The Istituto Agario di San Michele all’Adige is a benchmark in winemaking education and agricultural research that occupies 247 acres of land at the foot of the Italian Dolomites. The institute cultivates vineyards that are dedicated to education, experimentation and preservation of native varietals. An extension of the renowned institute, the winery of San Michele is located in what was once an Augustan monastery in the 12th century and continues a winemaking tradition on the premises that is over a thousand years old. Expanded over the course of the last 20 years, the winery today features modern enological technology focused on the production of wines made from indigenous Trentino varietals which represent the unique history of winemaking in the region.
The institute was founded in 1874 when the regional Tyrolean Diet at Innsbruck elected to open an agrarian school together with an experiment station at San Michele for the revival of agriculture in Tyrol. The philosophy of the institute’s first director, Edmund Mach, has had an indelible influence on the direction of the institute and continues to be the drive behind its mission even today. Mach believed that a good wine must take into consideration several elements that cannot be separated from one another: the quality of the vineyard, the technical skill of the cellar and the character of the men who live this creation. This integrated approach is at the heart of the school’s curriculm and is a hallmark of all the native varietal wines produced here.
Today, under the guidance of renowned winemaker and professor, Enrico Paternoster, this integration of tradition and scientific knowledge has expanded to include how to protect the patrimony of this unique appellation, researching biological techniques that have a small environmental impact the on delicate balance of these lands. Paternoster oversees each vintage of the institute’s indigenous wines, which includes Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Nosiola, Lagrein and the unique Incrocio Manzoni.