Franz Haas is the 7th generation in a long line of winemaking artisans in the Alto Adige province of Italy – a region whose culture is a unique reflection of Germanic heritage and Italian nationality. The present-day winery, located in the hillside town of Montagna, is co-owned by Franz and his wife and creative director, Maria Luisa Manna-Haas. Maria Luisa, often referred to as “the heart” of the winery, is a native of Naples and wears the markers of her southern heritage on her sleeve. Her warmth, passion and artistic sensibilities complement Franz’s obsession with science, technology and precision winemaking, to yield wines of exquisite balance and character. From the seven-time Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri award-winning Franz Haas Manna, to the blockbuster consumer-favorite KRIS Pinot Grigio, the Franz Haas estate’s passion for blending art and science is evident in every wine.
Italian Artist Riccardo Schweizer (1924-2004) was the creative genius behind the Franz Haas and KRIS labels. Schweizer was a native of Alto Adige but studied cubism in Paris under such masters as Pablo Picasso and Joan Mirò. This cubist style is evident in the playful, elemental style of the objects depicted on the labels. A close friend of the Haas family in Alto-Adige, Schweizer was able to develop an intimate partnership between the wines and his paintings. The KRIS labels are particularly close to the family’s heart, having been commissioned by Maria Luisa as a gift to her husband Franz for his birthday.
Location of Vineyards
The vineyards are all located in the municipalities of Montagna and Egna, on the slopes of the Cislon Mountain at the base of the Italian Alps. The growing area ranges from 787 to 2,625 feet above sea level, which allows for a variety of microclimates and soil composition. Soils are predominantly porphyric sand, clay and limestone. In the early 1980s the winery invested significantly in planting new high-density vineyards with 6000 to 12,500 low-yield vines per hectare. This has allowed the winery to increase its production of highly concentrated, expressive wines with great aging potential, all the while using less space.
Franz Haas is an expert winemaker and 7th generation owner of the Franz Haas estate. He studied economics at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and honed his winemaking skills with four years of oenology studies in Geisenheim, Germany. His laser-focus on quality, low-yield production methods, and unique mastery of classic Alto Adige grape varietals like Gewerztraminer and Lagrein have gained him much acclaim, including the coveted Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri.