‘Manni Nössing is one of Italy’s most talented winemakers. In fact, all his wines are so good that it’s virtually impossible to pick the best of the lot, or even a favourite.’
Ian d’Agata, www.vinousmedia.com
Having tasted a bottle of his fabulous Kerner at a restaurant in Tuscany, we had been trying to track down Manni Nössing for about a year, before we finally visited him at his winery on a sunny morning in April. We were blown away, not only by the full range of wines he is making but also quite how gorgeous this hidden corner of Italy is.
The Alto Adige (or Südtirol)
…surrounds you with mesmerising scenery, completely breath-taking to be in. Beautifully mountainous with green high-pastures, craggy clifftops tipped with isolated monasteries, interspersed by small patches of vines, neatly ordered and hugging the slopes. Manni’s wines really bring this magical mountainous kingdom to life in the glass.
‘..the wines Manni is making here have a lovely, northern Italian purity. A limpid, crystalline quality..’
There is a real intersection of cultures here – in the village school the first language is German and all the road signs are written in both German and Italian. Yet the wines Manni is making here have a lovely, northern Italian purity. A limpid, crystalline quality. Bright, pure and yet with sensational texture and depth. You just want to drink them.
He has just 6 hectares of vines, perched between 660 and 800 metres high, at the top of the Valle Isarcois, this small tract of the Alto Adige feels deeply Alpine, in fact the winery is just 20 miles from the Austrian border.
Manni is at the forefront of a new generation of winemakers – whose families historically sold their fruit to the bigger operators like Abbazia di Novacella or often the local co-op, but now make their own wines. Since 2000 Manni has bottled under his own label and is fanatical about expressing the freshness of his vineyards’ terroir. He is determined to make wines with purity and retain huge drinkability – it’s no surprise he finds it sad that some people in the valley are still trying to make fuller, more ‘silicon coated’ wines here – ‘Non per me grazie!’
As such he no longer removes the leaves from the vines – preferring to keep them to shade the bunches and reduce the chance of the grapes getting too ripe. In the cellar, after a controlled-temperature fermentation all the wines spend 8 months on the lees in steel tanks – where they gain texture, depth and complexity – but no unnecessary weight or breadth. He does not allow any of them to go through the secondary ‘malolactic’ fermentation either, preferring to keep the acidity bright and crisp – this ‘edge’ works so well with the intense, spicy fruit core that each of his wines develops.
These are fascinating wines, chiselled and focused with incredible drive and push, hand-crafted by a true artisan. We are hugely excited about bringing them to the UK. A really exciting new signing for L&S, the wines are simply delicious with huge appeal, we cannot recommend them highly enough.