I CLIVI (Friuli (Collio), Italy)
Within almost walking distance to the Slovenian border of Northeast Italy, stands the house of the Zanusso family farm, perched against the constant winds from the Adriatic Sea. Leaving behind his diplomat life with the UN (where he aided food distribution in Africa), Ferdinando began I Clivi (meaning 'steep slopesĺ─˘) with his son Mario in the late 1980s. Here they happily found themselves well insolated amid the terraces with enough wind to protect their 12ha of vines from mold and rot. From the start they chose to farm organically. The 2 parcels (Brazan and Galea) bear the fruit of Friulano, Malvasia, Verduzzo, Ribolla (and a bit of Merlot) vines, planted in water-saving clay, studded with calcareous stones and shells. With the raw materials of high acidity (cool winds), structure (incredible mineral soils), intensity (low yields of 30-75yr old vines) and ripeness (long parching summer season), there is little to do but to naturally guide these grapes into wine. And so, that is what the father and son duo do. Fermentations begin and proceed, in steel tanks, with long lees contact. The duo waits for the results of slow, steady development, with no racking or filtering to strip the wine of its identity. Wines may re-ferment in the following autumn to become even drier. One unique touch they add in the process: they remove the lees after fermentation and 'oak-ageĺ─˘ them for 1month before returning them to the tanks! A clever touch probably more learned in Burgundy than in the lands of Africa. With their hard efforts now to instigate the magnificence of Friulian wine, and perhaps by giving so much to the desolate lands in the past, reward is coming naturally. Well deserved and well enjoyed.
90% Friulano 10% Malvasia Istriana located in Collio (Collio Goriziano), several miles away from the family house. Steep slope with heavy calcareous mineral content. Natural yeasts in stainless steel begin slow fermentations, including Malo-lactic, until following January. The wine rests sur lie for minimum 2 yrs to stabalize. May complete additional ferment burning wine even drier. No racking. No filtration. Roughly 12000 bottles produced.