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The WineHunter Award 2023 honors Wildbacher's exceptional and vigorous uniqueness - Col Sandago

The publication of The WineHunter Award guide has been announced: a collection of the prestigious tasting work of the eight tasting committees under the guidance of Helmuth Köcher – The WineHunter.

Approximately 8,000 wines were tasted in the tasting sessions, where the different aspects and characteristics of each wine were evaluated to award the prestigious prizes.

For the 2023 edition, Col Sandago competed with some of its best wines, but it was the uniqueness of Wildbacher that won the favor of the judges.

This uniqueness had been already highlighted by Luigi Veronelli: “The grape variety known as Wildbacher is one of those few, very few, born in foreign lands that have found such an ideal place – Col Sandago – that they can no longer leave…”.


Wildbacher Metodo Classico Extra Brut 2018, a fascinating and persistent expression of the variety, received the Gold Award. The Rosso Award went to Wildbacher Colli Trevigiani IGT 2018, Col Sandago’s iconic red, with limited and precious production and great aging potential, and to Wildbacher Brut Rosé, the refined Charmat Method sparkling wine with aromatic notes of wild strawberry and rose.


Wildbacher, “a rare diamond with a thousand facets”, is a grape variety from Styria that was saved from oblivion thanks to Martino Zanetti’s intuition and determination. In the hands of expert agronomists, this proud and rather stubborn vine grows like a great little masterpiece, the rows are scrupulously designed, the small bunches, with compact and slightly fleshy grapes, are harvested strictly by hand. At Col Sandago, Wildbacher is available in three exceptional variants which will also be featured at the Merano Wine Festival from November 4 to 6.

The WineHunter Award 2023 recognition once again confirms the greatness and uniqueness of these bottled masterpieces, whose fascinating and captivating history has found a new contemporaneity at Col Sandago.