Manincor, Biodynamic estate in the South Tyrol (Süd-Tirol) region of Italy

History | The history of the Manincor Estate begins perhaps in 1608, when Hieronymus Manincor received the title to the Ehrenhausen estate on Lake Caldaro from the Emperor for his services to Austria. Or perhaps it was in 1662, when his granddaughter married into the family of the Counts of Enzenberg. Or later still, in 1698, the year in which the Enzenberg wine cellars in Terlano, Caldaro and Schwaz in Tyrol are first mentioned in histor- ical documents.

Manincor’s more recent history has been shaped by Michael Count Goëss-Enzenberg, who laid the foundation stone for the winery as its exists today. In 1987 he moved from Carinthia to South Tyrol. In 1991 he took over the estate from his uncle at a time when all the grapes produced were sold to the wine cooperatives in the region. From the start, the enologist, who studied wine-making in Geisenheim and completed an internship in California, had other ideas. Top-quality wines reflecting their geographical origins and bearing the hallmark of the vintner – that was his vision.

In 1996 Michael Count Goëss-Enzenberg and his wife, Countess Sophie, started producing and bottling their own wines: Kalterersee, Moscato Giallo, Pinot Blanc, Sophie, Mason and Cassiano. He has always devoted his energies to the quality and profile of his wines, which are always elegant and fine, with a certain lightness and plenty of character.

Biodynamics | In 2005 Manincor launched the conversion to biodynamic wine-growing, and by 2009 all the wines were certified. In 2007 Michael Count Goëss-Enzenberg and a number of like-minded vintners from Austria established the “respekt-BIODYN” group, which now has nineteen members from Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary.

Winery | 2004 saw the construction of a new underground cellar, which is still state of the art today, as well as expansion into international markets. On the other hand, old wine-growing knowledge is applied and nature given the status it deserves in the vineyards, with just a minimum of human involvement in the wine-making process in the cellar.

 

Owner | Conte Michael Goëss-Enzenberg [the Enzenberg family arrived here in 1885] and Countess Sophie. Their son is Cassian and their daughter is (not sure of her name). Michael was born and raised in his pparents’ castle Corinthia in Austria (forest, 30 cattle, lake, ski lift). Boarding school in Salzburg. Studied carpentry. Michael’s childless uncle, Count Georg Enzenberg, suggested that Michael (his ‘adopted’) son, should inherit his estate in Sud-Tirol ans maintain ir in the spirit of the family. This suited Micahel as he is not a city person. Michael studied oenology at Geisenheim with Bettina Burklin von Guradze. Worked 12 months the Santa Ynez Valley. Fog in in the morning. Good for PN and SB. Worked for Babcock 1986-1987. “I was his 1st assistant winemaker.”

Michael married Sophie and they moved here. Three children in quick succession: Isabelle, Rosalie and Kassian were born in quick succesion.  Sophie is the daughter of a businessman.

They built the winery (‘stressful period’) and helmut Zozin was hired.

Background

The Castel Campan in Caldaro was founded by the Campan family. It overlooks Lago di Caldaro of Schiava fame. 1996 was the first vintage as Manincor. For the preceding 20 years the grapes went to the co-op. Prior to that wine was made for the family. The change was made after Mochael hired Helmuth Zozin as estate manager.

Helmut Zozin

Helmuth Zozin, an experienced cellar master who has been running the Kaltern [Caldaro] wine cellar as manager and cellar master for 20 years, is joining the Manincor wine estate located in South Tyrol. Michael Graf Göess-Enzenberg will turn over the management of his wine estate Manincor to Helmut Zozin at the end of April [2008]. He then will act as director and Zozin will take over the entire responsibility for the wine estate Manincor.

