Lago di Caldaro

Smooth sailing Schiava on the Alps’ warmest lake.

Transport yourself to the easy-going and tranquil lake-side of Lago di Caldaro with refreshing and smooth Schiava wines from this fun-loving DOC.

What to expect from Lago di Caldaro

Lago di Caldaro, or in German "Kalterersee," is all about smooth red wines made from Schiava. These are fresh and fruity wines, with cherry, violet, and candied fruit flavors, made from grapes grown near the warm and shallow Caldaro Lake. The warm breezes funneled up from the southern Ora winds along with the high levels of sunshine mean Schiava can ripen easily here.

Look for “Classico” or “Klassisches” on the label to find some of the more robust wines. The grapes used for these come from some of the original villages that helped kickstart the region. Some examples are Appiano, Termeno, Egna, and Bronzolo.

You can also see Superiore on the label - this means the grapes are a bit riper and should be of higher quality than the most basic Lago di Caldaro wines. These wines also will have a few extra months of aging, though not necessarily in oak barriques.

There’s also the possibility of finding Auslese on the label - meaning selected harvest. These wines are 100% Schiava, ripened longer, producing less sweet wines and more full-bodied.

Finally, if you see “Vigna” on the label followed by the name of a vineyard, this is a single vineyard expression from Lago di Caldaro, and they tend to be the highest quality you can find. For example: Vigna Windegg and Vigna Artzenhof.

Did you know?

Lago di Caldaro is a separate DOC from Alto Adige, but it sits within the same geographical zone. Lago di Caldaro became a DOC a few years before Alto Adige.

The wines from Lago di Caldaro were very popular with countries that didn’t produce much of their own red wines, like Switzerland, Germany, and Austria in the 1970s and 1980s. The lake itself was, and still is, really popular with tourists for sailing, swimming and just having a good time.

The fresh and light style of red wine was perfect for hanging out next to the lake. However, this popularity caused a dip in quality as people tried to overproduce to meet demand. Thankfully producers today focus on quality, and you can find a range of Schiava wines from simple and fresh, to more serious and structured from this DOC.