As one of the iconic wine producers of Alto Adige, Alois Lageder and his family have developed very close relationships with many of the other winegrowers of the province and beyond. The Riff project is both an auxiliary brand for Lageder and an outlet for the grapes of an extended network of small, quality-driven farmers outside Alto Adige. The Riff Pinot Grigio is an inexpensive but well-made négociant wine that is sourced, blended, bottled, and marketed by the acclaimed Alois Lageder winery.
The name comes from the German word for reef, reflecting the ancient oceanic origins of the Dolomite Alps. Though now soaring thousands of feet above the plains of the Po River Valley to the south, the Alps were once part of the seabed, where the remains of untold sea creatures slowly hardened into limestone. Millions of years ago, tectonic forces began to push the ocean floor upward to become the Alps of today. The decaying limestone of that prehistoric reef is now a major factor in the vineyard soil of northern Italy.
Begun in the mid-1990s, the goal of the Riff project is to produce premium quality wines with distinctive character and style, unquestionable quality, and extraordinary market value. The Alois Lageder winemaking team carefully selects the wines on-site for their body, texture, elegant aromatics, and crisp acidity. They are matured on their lees in stainless steel tanks, then blended and bottled at Lageder’s Löwengang winemaking facilities in Magrè, Alto Adige. The combination of grapes from numerous different vineyards in various locations gives the wines complexity and depth of flavor. The winery is currently undergoing an initiative with its winegrowing partners to have Riff certified organic by 2020.