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Kuenhof, owned by Peter and Brigitte Pliger, is one of the best white wine estates in Italy. Their steep, stony vineyards are in the part of the South Tyrol called the Val d'Isarco (or Eisacktal), not far from the border with Austria. They grow Sylvaner, Veltliner and Riesling organically, and their wines show an almost electric mineral character. If the duty of a great wine is to be distinctive, these wines stand out like beacons -- great terroir, careful grape-growing, brilliant winemaking, and extraordinary wines.