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Südtirol / Alto Adige, Italy

Upon entering the tasting room of Armin and Monika Kobler’s Weinhof Kobler one immediately understands that this is not only a temple of quality wine, but also of design.

The historic Margreid estate, founded by Armin’s father Erich in the 1950s, has been updated with an architecturally significant tasting room on the main floor and an impeccably modern winery dug into the earth beneath the neighboring Merlot vineyard.

A professor and researcher of Oenology, Armin taught other winemakers before he and his wife Monika decided in 2006 to begin making their own wine from the fruit of their estate. His family’s five hectares of vineyard included old-vine Chardonnay (planted in 1940) and Pinot Gris (planted in 1972), as well as Gewürztraminer, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In their valley location, Kobler’s vineyards are among the lowest in Südtirol at 200 to 220 meters, benefiting from the diverse alluvial soils of limestone gravel and sand as well as deep soils with clay.

Given their unique sites and location, Kobler seeks to produce wines that reflect the grape variety, the location, and the vintage, and therefore invests great care in what he terms “defensive oenology”, making detailed observations to learn the nuances of each vineyard, working the vineyards by hand, sorting quality in the field, harvesting later when possible, and guiding the grapes through as gentle and minimally invasive a vinification process as possible in the cellar.

The Koblers’ attention to detail is apparent also in the design of everything from the pure white box of a tasting room (to best experience the appearance of the wine) to the wine labels themselves, which are modern information graphics depicting the size, shape, relative position and orientation of their single vineyard wines. Always the Professor, the tasting room is equipped with a projection system to turn the white box into a theater for Armin to educate his visitors with lectures, images and film about the quality wine of Südtirol.

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