In 1960, 26 winegrowers from Colterenzio in Appiano founded their own cooperative in order to gain their independence from the wine merchants of the time. These rebels named the newly-founded cooperative after their homeland, the small hamlet of Schreckbichl, (Colterenzio in Italian). In their constant pursuit of top quality, the Colterenzio winemakers were also pioneers. The initial founder was Luis Raifer, who took over the management of the young cooperative in 1979. When he returned to South Tyrol from a study trip in California, he had big plans in mind. It was in the 1980s, South Tyrol was primarily a red-wine region, and the quality was run-of-the-mill. Raifer, a winegrower himself, recognised the potential of South Tyrol as an outstanding winegrowing region: The terroir was cheap, sufficient vineyard area was available and the winegrowers were hard-working and skilled. His first step in his vineyard, “Lafóa”, a sunny mountain slope behind the Colterenzio cellar, was to replace the Vernatsch vines with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and, later, Sauvignon Blanc. He also brought in new quality standards: Lower yield for higher-quality grapes and higher-quality wines. It was on this pilot vineyard slope that, with both Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon, the new quality standard measures were introduced.
This quality philosophy extended its reach to all members of the cooperative: new grape varietals were experimented with, and quality groups created. Today, the members and workers at the cellar are committed to working in line with this model throughout the entire winegrowing area, the cellars and for all wines.
The 300 partner winegrowers of the Colterenzio winery are the backbone of the company. They work year-round on their wine hills with their families in order to supply us with top-quality wine grapes in autumn.