The fruit comes from head-trained old vines and is harvested in early September. This is truly remarkable plant material in very old vineyards; some dating to Roman times. The soils in Manduria are red iron-rich clays with large calcareous rocks, shells and coral from ancient sea beds. We’re talking ancient, gnarled baskets hugging the ground and rocks around them, ancient chariots buried underneath, lost civilization stuff.
Primitivo, aka Zinfandel: DNA analysis shows Primitivo is genetically identical to Zinfandel.
Carole Meredith of UC Davis, the most important genetic academic in the world of wine, has confirmed Primitivo & Zinfandel have identical DNA. Primitivo and Zinfandel, however, have not been officially defined as synonymous by the TTB. We presented Dr. Meredith’s findings with the Layer Cake Primitivo label and received the first-ever Certificate of Label Approval with Primitivo and Zinfandel used as synonyms on the label, yet the TTB has still not posted them as interchangeable in the regulations.
This historic estate has been in the possession of the Egger-Spogler family since 1893, but has a viticultural tradition that goes back centuries. Custodians of this land, the Spogler family has looked over the indigenous varietals on the estate for generations. While many vines are older, the average age of the vineyards is 70 years.
A library of native varietals, the majority of this 12 acre property is dedicated to Lagrein. Located in a valley between the mountains, the Lagrein flourishes in the warm, porphyric soils of the Larcherhof vineyards. In addition, several rare clones of Schiava call the estate home, including Klein-, Mitter-, Edel-, Tschaggele- and Grauvernatsch. Located in the classico St. Magdalener zone, Larcherhof crafts a distinct St. Magdalener wine, a category consider the “queen of Schiava.”
For years, Larcherhof sold its grapes to the local consorzio. It was only in 2008 that the Spogler family decided to being making their own estate production. The almost Mediterranean climate of the area is an ideal precondition for the cultivation of high quality red wines. Through ecological cultivation of the vines and yield reduction, grapes reach their optimal quality levels. Central to Larcherhof’s sustainable practice is the manual care and harvest of the grapes, as well as the extreme limitation of chemical treatments in the vineyard.
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