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Ep 310: The quality revolution of Alto Adige, Italy with Karoline Walch of Elena Walch

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 01/27/2020

Ep 342: Jane Anson on her book Ep 342: Jane Anson on her book "Inside Bordeaux", a fresh look at this classic region

Wine for Normal People

Jane Anson, award-winning writer, the foremost authority on Bordeaux, and one of the nicest, most talented people in wine, returns to the show to discuss her opus, Inside Bordeaux, a must-have book that took years to research and write. It provides a comprehensive look at the region’s true strengths – it’s terroir, farming, grapes, and land, rather than pretty buildings and rich people. It's a fresh look at this famed region and shows why Bordeaux is and always will be a great wine power.

Ep 341: The Grape Miniseries -- Gamay show art Ep 341: The Grape Miniseries -- Gamay

Wine for Normal People

This week we return to our grape miniseries to cover an old Burgundian variety, one of the 20 kids of Gouais Blanc and Pinot, that emerged around the 1300s. We cover its fascinating history; we talk about how it survived defamation by Dukes, centuries later became one of the most popular wines in the world (Beaujolais Nouveau), fell from grace, and now is securing its place as a serious, multifaceted grape that makes complex, interesting wines (especially in its home of Beaujolais, France).

Ep 185, The Remake: 7 Types of (Non-Winery) Wine Clubs show art Ep 185, The Remake: 7 Types of (Non-Winery) Wine Clubs

Wine for Normal People

Of all the shows in the catalog, one has always stuck out as not really fitting in so this week we’re scrapping the old 185 and we’re replacing it with something that is related but more timely, relevant and just plain better!!

Ep 340: UK Wine and its Past, Present, and Future show art Ep 340: UK Wine and its Past, Present, and Future

Wine for Normal People

Although limited in availability, English wine is rising in popularity. Climate change, bedrock soil that's similar to Champagne and Chablis, and growers with know-how have changed England from a producer of mainly plonk wine into a viable wine nation, with sparkling wine leading the charge. Access in the US is limited, so admittedly this is more of an academic exercise, but in the show we discuss the history, as well as the present, and bright future of UK wine. 

Ep 339: Puglia, Italy -- New World Wine From an Old World Country show art Ep 339: Puglia, Italy -- New World Wine From an Old World Country

Wine for Normal People

In this show we tackle the heel of Italy’s boot (and the area that covers a part of the calf!): Puglia (pool-YA), which is in a transition from a bulk wine area to a quality wine area. Taking cues from New World winemakers, with whom they had a lot in common from a terroir POV, Puglia are modernizing and making better wines than ever before. We give an overview of what to try.

Ep 338: Glassware and Gadgets Revisited show art Ep 338: Glassware and Gadgets Revisited

Wine for Normal People

We haven't done a show on this topic for a long time, so here's the 2020 update. We cover what to look for in glassware, decanters, wine fridges, wine openers, preservation systems and more. This is the skinny on what you need and what you don't (and why!).

Ep 337: Feudi di San Gregorio and the Unrivaled Wines of Campania, Italy show art Ep 337: Feudi di San Gregorio and the Unrivaled Wines of Campania, Italy

Wine for Normal People

Dr. Antonio Capaldo, with his brilliance and razor-sharp humor, joins me to discuss the beautiful wines of Campania, Italy -- one of my all-time favorite regions. He is the Chairman of Feudi di San Gregorio and shares his insights on the region, its appellations, what makes the land and grapes special, and the bright future Campania has ahead of it.

Ep 336: Santorini, Greece and it's divine white of Assyrtiko show art Ep 336: Santorini, Greece and it's divine white of Assyrtiko

Wine for Normal People

Santorini is one of Greek wine's guiding lights. The wines from this ancient volcanic island are unlike any other – exhibiting fullness, smoky minerality, and acidity that you won’t find elsewhere. The whites of Assyrtiko are among the best Greece has to offer. The fascinating history and legacy of viticulture will transport you to this lovely Mediterranean paradise. In this show, we take you on the ultimate armchair travel destination: the island of Santorini, a Greek paradise!

Ep 335: The Grape Miniseries-- Gewurztraminer show art Ep 335: The Grape Miniseries-- Gewurztraminer

Wine for Normal People

Gewurztraminer is one of the most distinctive grapes and makes one of the most overtly perfumed, full bodied whites in existence. The lychee, rose, citrus, incense, and smokey notes can be intoxicatingly fantastic or WAY too much. We discuss the grape's origins, its diva personality, and how to get the best wine for you based on the style you prefer.

Ep 334: Hungarian Wine Overview with Zoltan Heimann of Heimann Winery show art Ep 334: Hungarian Wine Overview with Zoltan Heimann of Heimann Winery

Wine for Normal People

Zoltán Heimann has much to teach us about Hungarian wine. He joins to help me present Hungary's wines, keep me on task with the proper pronunciations (the reason it’s taken me so long to cover this country, honestly!), and to give us an overview of what we can expect from Hungary -- including grapes and regions from Tokaji to Villány to Sopron and more. To end, we focus on Zoltan's beloved region of Szekszárd (sex-ARD), known mostly for its famous Kadarka red wine, of which he is a huge champion.

More Episodes

Elena Walch is a winery with an essential role in the quality revolution of Alto Adige, Italy.


Alto Adige is in the northeast corner of Italy and has unlimited variety and wines that offer delicate, unique flavor profiles. Located south of the Alps, in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains (where the ice mummy was found!), vineyards here are planted on steep slopes, river valleys and some warmer plains. The vast differences in microclimates and soils in this sloping terrain make wines that have ample fruit but beautiful acidity that keep them crisp and bright.


In the 1980s and early 1990s a very important figure emerged in Alto Adige wine: Elena Walch. Her story is unusual – she doesn’t come from a wine family or background, nor did she plan to get into wine. But in her job as an architect, fate brought her together with the Walch family and she quickly became the head of the Alto Adige quality revolution, gaining local and international esteem for her efforts  around quality and innovation

Now, her daughters, Julia and Karoline Walch, the fifth generation are taking over and today we have Karoline to tell us this amazing story and talk about Alto Adige, the small, gorgeous region in northeast Italy that makes beautiful cool climate wines.

The estate is dedicated to terroir-driven wines.

In this show, Karoline Walch talks with me about Alto Adige and the
Elena Walch story. We discuss:

  • Traditional grapes, the land, and the unique blend of Austrian, Germanic and Italian culture that exists in Alto Adige

  • The long history of Walch family and the modern history of Elena, an architect who saw an opportunity to make a big change in the quality and style of Aldo Adige wine, and took it, despite not knowing anything about viticulture or winemaking. 


  • Karoline's and her sister, Giulia's, path to taking over Elena Walch and how they plan to move forward.


  • The wines! We discuss grapes from Gewürztraminer to Pinot Blanc to Pinot Grigio, and then reds like Schiava and Lagrein.
    • Karoline gives us detail on Vigna Castel Ringberg in Caldaro and Vigna Kastelaz in Tramin, as well as their Grand Cuvee white, In the Clouds 



Thanks to Wine2Wine Verona for inviting me to speak and for allowing me the opportunity to meet Karoline Walch and share this show with all of you!


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