It's not just the mountains that reach heady heights in north-eastern Italy – the local wines from terraced lands are also worth exploring, writes Michèle Shah. Read her Trentino-Alto Adige travel guide here.
My perfect day in the Dolomites
Stay and breakfast at Hotel PacherHof in Novacella, before visiting the town’s Augustinian abbey, a working winery best known for its Praepositus range of wines. Drive 65km south to Cantina Terlano, in Terlan, renowned for its complex, mineral white wines. Its shop offers both current and back-dated vintages. Then go for a drive above Terlan to the terraced Vorberg vineyards.
Drive 10km south to Appiano and enjoy a light lunch at Enoteca Pillhof. If the weather is good, you can dine al fresco in the courtyard. The wine list is extensive and features a good range of local wines, many by the glass. The cuisine is local and changes according to the season.
Drive a short 8km to Lake Caldaro and visit the picturesque vineyards around the lake, including the Manincor Estate. If you wish to stock up on wines, call in at Cantina Caldaro’s Winecenter, a large shop and tasting room on several floors, where you can explore its entire range including red wines, such as Lagrain, Pinot Noir and the lighter Schiava. A further 5km south, visit Hofstätter in Tramin, one of Alto Adige’s premium wineries but also with a good range of entry-level wines. Be sure to taste the Gewürztraminer, said to originate from Tramin, and the excellent Barthenau and Meczan Pinot Noirs.
Evening and overnight
Drive 5km to Entiklar, a hamlet of Cortaccia, to visit Tiefenbrunner Castel Turmhof – the highest-altitude wine estate in South Tyrol (1,050m). The nearby chapel of St Georg at Graun is also a historical and cultural treasure. For dinner, book a table at Gasthaus Zur Rose, for traditional cooking and a good local wine list. Finally, rest your head (and your body in the spa) at Schwarz Adler Turmhotel.