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.
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 was 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
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 vinotheque located in the winery’s older structure. Soon, we are met by Nals Margried’s winemaker, Harald Schraffl.