In the Middle Ages, the best-known South Tyrolean wines were named after where they originated: Eppaner, Traminer, Mataner (Montaner), Kaltaner (Kalterer), Curtätscher (Kurtatscher). Blends have always existed, and each region had its own colorful array of grape varieties. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the legendary enologist Edmund Mach (founding director of South Tyrol’s educational institute for agriculture in San Michele) was inspired to import the top French varieties. On the slopes below the village of Kurtatsch, which have southern exposure and are thus very hot, Merlot and Cabernet find ideal growing conditions and soil: clayey gravel with good drainage and a mild fall climate for the final phase of grape ripening. Soma (the ancient Greek word for “body”) is a blend of Cabernet and Merlot, following the model of French Pomerol: the baroque, richly corpulent Merlot sets the tone while the Cabernet’s distinctive fruity notes add spice, elegance and depth. Soma has a lively bouquet reminiscent of cherries, plums and blackberries in addition to laurel and crushed mint leaves. The approach on the palate is firm and juicy; the dark wild berries fleshy. Nuanced tannins lend stability to its rounded, well-balanced body and provide a good constitution for extended bottle aging.