“When I finished my training, I felt it was time to try something new. I was interested in fruit growing and asked myself: How well do apples do on the mountain, at almost 1,000 metres above sea-level? Apples normally grow down in the valley.” That is how Thomas Kohl remembers the beginnings. Since then he has taken a number of bold steps, converting the farm where his father and grandfather kept cows to near-natural apple growing.
And it worked! At this height, where Unterinn am Ritten is situated, ‘mountain apples’ is the official terminology. There are no vines up here, but the mountain apples thrive. They like the more intensive sunshine and the cool wind that blows down from the mountain in the evening. As a result they develop a unique sugar/acid balance.
But simply growing apples was not enough for Thomas Kohl; he wanted to create something different, something special, something unique. He thought he should look beyond his own backyard – or rather down into the valley, where grapes are grown in South Tyrol. If you look carefully, as Thomas Kohl did, you see the many similarities with regard to grapes and apples, varieties and sites. In the meantime the South Tyrolean has transformed apple juice from a simple standard drink into something very special.
He presses the apples on a single-variety basis and fills the juice into elegant bottles. Such a fine beverage is not something you pour down your throat simply to quench your thirst or mix to make an apple spritzer. It is there to be savoured, nicely chilled at eight to ten degrees and in the right shape of glass.
Fruit from on high for sweetness plus plenty of acidity!