"Small-scale viticulture has been practiced in Caldaro for centuries. Fair'n Green supports us in our endeavor to create the necessary conditions for this and to preserve it in the future. "
- Tobias Zingerle, Managing Director
The winery Cantina Kaltern was born from the merger of the original four local cellar cooperatives. In 1986, the "Erste Kellerei" and the "Neue Kellerei" (founded in 1900 and 1925) had joined to form the winery "Erste + Neue". In 1992, the other two wineries - the “Bauernkellerei” and the “Jubiläumskellerei” (founded in 1906 and 1908) - formed the Kellerei Kaltern. In 2016, the merger of Erste+Neue and Cantina Kaltern lead to today's “Kellerei Cantina Kaltern”.
There are about 1000 winegrowers In caldaro. The majority of them have less than one hectare of land. The Cantina Kaltern itself has 650 members with a total vineyard area of 471 hectares. 3.4 million bottles of red and white wine are produced each year.
Many of the member companies maintain in addition to the vineyards also apartments or guest rooms.
Many vineyards of Cantina Caldaro have been family owned for a long time. The formerly common division among several heirs led to a strong fragmentation in many small wine plots. Processing and marketing the harvest on its own is no longer economical here. Nevertheless, these areas continue to be managed. For this reason, a large part of the winemakers Kalterns is organized cooperatively. Here, the members are not only pure suppliers, but co-owners of the winery.
Most of the members of the cooperative are not winegrowers or winegrowers in the main occupation, but carry out another professional activity. However, they devote part of the working time or their free time to the vineyards. Frequently, the entire family is included, as many jobs in the vineyard are done by hand. The members of the cooperative are professionally assisted by agronomists and oenologists and supported and trained in viticultural matters.
The cooperative system is not only an important economic factor in Caldaro, but also a social triple point in the city. Numerous social activities - such as wine festivals or cultural events - are initiated, planned and carried out through the cooperative. The Kellerei Kaltern is thus an important social player for the town and the entire region.
The sustainability principle
For a historically grown and locally rooted wine cooperative, sustainability plays a crucial role on many levels. This starts with the cooperative's business model, in which every member is also the owner of the winery. The ecological sustainability is strengthened by targeted measures of the winery and the members: it is, for example, much more efficient and thus resource-efficient to process the grapes of the city in a central winery instead of four different smaller wineries. In the course of a comprehensive modernization, the cellars and operating buildings of Cantina Kaltern were recently rebuilt and extensively modernized.
Regular training courses, joint meetings and vineyard visits with wine and environmental consultants are organized for the members of the cooperative. In order to achieve a high quality of grapes, all members must adhere to the commonly defined rules. At the same time, training is also being provided to promote biodiversity and environmentally-friendly plant protection. The work in the vineyard is documented and externally reviewed.
In addition, Cantina Kaltern supports and promotes the small member businesses and thus actively contributes to the preservation of a unique cultural landscape on Lake Caldaro.