South Tyrol, also called Alto Adige in Italian and Südtirol in German, is one of the oldest German-speaking wine-growing regions. After being part of the Austrian Empire for more than 600 years and becoming one of the top wine regions in Europe, South Tyrol became part of Italy after World War I. Italian influence increased in the region thereafter however South Tyrol remained largely autonomous and retained both German and Italian as official languages. After World War II focus shifted to mass production of wines leading to a decline in market share and reputation. Only in 1975 visionaries like Alois Lageder switched focus back to quality and led the region back to the top.
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