Alois Lageder. A model for all the wine producers
The family estate Alois Lageder is a synonym for the highest standard of quality in viticulture and winemaking, for a sustainable, holistic corporate philosophy, and for a wide spectrum of cultural and artistic activities.
Founded in 1823, and now directed by Alois Lageder and Alois Clemens Lageder, representing the fifth and sixth generation of family ownership, the estate combines tradition and innovation.
His wines are famous the world over. Decades ago he was the very first in South Tyrol to set off on an uncompromising mission to produce quality wines, and in doing so he began a revolution among the region’s wineries. His quality drive under the motto of “class and not mass” resulted in South Tyrol’s wines being showered with awards and consolidated the region’s enviable reputation for quality.
Alois Lageder, is considered the initiator of the South Tyrolean “Wine Spring” even went a few steps further. In his two wine estates “Tòr Löwengang” and “Casòn Hirschprunn” around 30 km south of Bolzano/Bozen he has been working in the cause of sustainability since the 1970s. An all-embracing concept has taken over, from the sun energy unit on the roof of the winery to cultivation techniques based on bio-dynamic principles.
The Alois Lageder assortment of wines represents the extraordinary diversity of the Alto Adige region and its wide range of grape varieties. The wines are made from grapes grown in the vineyards owned by the Lageder family – about 50 hectares – which are cultivated according to biodynamic principles. No synthetics are used, so the consumer can trust that their wine contains no chemicals. Any treatments that the vineyard requires are natural and in the truest sense of biodynamics, they are also produced from materials or animals nurtured on-site or nearby. The lunar cycle dictates when tasks are performed and biodiversity is a key purpose, from the soil to the surrounding lands. In winemaking, these same objectives apply in the cellar.
Lageder operates under a sustainable energy concept and the winery has zero carbon production. Biodynamic treatments include horn manure, six compost preparations, 20 types of cover crop and horn silica on the vines. At Alois Lageder, they know each treatment item as well as its source. Astromaps placed around various locations remind the team to “look at the moon and planets” as a guide.
The Lageder family welcomes cows, donkeys, fowl and sheep into the vineyard to help control weeds and contribute to soil fertility. A “lullaby” is played in the cellar to harmonize the aging wine — it’s Bach, played on delay so one minute of music is stretched to one hour, to give the wine “more to time to age, to slow down,” according to Alois Lageder IV. The labels on the bottles were designed by artists, brought in to capture elements of the vineyard and winemaking process.
In addition to their own vineyards, they partner with 80 other nearby growers — 50% of which are practicing biodynamics — with a goal to convince all partner-growers to convert by 2023. The Alois Lageder team is literally “knocking on doors” to educate others about biodynamics. This close cooperation with contractual vintners from different areas in Alto Adige represents a fundamental component of the company history.
The sustainable approach to agriculture was extended also to the winery´s architecture. In fact, “Bringing nature indoors”, was the goal of the construction of the new cellars inaugurated in 1995. The project was soon recognized as the harbinger of a boom in contemporary architecture in Alto Adige. Their facility is made entirely of earthly products and is climatized naturally through the use of water and a rock wall employed to chill the air in the winery.
Not only the proximity to nature and sustainability but also their commitment to contemporary art plays an important role at winery. Selected artists have been invited to Lageder winery to create works inspired by the “Genius Loci”. All of them can be viewed and appreciated during a visit to the winery.