The family of the Rottensteiner’s is one of the most ancient families of South Tyrol and its connections to the wine lasts for many generations. This shows also the family name, which derives from the red coloured rock of the montains around Bolzano, the porphyry.
The closer history of the Cantina Vini Hans Rottensteiner S.r.l. began between the two World Wars, when Hans Rottensteiner, a son of the farmer of “Obermoser-Hof” in St. Magdalena, married a daughter of the owner of the “Gogischer-Hof” named Magdalena. Along to the traditional rules in leaving the farms to the descendants, both “Obermoser-Hof” and “Gogischer-Hof” passed to the first born sons, and the young couple Hans and Magdalena was forced to leave the paternal yard. So they bought the “Reiter-Hof” in St. Peter, the neighbour village of St. Magdalena, and began with the vine growing. Soon Hans made his first experiences in the wine production with his own grapes, sold at the own restaurant. World War II began, and Hans had the luck not to have to engage, but to carry out his military service at the “Südtiroler Ordnungsdienst”, a kind of military police. So he hadn’t to leave his farm and could continue to work in his restaurant. Later he would tell proudly, that his wine wasn’t popular only among the people of the place, but also among the American soldiers who came in at the end of the war.
Around 1950 Hans dared the large step and bought a property in the close Gries, on the other bank of Talfer River, and began with the building of a winery. In 1956 finally came the great moment, and the winery Cantina Vini Hans Rottensteiner S.r.l. began its activity. Hans left his farm in St. Peter to his first born son Johann and dedicated himself, together with his other son, Toni Rottensteiner, to the winery. Toni, who had studied Viticulture and Oenology in Wädenswil near Zurich in Switzerland, managed the technical part of the activity since the beginning, while the commercial part passed to him step by step.
Soon after the foundation of the company, the Rottensteiner’s met a man who should have a strong influence on the winery: Georg Vogel, a Swiss importer of South Tyrolean and Trentino wines, who would buy the whole production of the young winery. Hans and Tony were careful enough not to leave the domestic market at all, although this Switzerland became the most important market of Rottensteiner wines. The demand was very high, the profit because of the strong Swiss Franc too, and so after a short time the extension of the cellars was begun, as well as the purchase of grapes from winegrowers in and around Bolzano. Gradually Cantina Vini Hans Rottensteiner became one of the important companies in the world of South Tyrolean wines. Also the own domain on vineyards was extended: the Hofmannhof was bought, as well as some other vineyards in and around Bolzano. In 1967 Toni married Rosa Pichler, the first born daughter of Kristplonerhof in Guncina near Bolzano. In this way also this farm came into family’s property.
At the beginning of the 1980’s – in the meantime Hans had transferred the whole conduction of the company to his son – Toni Rottensteiner put the main importance of his activity to the production of high quality bottled wines, specially St. Magdalener, but also Lagrein, Pinot Blanc and most of the other South Tyrolean varieties. To make it short: he was successful also with this and reached the reasonable number of 400,000 bottles, which were sold not only in South Tyrol, but in whole Italy, in Germany, in Austria and – of course – in Switzerland. Hans Rottensteiner died in 2001, only some months after his grandchild and Toni’s son Hannes had entered into the company. So the winery went into its third generation. Hannes had studied Viticulture and Oenology in San Michele all’Adige and in Geisenheim (Germany).
Today the Rottensteiner’s work almost 10 hectares of vineyard, while around 60 farmers supply grapes from other 90 hectares. This happens along to old tradition “on honour”, this means that there are no written contracts and that there counts only word and handshake.
Certainly the own vineyards get most of our attention. Vernatsch (Schiava), a native grape variety of South Tyrol which gives many DOC like Kalterer See (Lago di Caldaro), St. Magdalener or Alto Adige Vernatsch, is still most important in the palette of the winery, but also other varieties like Lagrein, Müller Thurgau and Gewürztraminer are strong points of Cantina Vini Hans Rottensteiner Srl.
Facts and figures
Production：6.000 HL = 0,6 Mio. liters
Bottles： 450.000 bottles
Wines：60% red wine， 40% white wine
Wine cultivation area：10 ha family property 85 ha contract farmers
Average yield：70 HL /ha
Varieties：8 white wine varieties，5 red wine varieties
Wine types：23 different wines
Markets：50% South Tyrol，30% rest of Italy, 10% Switzerland, 7% Germany and 3% to Austria, Great Britain, Canada, Peru, Australia.
Wine enjoyment – this is Toni and Hannes' motto. Elegance and drinkability are at the forefront of our wines. Along with this, the typicity of the wine, the expression of the variety and terroir, is clear and recognizable. This is the reason why most of our wines are varietal and our focus is on those vines typical to our region.
The Classic Line demonstrates the variety of our assortment. Eight white wines, a rosé, and five red wines are available. Drinkability, elegance and the varietal typicity stand out in these wines. The Alpine ibex is our heraldic animal, and serves as the motif of the collection's label. The bright choice of colour and the light playfulness should convey the youthful freshness and fun that we hope for while drinking our wines.
The Cru Line is comprised of four choice wines from special locations. Freshness and fruitiness are also a decisive factor, supported on the one hand by the varietal selection, and on the other, through the processing in the wine cellar. We have chosen a vine shoot as the graphic element on the label. The reason for this is that, for these wines, the association to the origin, the soil, and the grapevine is especially important.
The Select Line wines are the heavyweights from our cellar. These wines are barrel-matured, albeit an exceptionally careful handling of new wood ensures that the wine, and not the barrel, remains in the forefront. The Select wines can be aged; their full potential can, by all means, be unveiled a few years later. The gold family crest on the label, and the muted colour selection, represent the value, elegance, and tradition of these wines.