“Until his appointment at Manincor, Zozin had been the director of the Cantina Sociale Caldaro, where he had accumulated immense knowledge of Alto Adige’s terroir and grape varieties. Zozin told me that the reason for his move to Manincor was the outstanding vineyards, the grapes from which he knew well, as they were sold to the co-op until 1996. But at that time Zozin couldn’t do justice to them, and they would inevitably end up in fermentation tanks indistinguishable from any other grapes. The second reason was his growing interest in biodynamics. His new boss, described to me as a very open-minded person, but whom I did not meet during my visit, practically gave Zozin carte blanche. The vineyards were converted to organics and subsequently managed biodynamically, while a state-of-the-art cellar, partially underground, was built at seemingly great cost. Although stunning in its architectural conception, it is not a folly, as the natural advantage of it being built into the hill allows for a complete gravitational way of working while at the same time benefiting from the cooler underground temperature,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

 

Also 40ha of apple orchards in Sette querce for apple juice. Several ha are Braeburn. 7,000kg produce on avareage 4,000 litres of juice.

2018 hail-affected, in Terlano on 21 June and Caldaro on 5th July.

Vineyards | 2017 50ha

Biodynamics | Conversion starter in 2005. Zozin said at Tenuta Manincor 24th June 2016 that “biodynamics had brought more vitality, more aromatics, more physiological balance.’

Bees | Beehives were installed under Zozin.

Sheep | Around 40 sheep in 2011 (jump fences).

CERTIFICATION | 2005 Begins conversion to BD. 2006 C1. 2009 50ha AB for the first time by Demeter/Abcert. The late Dr Andrew Lorand was consulting.

Winemaking

Yeast & yellow wines

“All the wines at Manincor are fermented using indigenous yeast only. ‘I already did experiments with indigenous yeast in the 1990s [when he was still running the Caldaro co-op] and I also tried to ferment white wines on the skins’, Zozin told me. But he is not a great lover of skin-fermented white wines because in his experience he finds that the tannins leeched out of the skins are too rustic and the wines tend not to age well. ‘If you have perfectly ripe grapes then you can make a skin-fermented white wine with more complexity, but I prefer crystalline precision.’ According to Zozin, this precision expresses itself especially after a few years of bottle age. At Manincor the whites as well as the reds need to have a propensity for extended cellaring to bring out their potential,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

Sales

Micheal said the main market is “Germany”, meaning people who drive down and buy the wine in the restaurant or from the winery shop and take it back to Germany in the car Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

White wines

Eichhorn Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige Terlano DOC

“The Pinot Bianco grapes come from the sub zone Terlano, where Manincor have a vineyard of 1.5 ha called Eichhorn on an altitude of 80 m. The wine was fermented in Austrian oval oak casks,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

2009 13.5%. / 2010 13.5%. / 2011 13.5%. / 2012 13.5%. 2017 13% Well made, balance of crisp lightly exotic fruit and aok (tasted August 2019).

Lieben Aich (Sauvignon)

Mason, Lieben Aich, and Castel from 1999 are the Grands Crus. Loeben Eich is in Terlano.  “SB is as fragile for whites as PN is for for reds.” Schloss Lieben Aich is a family patrimonio. It is located in the middle of Terlan. Vineyards good for SB. In his heart. Michael wants a SB with ripe not herbaceous flavours. 1999 was first year. ‘PN and SB usually picked first = if good year for one, then good for the other too.’

2000 BF. Wild. Nice ripe nose. Exotic as was a warm year. Very smooth, then rich, honey, savoury again, full in the mouth but not heavy at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2001 Sauvignon nose. Ripe honey in there too. BF. Wild. Barriques. Lovely texture, very saline, plenty of depth, very saline, some bitter apricot in there too but almost like a natural wine at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2004 Fresh,spiky nose. Made in new underground cellar for the first time. Started building it in 2001. BF. Wild. Tonneaux. More gentle on the fruit. Bit of bitterness again but very smooth as less skin contact compared to earlier vintages at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016. | 2010 BF. Wild. Tonneaux. Ripe, ‘salty’ nose at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016. | 2013 Wild. Botte di legno. No pied de cuve. Wait for it to start (can be 10 days). SB. Cool year. 15th Sept picked [normally end of August]. SB from Terlan (1ha here). Plenty of weight, some bitterness at Tenuta Manincor 24th June 2016. | 2014 Not made. | 2015 Made. | 2018 Hit by hail.

