Mountain Made Brilliance: Visiting Nals Margreid Winery


Kate + Vin

Nals Margreid Cantina Alto Adige
sudtirol vineyard icon 1

Nals Margreid is one of South Tyrol’s most fascinating wineries. Discover how this mountain estate pours centuries of brilliance into everything it produces.

Driving along the South Tyrolean Wine Road it’s hard not to be distracted by the sheer beauty that unfolds around every corner and hill. Lush vineyards continuously dazzle one’s eyes as they cascade down steeply terraced slopes toward waves of vibrant apple orchards.

Beyond the natural grandeur, centuries-old castles and steeples dot the Italian landscape endlessly adding to one’s sense of wonder. Among all this medieval magnificence, you’ll also encounter modern architectural marvels that arouse even more intrigue to the mountainous skylines.

nals margreid winery sunlight
The design of Nals Margreid is so captivating at first sight you can be forgiven if you forget to taste its wines.

As we arrived for our tour and tasting at the Nals Margreid Winery in Nalles, a quaint mountain hamlet between Merano and Bolzano, it became clear that South Tyroleans’ love for wine may only be rivaled by their passion for erecting striking structures.

The Nals Margreid Winery impresses within and without. Designed by South Tyrolean architect, Markus Scherzer, and built in 2011 after the merger of The Cellars Nalles and Magre-Niclara wineries, the main building springs up from its natural surroundings resembling intricately engineered origami.

Massive windows reveal the winery’s inner workings. The entire wine production process is visible from the barrels, presses and vats. Peering inside it’s evident that while functionality and sustainable production were paramount to the building’s state-of-the-art design, aesthetics were not sacrificed in any way. No doubt a testament to the exceptional creative talents of hard-working South Tyroleans.  

The Architect of Wine

nals margreid cantina
Designed by South Tyrolean architect, Markus Scherzer, the Nals Margreid Winery springs up from its natural surroundings resembling intricately engineered origami.

After taking in the winery from the outside, we proceed to the main court which resembles a charming town square. We find our friend and South Tyrol expert, Reka Hukari, inside the winery’s rustic vinoteque located in the winery’s older structure. Soon, we are met by Nals Margried’s winemaker, Harald Schraffl.

Harald has been the winery’s technical magician since 2005. Upon meeting him, one can’t help wonder if he is a close relative of Brad Pitt. We mention this to him and he assures us with a good laugh that he is not! Harald leads us through the vinoteque back to the courtyard. He points out that the vinoteque, like the rest of the winery, blends modern elements with the old such as its cobblestone flooring, which dates back to 1764. Not coincidentally, we soon learn Harald’s philosophy for producing wines exhibits the same reverence for tradition and innovation.

nals margreid winery map
Nals Margreid wine is produced from 14 distinct wine-growing regions in South Tyrol.

In the courtyard, we enjoy another sunlit evening as Harald tells us about the vineyards Nals Margreid relies on to produce its exquisite vintages. Today, 140 growers cultivate a wide range of local grape varieties covering more than 370 acres of vineyards, which sit at 200 and 900 meters above sea level.

Harald points to a map anchored to the side of the winery. It identifies vineyards weaving through 14 wine-growing areas in Alto Adige — spanning from Nalles/Nals to Magrè/Margreid. Given this large expanse of growing areas, Nals Margeid wine expresses an incredible range of microclimates and soils.

Cultivating a Balance Between Innovation & Tradition

nals margreid winery tour south tyrol
Renowned winemaker, Harald Schraffl, explains Nals Margreid’s sustainable production processes.

We move from the courtyard into the initial production facility in the winery’s new building. Here, Harald shares that a hallmark of Nals Margreid wines is their sophisticated harmonization with the natural environment. The winery employs sustainable methods wherever possible. That means no herbicides. Pests and diseases are mitigated through eco-friendly techniques  This approach embodies Nals Margreid’s values and extends to the production process.

Once the grapes are brought to the winery, they are sent through the destemmer and immediately pressed. Instead of using pumps through the process, Nals Margreid utilizes the full strength of gravity. This gently ensures the preservation of all the characteristics that the soils and grape varieties impart to the wines. The winery holds 250 steel tanks to separate the grapes from their various producers.

