lavishly provided with farms and land, among which were also vineyards, by Reginbert of Säben. As early as in 1177, Pope Alexander III. confirmed the Monastery’s ownership of vineyards in the vicinity. Over the course of the centuries, the Abbey acquired a respectable ownership in vineyards by means of gifts, donations, purchases, and exchanges. To this very day, the Abbey is surrounded by terraced vineyards. They extend from the monastic complex, which is located at an altitude of 600 m (2,000 ft.), up the steep hills to an elevation of 900 m (2,950 ft.). Since the temporary dissolution of the Abbey at the beginning of the nineteenth century, not all of them have remained in the Abbey’s possession. But to this day, most of the local farmers deliver their grapes to the Monastery, where they are turned into wines with a strong character in the Abbazia winery.
As proven by archeological finds, viticulture has been practiced on the protected slopes of the Isarco Valley for more than 2,500 years. The efforts expended for creating the vineyards are documented to this day by the many dry-stack walls that structure the slopes into terraces, thus reducing their steepness.