Trattmann Vineyard.


The historic winery produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines of clear distinction. Cantina Girlan’s terroir-focused wines are admired for their specificity and original expression of the Alto Adige region, also known as South Tyrol. Located on the foothills of the Dolomites on the border of Italy and Austria, it is a terroir ideal for wine growing.



Cantina Girlan makes characterful wines that are an expression of place, using international grape varieties – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio – as well as reviving the local historical grape Schiava/Vernatsch, all the while respecting the flow and rhythm of nature.

The 100-year-old winery was founded in the village of Girlan in the heart of Alto Adige by 24 winegrowing families who remain central to the company. Today, with chair Oscar Lorandi at the helm and winemaker Gerhard Kofler in the cellar, Cantina Girlan is best known for its award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.


The historical winery was founded in 1923 on a 16th-century farmhouse in the village of Girlan, to the north of Trento, and is home today to a state-of-the-art modern winery and visitor center.

The story of Alto Adige is central to the story of Girlan. Sitting at the northernmost part of Italy on the borders of Austria, Alto Adige joined Italy following World War I and, since 1948, has established itself as an autonomous region retaining much of its unique culture. It is also bilingual, with Italian and German taught at school and spoken throughout.

“People who grow up here have a strong relation to land; there is a sense of belonging and respecting tradition,” says Cantina Girlan’s chair Oscar Lorandi. “Our winemakers mostly studied in Germany but are influenced by Italy. You could say we blend German rational thinking with Italian creativity.”

Today, Cantina Girlan benefits from 200 committed and passionate winegrowing families who farm 230 hectares of vineyards in the best production areas of Oltradige and Bassa Atesina. On average, each family farms just over one hectare, which allows for an incredible level of attention to viticulture. Critically, Girlan’s winemaker, Gerhard Kofler, is at hand at every step, professionally guiding and offering his expertise before, during and post growing season to ensure the grapes are of the highest quality.

Among the more prominent Cantina Girlan members is the owner of the Trattmann vineyard in Mazon, Hansjörg Holzknecht, who cultivates Pinot Noir for Girlan’s Trattmann Pinot Noir Riserva. Sitting on the executive board at Cantina Girlan and owner of some of the best-located vineyards is Josef Niedrist, whose grandfather was one of the 24 winegrowers who founded Cantina Girlan. He now runs a wine nursery, providing the best quality clones and rootstock to other vineyards. Meanwhile, joining the winery in 1980, Patricia von Elzenbaum is a winegrower from Mazon, where her family farms only Pinot Noir, with Girlan Patricia Pinot Noir named in her honor.

“Success for a winery like ours is to make individual wines that represent the territory”

– Cantina Girlan chair Oscar Lorandi

Bottle of Girlan Patricia Pinot Noir.


Region: Alto Agide (South Tyrol)
Founded: 1923
Chair: Oscar Lorandi
Winemaker: Gerhard Kofler
Vineyards: Mazon, Girlan and Pinzon

The modern Cantina Girlan winery, cellars and visitor center is located on the grounds of the original 16th-century farmhouse in the heart of Girlan. The striking Vinotheque tasting rooms take advantage of the historical vaulted ceilings, and the restored ancient staircase leads visitors theatrically to the cellar, while the paved flooring, with its fragments of stone, is made to resemble the large erratic rocks that make up the landscape of Girlan.

The Alto Adige terroir is ideal for wine growing. To the north are the Dolomite mountains and Alps, which have a positive cooling impact on the territory, while the Mediterranean to the south brings in much warmer climate. Here, days are warm and nights are cool, and the soil benefits from gravel stone, limestone and volcanic soils, all of which help with growing different grape varieties.

In the last decade, the winery has put a great deal of focus on Chardonnay, soil mapping the various plots and experimenting with mini-production volumes to understand how best to grow the grape in the different sites. This extensive research led to the creation of Marna Chardonnay, made from a selection of the best Chardonnay grapes. Marna will make her debut with the 2022 vintage.

Girlan has also dedicated 40 hectares to cultivating Pinot Noir on the estate’s primary crus, with a focus on enhancing the characteristics of the wine to be unique to Alto Adige. Today, the winery is now recognized as one of the top quality Pinot Noir producers within Italy with Trattmann Pinot Noir Riserva awarded Gambero Rosso’s “Tre Bicchieri” distinction for 10 consecutive years, from 2010 to 2019. Meanwhile, Concorso Nazionale del Pinot Nero ranked the wine “Best Italian Pinot Noir” for the 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2020 vintages.

Two of the estate’s main crus are Girlan and Mazon. Most of the vineyards are situated in Girlan, which sits among gently rolling slopes on the Monte di Mezzo between San Michele and the Valle dell’Adige, at altitudes 450 to 550 meters above sea level. The soil here is gravelly and argillaceous, while the temperature can flux between day and night, especially in the fall. Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the main grapes grown here, with the terroir’s unique characteristics producing white wines that are mineral, fresh and with a clear structure.

The west-oriented Mazon vineyards, which extend between 360 and 430 meters above sea level, are regarded as among the best sites to grow Pinot Noir in Italy. The clay soil contains limestone, and the slopes face the afternoon sun, for vineyards which benefit from superb conditions to produce a Pinot Noir noted for its elegant structure, including Patricia Pinot Noir and Trattmann Pinot Noir.


Cantina Girlan’s focus is on its primary grapes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio, as well as reviving the historical grape Schiava/Vernatsch, all the while respecting the flow and rhythm of nature. The philosophy at Girlan is anchored in creating wines that represent Alto Adige, and this means little intervention in the cellar.

Winemaker Gerhard Kofler likens his team’s approach to a fusion of science and philosophy. On the one hand, precision and clarity are key elements in Cantina Girlan’s wines, so fermentation time and temperature are precisely controlled in order to bring the terroir and varietal character into the glass as unadulterated as possible.
On the other hand, Kofler believes a deep understanding of each individual vineyard, knowledge of the varieties and clone types, is fundamental to allow nature to take its course. This means the plots are harvested individually and by hand. Timing is directed by Kofler who will evaluate the situation while taking into account the annually changing weather conditions.

The Chardonnay wines are vinified in 5,000 to 7,000-liter Slovenian oak to maintain the fresh, fruity, clean, salty and mineral characteristics of the wines. Meanwhile, Girlan Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc will undergo fermentation in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The Patricia Pinot Noir is barrel-aged for a year in large 1,500 to 5,000 liter French oak, aging further in the bottle. Trattmann Pinot Noir spends one year in barrique, followed by eight months in large French oak barrels while undergoing further bottle aging before market release.

From soil to the people, sustainability is a key driver at Cantina Girlan, with solar panels largely powering the winery, farming with minimal chemicals and utilizing water-saving drip irrigation. For wine production, it has invested in an in-house photovoltaic system, reducing energy consumption by as much as 50 percent. Meanwhile, the company uses unbleached natural cork, and the latest initiative involves a switch to lightweight bottles across the range, significantly reducing the CO2 footprint of the production.


Maze Row imports six wines from Cantina Girlan, including the estate’s elegant, terroir expressive Marna Chardonnay and prized Trattmann Pinot Noir Riserva.


Trattmann Pinot Noir
Marna Chardonnay
Patricia Pinot Noir
Indra Sauvignon
Pinot Grigio
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