Bergmannhof, Vernatsch
Bergmannhof, Vernatsch

Bergmannhof, Vernatsch

Südtirol / Alto Adige, Italy 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$35.00
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Bergmannhof, Vernatsch

Mark my words: One day soon, the remarkable wines of Bergmannhof will hold the same reverence and fame that Nusserhof and Foradori already command. After personally visiting Alto Adige two months ago, I’m convinced these are some of the most exciting artisanal reds of Northern Italy…all of Italy…all of Europe—and I cannot wait to prove it in today’s stunning two-part feature. First up, is their exquisite and tremendously thirst-quenching Vernatsch (aka Schiava), a gem currently holding court with some of France’s red-hot wines of the moment like Jura Poulsard and Cru Beaujolais.

Today’s ’21 dazzles with light-footed grace and red-fruited splendor—but do not mistake that for simplicity. Certified Organic fruit, hand-farmed vineyards, and barrel aging ensure that this red’s superb refreshment is always accompanied by substantial texture. Now, onto the troubling news: Did I mention Bergmannhof was microscopic in size? Clocking in at a ridiculously meager 240 cases, this is one of their “larger” cuvées, very few of which made it overseas. Don’t short yourself. 

NOTE: Stay eagle-eyed for Bergmannhof’s second offering this afternoon. Less than 100 bottles entered America and each one will weaken the knees of serious Bordeaux connoisseurs.

With just a few hectares of vines on the outskirts of Bolzano, the Pichlers have been proud grape growers in their locale of Eppan since the mid-1800s. Wine bearing the “Bergmannhof” name, however, didn’t come until 1978 when Karl and Josef Pichler, fueled by their family’s generations-deep expertise, began crafting their own wines. Today, Karl’s grandson, Johannes, overseas their small-scale operation with fastidious detail via manual vineyard work, organic certification, and the minimal output of emissions as a member of the “Climate Neutral Alliance.”

When the Südtirol was part of Austria, it was considered part of the “warm” south and therefore better suited to red wine production. The capital city, Bolzano, which sits in a basin at the confluence of the Isarco and Adige Rivers, gets very hot in the summer, and warm air currents rush up through the Adige Valley from Lake Garda to the south. The most-planted red grape here is Schiava (also known as Vernatsch and Trollinger), and it’s long been the “workhorse” of the Italian Dolomites. In recent decades, this is a wine that has found fame alongside the likes of Trousseau and Poulsard from France’s Jura—wine-bar staples of seemingly effortless charm. But Bergmannhof puts serious effort into theirs.

Today’s Vernatsch is sourced from their handful of Certified Organic estate vines due west of Bolzano. Although the vines are 20 years of age and younger, the parcels themselves have been hand-farmed by the family for generations. After a manual harvest in September of 2021, the grapes were transported to their cellar to begin a spontaneous fermentation in large, neutral oak barrels. Upon completion, the wine continued maturing on lees for an additional six months. It was bottled unfiltered in the Spring of 2022. 

Served between 55-60 degrees (not any higher!) in all-purpose stems, Bergmannhof’s 2021 Vernatsch reveals gorgeous, translucent hues of ruby and vermilion. The nose greets you with soft and deeply refreshing aromas of wet green strawberry, grapefruit peel, crushed raspberry, spiced red plum, damp moss, bay laurel, and blood orange. The medium-bodied palate is ethereal and electrifying, gushing with soft, juicy textures within a light mineral frame. It’s incredibly delicious, rendering a one-glass limit impossible. While the pairings for today’s wine are endless, this is certainly a bottle that should find its way onto this year’s Thanksgiving table if you’re able to keep your stash that long!

Bergmannhof, Vernatsch


Northwestern Italy


Italy’s Piedmont region is really a wine “nation”unto itself, producing world-class renditions of every type of wine imaginable: red, white, sparkling, name it! However, many wine lovers fixate on the region’s most famous appellations—Barolo and Barbaresco—and the inimitable native red that powers these wines:Nebbiolo.



The area known as “Chianti” covers a major chunk of Central Tuscany, from Pisa to Florence to Siena to Arezzo—and beyond. Any wine with “Chianti” in its name is going to contain somewhere between 70% to 100% Sangiovese, and there are eight geographically specific sub-regions under the broader Chianti umbrella.

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