Abbazia di Novacella Kerner 2023, Alto Adige, Valle Isarco DOC, Italy

Located in the town of Novacella in the Isarco River Valley, Abbazia was founded in 1142 by the Augustinian Order of Canons Regular. The Augustians are not monks in the sense that you may be familiar with: they have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to their superiors; but they also work to support themselves as a part of their community. To this end, the Abbey not only grows grapes for winemaking, but also farms apples and vegetables, and there is a small school devoted primarily to studies of viticulture. The white grape vineyards are in the town of Novacella, surrounding the abbey. The soil for the wines is mainly granitic schist, created by ancient glaciers, and the vineyards are quite steep. In the Isarco Valley, vines do not live much longer than 30 years, and the yields are minuscule naturally, producing wines that are aromatic, fresh, and rich. Though it is one of the oldest wineries in the world with over 850 years of winemaking experience, the cellar is entirely modern. 100% Kerner. Soil type: Permeable morainic deposits composed of mica schist, para gneiss and quartzite. 650-800m elevation. South, south-east, south-west orientation. Vinified and aged six months in stainless steel tanks using indigenous yeasts. A fresh and creamy white with aromas of sliced pears, peaches and lemons. Medium-bodied, lightly pithy and refreshing.