One of the star properties in my Alto Adige list, Weingut Milla is a relatively new entrant to the wine scene, yet it has already established a formidable
reputation for the quality of its 2 wines - Centa and Milla - both red Cabernet-Merlot blends - in a very short space of time, with top reviews and high scores from commentators such as Parker. The bulk of the grapes for these wines are grown in the 3 hectare Milla vineyard, which nestles on the edge of the valley floor below the village of Kurtatsch, which itself sits on a plateau overlooking the Etsch valley below. Most of Milla is at an altitude of about 230m above sea level, although parts of it, and some other small scattered holdings, are on steep slopes risng to altitudes between 350m and 450m. Despite being relatively small, Milla embraces a wide variety of different terrains and soil types, ranging from light chalky soils in flatter areas through to heavier clay soils on the slopes.
Pomella uses no herbicides or artificial fertilizers, and operates some measures to stimulate the soil life in the vineyard.
Both Milla and Centa are made using a broadly similar approach - the constituent varietals are made as individual wines, Merlot being the earliest ripening grape, normally harvested in late September, with Cabernet Franc in early October and Cabernet Sauvignon in mid October. Each wine is individually aged oak prior to blending, when storage in stainless takes over. The wine is further aged in bottle before release. The results from these classic Bordeaux grape varieties are nothing short of outstanding, and if Pomella's intention was to create Alto Adige's answer to fine red Bordeaux then I would argue that he has succeeded. Given that the two wines are so similar in terms of terroir and vinification, what are the differences between them? Essentially it's to do with grape selection, percentage of new wood, and maturation times - see the individual wine descriptions for details. Whilst making comparisons with Bordeaux estates, it's tempting to think of Milla as a "first" wine and Centa as a "second" wine - but in reality it's a little more complex than that. Bordeaux second wine selections tend to be made after the wine is made, according to quality criteria, whereas Centa and Milla are different from the outset and the production processes are subtly different for each. Both are fabulous, but in different ways.
Top tip - if you're ever in Alto Adige and need somewhere to stay, Pomella and his brother also run the stunning in the heart of the delightful village of Kurtatsch - this small intimate hotel is a truly exceptional place to stay and well worth seeking out for the pampering one receives, the pool, the fantastic restaurants (2 of them) and comfortable quality accomodation with fabulous views - and of course the wine!