Sophie (Chardonnay)

Both Sophie and Cassiano have always been made from 1996 vintage when they started. Vigneto delle Dolomiti Bianco Chardonnay. Some of the Chardonnay is in in Terlano on volc porphyry/quartz (sandy, light); and some in in Caldaro on more calcareous (scree?) soil. Not a mono vineyard wine.

1999 Chardonnay. 30% SB. 225-litre barrels. This tastes Chardonnay-like, round and melon/peach. Still lovely and fresh at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2001 Chardonnay. 30% SB. From Magnum. 225-litre barrels. Flattish nose, not much aroma initially. Bit citric – guess this comes from the SB. [From 2008 SB became the Tannenberg wine on its own]. Again very saline with a touch of bitterness at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2006 Conversion to BD. / 2010 Cool year. Good. Mainly Chardonnay but also including a bit of Viognier (3-5%). 1,200 litre barrels. Get some of that cool menthol on the nose. Lovely salty white, real texture, creamy butter but apricot too, wild ferment, beautiful texture at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2012 8m in 1,200 litre barrels. All its life in wod apart from a short passage in steel before bottling. Cool, exceptional year. Mainly 100% Chardonnay including a bit of Viognier (2-3%). Saline, mid-weight, very salty, some honey butter, Burgundian but more spicey. Intense, bit of butter toffee at the end but not negative, not ‘fat’. Very salty at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

Reserva della Contessa, Terlano, Alto Adige

2012 “60% Weissburgunder, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc. Two thirds of the wine is fermented in Austrian oval casks and a third in stainless steel, because at the time they didn’t have enough Stockinger casks. Grapes are cooled overnight to 8-9 ºC followed by a pre-fermentation maceration of up to four hours in the press. Then settling for 12 hours in stainless steel to get the really heavy components to the bottom, but still there is very little that falls out, as most remains in suspension, which is necessary for the indigenous yeast to start the fermentation. Straw yellow. Beautiful sweet Reine Claude plum and candied peel and brioche. Really lithe and elegant and with an appealing lemony finish with hints of breadcrumbs. Fresh and lemony and the Sauvignon Blanc is practically a no-show. Very lively acidity on the finish,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

Moscato Giallo

Not tasted.

Pink wines

Rosato, La Rose de Manincor

From Lagrein, Merlot, Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo und Syrah. | 2018 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosato IGT. | 2018 13.5% Full-bodied pink white with a smooth, food-friendly texture (tasted August 2019).

Red wines

Verjus

Made from bunches removed during per-harvest bunch thinning. 4,000 bottles (25cl). ‘Milder than vinegar, more delicate than lemon juice’.

Cassiano Rosso

Some history to do with a bishop and someone else/first bishop of Sudtirol was called Cassian. Both Sophie and Cassiano have always been made from 1996 vintage when they started.

1996 Michael’s son Cassian was born, same year as the cantina was born. Not a great year

1997 “All spice nose” says Michael. CS only. VG potentially. Warm. Ripe CS, perfect. Starting to dry out, bit vegetal at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2004 3 Double magnum. Mainly Merlot. Got all the fruit from the Castel Campan vineyard which was not bottled under its nome this year. Lovely Bordeaux-style nose; palate a bit lumpen and shortish at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2009 Mainly Merlot + CS/CF. Hot year. Pretty good, rich, menthol, but quite refreshing if a tad uneven/bitter but still plenty of fruit here, dry fruit but not dried out at all at Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2011 Mainly CF and Merlot + others (eg Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot). Bit of bake in this. Herby nose too, get that CF. Nice acid, bit short, nice flavours too at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

