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Cantine Merano, Alto Adige

Terrifyingly Steep Vineyards produce beautifully fresh, fruity crisp wines

Cantina Merano's slick, modern winery may recall a Bond villain's mountain lair, but what happens there undoubtedly brings greater joy to humanity than the Bond villain's nefarious schemes would have. Surrounded by terrifying steep vineyards, lovingly tended by hand, Merano produce wines with Alpine verve, minerality and a depth of fruit uncommon in Italy. It is easy to understand why Alto Adige wines - and Cantina Merano in particular - are some of the most sought after in Italy.

There are few wineries that boast the spectacular setting of Cantine Merano - nestled amongst the dolomite Alps with high- altitude vineyards (300m-800), protected from the cold northern winds by a series of high peaks, the wide Adige valley basin centred on Merano is ideal for quality viticulture. The terroir, the mild climate, the porous residual soils with a high gravel content on the slopes and sandy material on the valley floor contribute to the beautifully fresh, fruity and crisp white and red wines.