Introduction

You might only be an hour or so south of the Brenner pass, but there's no mistaking the Mediterranean vibe along South Tyrol's Weinstrasse, or the Strada del Vino. It begins northwest of Bolzano in Nals, meanders past Terlano (Terlan) through Upper Adige (Überetsch) and Lower Adige (Unterland) until it reaches Salorno (Salurn). Grapevines cover gentle rolling hills, fringed with palm trees and apple orchards. It's a gentle, relaxed place where you can taste the region's world-famous white wines made from native grape varieties (Lagrein, Vernatsch and Gewürztraminer) along with well-adapted imports pinot blanc, sauvignon, merlot and cabernet, or you can swim, windsurf or sun-worship at its central lake the Kalterer See, the warmest body of water in the region. Of course, glimpses of the mighty Dolomites at every turn will remind you that you're still in the Alps.