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The wines of Ignaz Niedrist are as unforgettable as the story of the Niedrist winery itself. In the family for over 170 years, the vineyards lie at 400m above sea level, overlooking the sun-spoiled and picturesque wine village of Cornaiano, at the heart of Northern Italy’s Alto-Adige region – a region (and a winery) characterised by a German-Italian cross-cultural dialogue.

Driven to success by the current family’s Great-Grandfather, Josef Niedrist, at the end of the twentieth century, the 1920s – and the First World War – sparked challenges for the winery and its owners. Alto-Adige (then – and still also known as - South Tyrol) was passed to Italy under the Treaty of Versailles and the family’s Grandmother, Antonia Abraham Niedrist, was left to uphold the winery’s production through the challenging interwar years after the early passing of her husband in 1922. Rising economic pressures forced Antonia to close the winery.

But wine flowed thick in Niedrist veins and, in 1989, Ignaz and Elisabeth Niedrist reactivated the winery with one objective: to produce quality wines. With Ignaz, long term cellarman at a well-respected cooperative, at the helm its no surprise they’ve exceeded their goals, harvesting from just five hectares to produce minute – but beautiful – yields. With a stunning respect for the land of his forefathers, Ignaz believes that wine is made in the vineyard – his role being to guide it to its natural conclusion.

Further to the Pinot Nero, the Niedrist Lagrain Gries demonstrates his philosophy’s value: inky and impenetrably dark it brims with black fruits and cherry, warming smoked mahogany and spice – but its cool climate origin shines through, celebrated by Ignaz’s minimal intervention, providing an energy reflective of the winemaker himself. The Niedrist Sauvignon Poryphyr & Kalk is just as concentrated and juicy –apricot and yellow melon marry with green fig, sage and quinine as harmoniously as the two cultures that constitute Alto-Adige itself.

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