Harald Nals Margreid Winery Cellars

Next, we follow Harald back outside and across the courtyard where we pause at a seemingly inaccessible cellar. Above us is a looming angular roof structure that appears to float as it juts out into the Alpine sky. Then, like an illusionist, Harald opens a massive hidden door camouflaged as part of the cellar’s outer wall. We laugh and follow him inside.

He gives us a tour through rows of stacked barrels performing their aging alchemy to transform grapes into vintages certain to wow the lips. We learn the oldest cellar on site dates back to 1764.

Swirls With a VIew

After strolling around the cellars, Harald leads us up to the winery’s tasting area. We step out onto an inviting terrace that draws our eyes over an impressive vista filled with mountains and rustic rooftops. Drinking wine anywhere is a pleasure. Here, it is divine.

harald schraffl nals margreid

After inhaling the view, we join Harald at a table where he has set out three bottles of wine for us to sample.

The first is the award-winning 2015 Sirmian Pinot Bianco also known as Weissburgunder. Just as South Tyrol is Italy’s best-kept secret, the same could be said for Pinot Bianco, which is a more enlightening counterpart to Pinot Grigio. Alto Adige produces the world’s best Pinot Bianco and Nals Margreid’s Sirmian should be at the top of your list. It is unforgettable. And no surprise the wine Nals Margreid is most famous for. 

nals margreid pinot bianco

Once poured and swirled in our glasses, the wine reveals aromas of apple, pineapple and peach. It delightfully dances in the mouth and has a slightly acidic finish. A true expression of Alpine wine. Harald mentions that this wine is the perfect companion to pasta, risotto or fish. We can’t wait to try it at our next meal.

Next, we taste the 2015 Mantele Sauvignon, which is aged 8 months in big oak barrels. Its fresh and fruity aromas include notes of citrus, grapefruit, blooming elderflower and pepper. Harald informs us the deep gravel of the Mantele growing area provides their Sauvignon with its spiciness and body.

nals margreid sauvignon blanc

The area’s cool evenings and the high heat during the day help imbue its fresh structure and fruity bouquet. It is a wine that goes well with starters and veggie-based dishes especially asparagus. We really enjoyed this wine and could easily make it our go-to when relaxing on a summer day.

Last, we taste the intensely crimson 2015 Lagrein, which is grown further south near Bolzano where the grape thrives in warmer temperatures. As we’ve noted in previous posts, Lagrein was relatively unknown to us so we were thrilled to be trying one at Nals Margreid. For those not familiar with Lagrein it is a centuries-old grape native to Alto Adige.

nals margreid lagrein

Nals Margreid’s Lagrein revealed blueberry aromas, a trace of cherry and medium-bodied with a spicy taste. As fans of wild game, this is a wine we would definitely choose when enjoying venison stew. However, we thought it was also nicely balanced and could enjoy it on its own while unwinding after a busy day.

After the wine tasting, Harald invited us to consume the view from the terrace a bit longer. We were not about to decline. When you encounter such sights you’d be crazy not to savor them just like a fine glass of wine.

Enjoy Nals Margreid at Home & in South Tyrol

nals margreid vinotek

Nals Margreid’s star is rising in the United States. While it’s a newer market for the winery, be sure to ask for their exquisite wines at your local wine shop. We recently found a Nals Margreid 2014 Galea Schiava, which is a lighter-bodied red from the winery. After pouring, it required a bit of breathing before opening up into an easy-to-drink wine that was truly delicious (it did not last long!). We have since gone back and purchased a few more bottles for our wine rack.

If you’re planning a trip to South Tyrol, add Nals Margreid to your itinerary. You will not be disappointed. With a rental car, you can easily reach the winery, which is located on the northern end of the South Tyrolean Wine Road. If you are blessed to have Harald as your guide, tell him greetings from Throne & Vine!

You can learn more about Nals Margreid’s wines and available tours by visiting their website.

42 thoughts on “Mountain Made Brilliance: Visiting Nals Margreid Winery”

  1. I visited Tyrol in winter and it probably wasn’t the best time to explore the wineries so I had to skip that part on my trip this time, I would’ve loved to do it though. Nals Margreid Winery looks amazing and the setting is fantastic, love the view of the snow-capped hills in the backdrop. Just reading the description of the wine with blueberry aroma, a trace of cherry and spicy taste is making me want to have some of it myself!

  2. The Nals Margreid Winery is surely a stunning mix of old and new world. Modern Architecture and the natural set up will give more kick to senses. Kudos to South Tyroleans for adhering to sustainable means of wine production. I’ll certainly try to find and grab a bottle of Nals Margreid’s Mantele in India.

