Italy’s Amazing Grapes — and the $30 White Wine You Should Be Drinking

This Alois Lageder Has Staying Power

BY // 10.12.18

Italy is home to a stupendous number of grape varieties. According to Native Wine Grapes of Italy, Ian D’Agata’s illuminating and comprehensive tome on the country’s uva universe, Italy cultivates more than 2,000 different native grapes, of which a little fewer than 400 are used to make wine in any appreciable commercial volume.

That’s a panoply of grapes that totals more than the native varieties of Greece, Spain and France combined.

That said, the Italian wine landscape clearly contains multitudes of complexity and difference, ensuring that one should never grow bored of sampling the country’s offerings. I recently shared a great bottle with friends that I’ll be adding to my inventory: the 2016 Fórra Bianco Dolomiti IGT from Alois Lageder. It’s a terroir-driven beauty made entirely from Manzoni Bianco grown in the Lageder family’s Paradeis vineyard (and they are farmed biodynamically under Demeter certification).

From Alto Adige, with love: The wines of Alois Lageder are terroir-driven wonders. (Courtesy Alois Lageder)

I am a fan of Alois Lageder wines, and drink them as often as I can. Alois Clemens Lageder, the sixth-generation owner, is an Alto Adige treasure, and I’ve never had anything bad from the label. The Fórra Bianco continues that record. Manzoni Bianco is a cross between Pinot Bianco and Riesling, and the result here is a crisp and dry (bracingly so) wine that possesses a minerality I adore. It’s a structured wine, as well, and the seriousness of the winemaking shines.

Swirl a bit in the glass and you’ll be met with aromas of citrus and (slight) vanilla. On the palate, there’s a spiciness that’s intriguing, along with a fulsome body and flavors of pear. A perfect flinty finish (that wonderful minerality again) makes this wine an ideal partner for sautéed shrimp or crab, and I’m confident I would be happy to pair it with roast chicken.

The Fórra Bianco will cost you around $30, and alcohol comes in at 13 percent. At that price, this wine deserves to be purchased by the case and kept nearby. (I am cellaring a bottle that I plan to open in 2023, because I’m certain this one has staying power.)


  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers
  • De Beers Jewelers

Want more liquid refreshment? Check out PaperCity’s grape and spirits library:

Here’s a Serious California Cab
Drink Provence!
An Irish Whiskey With a Caribbean Twist
A Syrah You’ll Love
Houston Sommelier Charms at River Oaks Restaurant
A Zinfandel for Daily Drinking
A Wine Family’s Excellent Adventure
Four Brothers and Some Great Young Wines
Your Endless Crush Rosé
Enrique Varela Loves Malbec
This Geologist Knows His Italian
A Chardonnay For Your Mother (and You)
Don’t Dismiss the Peat
Distinctive Whisky Enters a New Era
A Whisky Legend Visits Houston
A Rare Cask, Indeed
Austin Whisky, Strange Name
Here’s Your Texas Rum Goddess
A ZaZa Wine Guy Loves Great Service
A Merlot That Your Snob Friend Will Love
French Couple Make a Sauvignon Blanc in California
A Perfect Afternoon Chardonnay
Terry Theise Talks Reisling
A New Wine Wonderland
Paris Wine Goddess Tells All
Rice Village Wine Bar Has a Cleveland Touch
A Texas White Blend for Your Table
A Pinot Noir Full of Flavor
This Pinot Gris From Oregon Pairs Well With Cheese
Willamette, Dammit!
A Value Rioja
Drink Pink!
Underbelly Veteran Goes for Grenache
A Man of Letters and Wine
Ms. Champagne Wants a Nebuchadnezzar
The Wine Artist Goes for Chardonnay
This American Loves Spain and Its Wines
Houston’s Wine Whisperer Has a Soft Touch
Blackberry Farm’s Somm Pours in Splendor
Mr. Pinot Noir: Donald Patz of Patz & Hall
A Cork Dork Wants to Spend More Time in Tuscany
Sommelier Turned Restaurateur Daringly Goes Greek
Texas Master Sommelier Debunks Wine Geeks
A Bottle From Gigondas Changed This Houston Man’s Life

Oil Man Falls in Love, and the Rest is Good-Taste History
Ryan Cooper of Camerata is a Riesling Man
Mixing It Up With Jeremy Parzen, an Ambassador of Italy
Sommelier at One of Houston’s Top Wine Bars Loves Underdogs

Featured Properties


Like PaperCity Dallas on Facebook

Beyond the magazine. Get more of Dallas’ top restaurant, real estate, society, fashion and art in your news feed.