Kalterersee Keil Superiore, Lago di Caldaro Classico

“The modest Schiava is considered here to be a great vehicle to show minerality in the wine. Tronconic oak fermentation, indigenous yeast. 10 days on the skins in total, followed by six to eight weeks in cement tank, after which it stays an additional four months in tronconic oak,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

2012 “Very pale violet ruby, almost rosé-like. Sweetly balsamic nose. Playful but very light palate. with only hints of red fruit on the finish. Distinct, to say the least. Serve this chilled. 13.5%,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

Mason Pinot Nero, Alto Adige

Mason, Lieben Aich, and Castel from 1999 are the Grands Crus.

“From a vineyard ‘shaped like a panettone’ at 400-450 m with a slight southerly exposition. In the morning it catches the cool winds from the north, and in the afternoon the warm southerly winds. From a 100-year-old pergola-trained vineyard. After arrival in the cellar the grapes are cooled down to 10 ºC and during fermentation no further temperature control is being used. Fermented in tronconic oak by indigenous yeast and with a total maceration time of two weeks. The wine only starts to ferment after about five to seven days. After fermentation the wine is racked into concrete tanks, where it stays for four weeks. Malolactic fermentation starts spontaneously and is relatively swift. The wine is aged for 15 months in barrique, of which 15% is new oak, followed by two months again in cement tank before it is bottled,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

2012 “Just mid violet ruby. Exciting nose of fresh, crushed red fruit and raspberry and a perfectly integrated oak note. Same liveliness and linearity on the palate as the Manincor whites, with a fine oak note on a fragrant and precise finish. Fine spurt of tannins and salty finish. 13.5%,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

Mason di Mason

From 5ha of PN in In Caldaro of which 1ha is for Mason di Mason, planted 1988. 500 metres. Moraine over chalk. Clones 113, 115, 112/ 5 clones in total.

2002 Bad year. Rained during harvest. Fermented in open oak vat. [Now can keep the fruit cooler]. Pretty cherry nose. Nice, simple, bit of a ball of red fruit with a bit of sourness in there too. Ready I’d say before the fruit starts to fade at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2005 Very late year. Cool nights. Acid held. Perfect ripeness. Lovely sweet fruit and new oak there too. Very moreish and incredible young-tasting considering this has a decade under its belt at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 24th June 2016.

2012 Classic. 15th Sept picked. Sunny days at harvest. Cool. Could wait for perfect ripeness. Crunchy red fruit, get some real texture here, flesh and interest to the tannins at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 24th June 2016.

2013 Cool year. Get plenty of menthol. Owner reckons this one is probably the best they have made. Has nice fruit, oak and flesh. youthful, not primary though at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 24th June 2016.

Merlot, Privat

2009 New oak nose, mint, bit oaky, also some biterness, good modern, smooth, bit shortish and polished at dinner at the Seehof Keller 23rd June 2016.

Rubatsch Lagrein, Alto Adige

2011 Very deep violet ruby. Beautiful concentrated, but not chunky, black and blueberry nose with a hint of oak. Not at all rich or thick, but fluent and lively and vibrant. Perfect oak management. Fresh! Beautiful stuff. 13%,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

Réserve del Conte

Rosso from Merlot (40 %), Cabernet (30 %), Lagrein (30 %). Rosso Kalterersee from Verschiedene Spielarten des Vernatsch (Schiava), Rebalter 20–75 Jahre. Merlot “Castel Campan”.