  3. Vineyards and wineries have their own magic. A visit to a winery always turns out to be a heady experience. If the winery is in such spectacular settings as the Nals Margreid Winery then the experience is sure to go to another level, altogether. The views of the vineyards with the backdrop of the snow clad mountains is stunning and the stuff that dreams are made of.

  4. The Nals Margreid Winery is surely set among some of the most stunning scenery I’ve see of any winery – what a stunning view of the alps! And the architecture is quite modern – I can totally understand the likeness made to origami. Seriously – I can’t get over the scenery – from the tasting room, I know the photos focus on the wine themselves, but the alps in the background are just STUNNING! I’ll have to see if I can find a bottle of Nals Margreid’s Sirmian in Australia. Or, short of that, just travel to South Tyrol!

  5. We love a trip to a good winery and have been on a number in the past from California to Spain and France. We love the landscapes and atmosphere of Northern Italy and combined with the excellent wine the South Tyrol sounds a perfect place for us..

  6. I’ve done wine tasting just one and it was a great experience. I should start doing it more often. This winery goes straight to my list. Such a chick place!

  7. This look like an amazing experience, the wine, the views and that modern architecture – wow – Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. I love visiting wineries when we travel. My husband would love this one since he does a lot of origami. Pinning for future reference.

  9. Crossroads of Innovation and tradition are always interesting. They are rooted in the past but looking at the future, I think this is what you experienced at Nals Margreid winery.

  10. Woah that scenery is something out of a fairytale! And it’s a winery?! I’m sold! What a cool insight into the delicate winemaking process, sounds like an awesome day in a stunning building. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and wonderful account, I feel as though I were there with you!

  11. This would be a dream come true for me. I absolutely love Italy and wine, so give me a wine tour in Italy and I’m in heaven! Thank you for sharing your awesome experience!

  12. We are overdue for a wine region holiday so I’m bookmarking this one, the beautiful scenery along the route is calling to me!

  13. We spent our honeymoon hiking through South Tyrol and it is honestly one of the best places I have ever visited. I LOVED all the wine we tried, but we didn’t manage to visit any of the wineries. I feel like this is enough of an excuse for us to go back! <3

  14. i’ve always wanted to do some sort of winery excusrious in italy, where you get to learn about the wine and how to drink it and the various smells and such! This looks amazing, whenever I am back in Italy I will have to check this out! And that modern architecture, oh wow! it is stunning!!

  15. wow this winery looks amazing! I love the Architecture of the building especially… But any free wine tasting is good with me if I’m totally honest 😉

  16. Wow! I was not expecting to see a vineyard with snow covered mountains in the background. That is something else. I came to realize in this side of the world (live in the US) we do not know that much about the amazing wine routes in Europe. Yes, you heard about certain places in France, Spain and Italy but there is so much more!

  17. Wine tasting is pretty much my favourite thing to do on vacation (haha!) but as you’ve outlined here it’s even better when the vineyards have more to offer, in the form of gorgeous architecture. This looks like such a great spot to spend a sunny afternoon!

  18. What an incredible trip! We have often thought of driving the area between Merano and Bolzano but we never thought of exploring the South Tyrolean Wine Road: what an amazing idea, thank you!

  19. Wow I need to check out this winery. Very different than the ones I’ve seen in Italy. It looks so modern and sleek!

  20. I don’t know what I would enjoy more – the stunning scenery or the delicious wine! Alto Adige produces amazing stuff, and that Pinot Bianco sound especially tasty.


  21. I used to go wine tasting all the time, but I haven’t done it in a while. But I’ve never done wine tasting at a place with such a gorgeous backdrop.

  22. This was so cool to learn about the he wine making process! I love wine, but I really don’t know much about it. This vineyard looks gorgeous.

  23. I’ve been to Italy so many times and I’m completely in love with the North. My bf is a wine lover, so I’ll recommend this winery to him – and we’ll probably go there on our next visit!

  24. This winery looks amazing! Most of the wineries I’ve tried so far are in Kelowna B.C. in Canada but I would very much like to try some different ones when we travel next so thanks for recommending!

  25. I’m so jealous! I just lived vicariously through this post. I love visiting wineries. It gives you an appreciation for the artistry of wine making.

Comments are closed.

Share this

You cannot copy content of this page