Our first supplier ever from Alto Adige, Manni Nössing, deserves a proper introduction. Manni is a towering, stubbly, Alpine hulk of a man with a comical cynicism about the modern wine world, as if Woody Harrelson grew several inches taller, threw on a baseball cap, and launched into a bombastic tirade in a mixture of German and Italian, grunting and sighing about Italian consumers’ tasteless appetite for insipid bulk wines. All that is to say he shares our aversion to “pop wines” that reflect a winemaking formula—you’ll see that his wines are anything but banal. His Sylvaner from high in the Dolomites is a finely channeled mountain breeze, an exercise in textural delicacy that will leave your palate tingling with the sensation of crispy minerals.
Alto Adige, or Südtirol, as it is also known, does not seem Italian. The street names are primarily German and it is here in Bressanone, less than twenty miles south of the Austrian border, that Manni Nössing runs his small winery amid the towering peaks of the Dolomites. Descended from a family of farmers, Manni has no formal training in viticulture or enology but seeks to learn from each vintage in order to produce wines that are capable of giving pleasure while also reflecting the terroir from which they originate. The result is a range of wines that are a joy to drink while also exhibiting exceptional finesse and complexity, perfectly showcasing Manni’s passion for his land and the region’s pristine Alpine beauty.
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Inspiring Thirst, page 211