Taglia Friuli Pinot Grigio 2018
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- Green Apple
- Lemon Zest
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Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.
The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.
Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a picturesque region located in the northeastern part of Italy, and it is renowned for its exceptional wine production. In fact, it is considered one of the best regions in the country for winemaking, alongside Tuscany and Piedmont. This region boasts an impressive 11 DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and 3 DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) designations, accounting for approximately 62% of the wine produced.
One of the key factors contributing to the region's success is its ideal geographical location. The best vineyards are nestled in the foothills of the Alps, offering a unique combination of direct sunlight and cool evening breezes from the nearby Adriatic Sea. The soil composition in the area is rich in calcium and sandstone, with intermittent patches of sand and gravel, which makes it perfect for growing a variety of grapes.
White wine production accounts for around 60% of the region's output, while red wine accounts for the remaining 40%. The most famous grape variety grown in the area is Friulano, which produces crisp, floral whites that are known for their great ageing potential. Merlot is the leading grape variety for red wine production.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a wine lover's paradise, offering a wide range of high-quality wines. Its unique geographical location, coupled with a rich soil composition and expert winemaking techniques, ensures that the region's wine production will continue to thrive for years to come.
This large DOC in the Friuli region of north-east Italy is famous for white wines of finesse and crispness. Named for its gravelly soil, the region contains approximately 4300ha of vineyards between the Alps and the Adriatic sea.
Viticulture here dates back to the Romans, who recognised the prime growing conditions. The stones beneath the vines reflect heat onto the fruit during the day and provide steady warmth into the evening, maintaining a constant microclimate perfect for ripening grapes.
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About the brand Taglia
For the past six years Franco Bernabei, a man whom many consider to be Italy’s foremost consulting enologist, has quietly practiced his virtuoso brand of winemaking artistry at Sartori di Verona, where his initiatives are now starting to be credited with generating unprecedented new levels of quality for this well-known wine producer. At Sartori, Bernabei is an integral part of the winemaking team and has been truly hands-on — not just flying in for a routine yearly check-up.
Winemaker Bernabei has come a long way since the early 1970s when as an unruly adolescent, sporting long hair and sideburns, he toured the clubs and bars of his native Veneto region, playing Jimmy Hendrix-inspired guitar solos with a rock band called the Icemen. In the decades since, Bernabei has blazed a trail of a different kind, to become one of Italy’s most influential and sought-after consulting winemakers.
Born to a family of prosperous wine wholesalers near Padua in northeast Italy, Bernabei worked alongside his father from an early age, helping vinify wines distributed to several top hotel chains. By his early 20s Bernabei had learned enough to formulate his own brand of winemaking philosophy, a development that led to a difference of opinion with his father, and a sudden move to Tuscany.
As Bernabei puts it: “Tuscany offered immense possibilities for an adventurous young winemaker and fertile terrain for testing out new concepts.” Terrain, as it happens, figures high in Bernabei’s winemaking credo: “If I don’t find the right terrain,” he says, “I can’t embrace a cause.”
After a four-year apprenticeship at a leading Tuscan estate, where the young winemaker’s initiatives undeniably helped catapult its wines into international awareness, Bernabei began to carve out an independent career as a consulting winemaker. Successful collaborations in Tuscany and elsewhere in Italy ensued.
Sameness and typicality have no place in Bernabei’s approach to winemaking: “On the contrary,” he asserts, “I make it my mission to uncover the individual nature of every wine I work with and give it self-expression,” adding, almost as a mantra: “And individuality begins in the soil.”
Bernabei is anything but a solo act and is a firm believer in teamwork. “My input is beneficial,” he will acknowledge, “but the human capital I work with is of critical importance.”
Over the past six years at Sartori di Verona, Bernabei has been profoundly involved in reshaping existing wines and creating new releases, rising to the challenge set by owner Andrea Sartori to realize the winery’s untapped potential. Judging by the approving response from critics and consumers alike, Bernabei’s input is having a very positive effect.