My favorite wine in the world is the Moscato (Muscat) from Alois Lageder , a winemaker from the Alto Adige in Northern Italy, near the Austrian border. The unique terrain here, combining the cold mountain air from the Alps with warm Mediterranean sunshine, helps to produce outstanding wine grapes. I have never smelled a wine that so bursts with tropical and citrus fruit as this wine. Papaya, banana, lemon, guava, and mango blend into an impossibly enticing bouquet. On the palate, it is silky smooth, with just the right amount of acid to balance the fruitiness. Lageder also produces Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Gerwurtzraminer, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
His family has been making wine since 1823 and they are devoted to biodynamic viticulture. I have been fortunate to be able to taste a dozen or so biodynamic wines, and there is definitely some ‘thing’ about these wines that distinguishes them from the pack. Gary Vaynerchuk once did a great interview on www.winelibrarytv with a biodynamic pioneer, Nicolas Joly, and I loved the way Joly discussed biodynamics. He stated that one way you can tell a biodynamic wine is that you can chug it down like lemonade (not that you would want to), the purity is so refined. The entire interview is well worth watching.
Biodynamic farming, invented by the late mystic and educator Rudolph Steiner, takes years, even decades, to master. It is a blending of the spiritual with the scientific, requiring a deep understanding of nature and cosmic principles. It is a profound synthesis of the earthly with the heavenly, and the rewards for humans who practice the system are healthy, resilient and fertile soils which grow remarkably delicious fruits and vegetables to nourish us.
There are many wines available which are delicious, well-made and reflect a terroir with style and elegance. Very few wines, in fact only a tiny percentage, do all that and make you feel different inside, as if you have just ingested something infused with true cosmic energy. Lageder’s wines do that.