Cantina Bolzano, based in the town of Bolzano, traces its roots to two of Alto Adige’s most historic coops- Santa Magdalena, est. 1930 and Cantina Gries, est. 1908. After deciding to merge in 2001, Cantina Bolzano was created. One quickly forgets all the misgiving about coops when at Bolzano, feeling much more like a family run property, in large part because Klaus, the current General Manager, is the 3rd generation of his family to hold that title and has worked at the winery since he was 14. Similarly, the current Kellermeister (winemaker) Stephan Filippi, has a fantastic reputation throughout Italy and has held that title since 1988. Before Stephan, his father was Kellermeister, and between the two there are 55 consecutive years of winemaking here. The average growers’ plots in Sudtirol averages only approx. 1 hectare, and the area, with its famed reputation and steep slopes, is an expensive area to farm. The member of Bolzano (approx. 300 in all) own many of the best vineyards throughout the region, including the Valle Isarco, and pool their resources to create top quality wines. And while no grower is certified organic, many practice organic viticulture and all of them adhere to natural practices in their vineyards. Most growers have lived on their farms with their families for generations. They protect their land and cultivate their vineyards as they have done for generations with total respect of the environment where they live.