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2018 Alto Adige Sauvignon “Voglar”

Peter Dipoli
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The eastern Loire Valley may be the epicenter of elegant, cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc, but it is not the only place this grape can reach stunning heights. Along the steep slopes of the Dolomites, in northeastern Italy’s Alto Adige region, Peter Dipoli grows and vinifies Sauvignon Blanc so distinctive and mesmerizing that it pushes the boundaries of how wines from this variety should taste. Much like a glass of great Chablis, which is made from Chardonnay but has its own unique and unmistakable essence, Voglar is incredibly stimulating in that it is made from Sauvignon Blanc, but you would never mistake it for Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. At most, it tastes like a distant cousin.
      As singular as this bianco is, Peter considers himself a traditionalist and devotee to cool-climate Sauvignon, so much so that he performed extensive terroir studies in the late ’80s to find exactly where he should plant his grapes. On top of being stunningly beautiful, the limestone-rich and high-elevation slopes near Bolzano are perfectly suited to the variety, allowing Peter’s grapes to mature at a glacial pace. This, in turn, guarantees that they ripen evenly while preserving the liveliness that makes Sauvignon Blanc so mouth-watering. Peter then ages the wine in large acacia botti, which lends the perfect finishing touch, imbuing this bianco with exhilarating complexity, texture, and balance. At once luscious and vibrant, Voglar is not only one of Italy’s most sublime Sauvignon Blancs, but one of the country’s great white wines.

Tom Wolf


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Alto Adige
Country: Italy
Region: Alto Adige
Producer: Peter Dipoli
Winemaker: Peter Dipoli
Vineyard: Planted in 1990
Soil: Chalky, dolomite, limestone
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

Alto Adige

map of Alto Adige

In the heart of the Dolomites, Alto Adige is Italy’s northernmost wine region. Having changed hands multiples times in its history between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (it shares a border with Austria), it boasts strong Germanic influence on its culture, language, cuisine, as well as its wines.

The mountainous geography is the principal determinant of local winemaking styles, with the high-altitude vineyards and cool Alpine climate favoring primarily crisp, racy, aromatic whites from varieties like Kerner, Sauvignon, Müller Thurgau, and Grüner Veltliner. A Mediterranean influence on climate is channeled north up the valley until Bolzano, permitting the cultivation of certain reds as well, among which Schiava, Lagrein, Pinot Nero, and Merlot fare best.

Small growers who once sold fruit to the area’s multiple co-ops are now increasingly bottling their own wines. The arrival of many quality-oriented artisans on the scene caught our eye years ago, and we now count three estates from Südtirol, as it is also known, in our portfolio. These high-acid mountain wines make for a beautifully invigorating aperitivo with thinly sliced speck, a local specialty.

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Inspiring Thirst

I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

Inspiring Thirst, page 171