A couple of years ago, we inaugurated our new cellar, built entirely below ground level to ensure maximum functionality: the vineyards do the rest. The key characteristic of our estate is that we are lucky enough to be able to source grapes from three distinct terroirs, at Rosazzo, Buttrio and Rocca Bernarda. Initially, grapes from each subzone are always vinified separately so that we can gather statistical data to improve our understanding of each zone and vine type. Only later on do we go ahead with blending, according to the wine type concerned. The Rosazzo subzone has a warmer, almost Mediterranean, site climate. In fact, we even grow olives here. The sea is relatively close, as the crow flies, and this has an undeniably beneficial impact, although it does perhaps limit the range of temperatures, which is not particularly wide. It is at Rosazzo that we grow most of our red grapes, which yield broad, vibrantly powerful wines.
Whites cultivated here include Tocai Friulano, which derives the originality of its character from the Rosazzo hillsides. We are totally committed to our reds. In part, this is to continue along the path marked out by Ronco dei Roseti, whose 1988 vintage was the first Friulian red to win Three Glasses in Gambero Rosso's Italian Wines guide, but we are equally keen to explore the potential of native varieties like Pignolo and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. It is no secret that one of our major objectives is to promote local vine types and create wines with genuine personalities that defy easy definition. It should also be remembered that forty per cent of our fifty-five hectares of estate-owned and rented vineyards is planted to red grapes, a figure well above the average for the region. Naturally, this does not mean that we neglect whites, which provide the necessary foundations for our very legitimate aspirations.
On whites, our estate philosophy takes a line that is consistent with the strategic decisions implemented for the reds. International varieties that are well established in Friuli, like Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio, find a place in our vineyards but it is on the native grapes that our main hopes and attentions focus.
Tocai Vigne Cinquant'anni, from old vines, some of them at Buttrio, is a truly majestic wine. The 2000 edition provided triumphant proof of that claim when it was awarded the title of Best White in Italy by Gambero Rosso's Italian Wines 2002.
"A powerful, austere wine of aristocratic elegance, so much so that tasting invites the use of terms more commonly used for reds: full, rigorous, subtly, typically bitterish on the back palate, admirable in its depth and complexity".