Castel Campan

Mason, Lieben Aich, and Castel Campan from 1999 are the Grands Crus. This is only made in best years. Their most important and deepest wine. Want elegance, balance, not concentration. The Castel Campan [where we are] is the centre of the estate. Until 1977 the wines were made here. The wine was sold in bulk in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland until 1977 when a change was made to domaine bottling. The garpes then went the Co-op in Caldaro. (In 2016 the two remaining co-ops here merged). No one in family wanted to do domaine bottle. But in 1996 the Manincor brand was launched. Mainly Merlot plus a bit of CF. Their highest quality wine. Most of sites in lower areas, from 200-500m. Lower OK for Merlot and CF.  260m. Amlng the first he replanted whetn he took over. HAD 80% Vernatsch, was imp then and now. 1993 PLaneted CF and M in 1992. BD-mens wines that got more refined and more balanced. BD must have balanced and elegant. This is their best and rarest wines. 3,000 bottles. Not every vintage.

1999 Open oak vats for first time. No steel. Bit meagre, also a bit stemmy at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2003 Perfume and glycerol on the nose. Bit baked, sweet fruit, slightly angular tannins (has this been acidified?) at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2009 Very good year here. Bit of funk on the nose. But not too intrusive. Firm tannins, a bit dry, some bake and prune but still youthful at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2011 Nice menthol and grip, with some oak, pressy texture to the tannins. Nice bitter cherry and black fruit. Savoury. Good weight. Lovely texture and sweetness to the fruit and savouriness to the tannins at Tenuta Tenuta Manincor’s Castel Campan on 23rd June 2016.

2015 Castel Campan. Merlot and Cab Franc. Quite crunchy, rich dark fruit. Very youthful still at Johanni 24 June 2019.

Dessert wines

Le Petit | Petit Manseng, which the owner, Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg, discovered while on a trip to Jurançon. It triggered his idea to make a sweet wine, not from dried grapes, but ‘naturally sweet’, which didn’t work with his Riesling. Half a hectare was planted in 1998 but success was irregular, because according to Zozin the grapes were harvested too early. Zozin now harvests as late as December or even in January, because there is hardly any danger of frost or snow, as the vineyard is on the south side of the Alps and very sheltered. ‘Burgundy is much cooler than we are. The climate here is more like the Northern Rhône.’ The grapes are harvested in January, while they wait for botrytis to attack, but nothing seems to happen, while the berries stay a deep golden, until, at some stage, they turn pink. This is a sign that botrytis has arrived, but it is on the inside of the berries instead of the outside, and this causes the pink colouring. Zozin explained that botrytis enters the berries where the stalk is connected to the berry and, because the skins are very thick, there is no outbreak of juice and hence the reason the botrytis is only on the inside. This is called in Italian ‘botrytis cinerea infavata’ – within the berries. ‘That is the type of botrytis that everybody wants’, Zozin told me. The grapes are pressed and the juice put into Austrian oval casks of 10 hl. A slow fermentation starts and continues for up for six months. They wait with racking until the total sugar has decreased to approximately 200 g/l and alcohol is up to 10%, but by then normally the fermentation has stopped by itself. It is aged for two to three years in the same casks. %,” (Speller, W: 23 Sep 2013).

Other crops

Grapseed oil. The Seeds are cold pressed. The oil is rich in anti-oxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, trace elements. Oil from red grape variety seeds tastes different to those from white wine grapes. It can be heated for cooking, or for skin-care applications. | Grapeseed flour. Made from what remains of the seeds that have been used for the grapeseed oil. They are gorund to produce a fine floury power. It can be added in small quantiies to flour when baking. It can be added to mueseli, or to a glass of apple juice. The oil has high OPC content.

| Vineyard honey. From hives hives in the vineyards, near the forest and the orchards.  | Apricot jam. The fruit comes from the Ahrn Valley and the foot of the Zillerthal Alps, from the south side of the Gassegg estate. Small apricots with red skins. 100-200kg of fruit annually. | Wine chocolate. Made by Gunther Fenkart, a chocolatier from Voralberg. 

Contact

Manincor

San Josef am See/San Giuseppe al Lago 4

I-39052 Kaltern/Caldaro (BZ = Bozen/Bolzano), Italy

Tel+39 0471.960230 | Website www.manincor.com