Empson USA Bortoluzzi

Fact Sheet


Location: Gradisca d’Isonzo, Province of Gorizia, Friuli, Italy

Founded in 1982, Bortoluzzi Winery is located in Gradisca d’Isonzo in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The owner, Giovanni Bortoluzzi, is flanked by his wife, Mireide, and their three children: Alessio, sales manager, Alberto, vineyard manager, and Angela who deals with administration and accounting.

Points of Differentiation

  • Ideally placed vineyards on the gravelly, mineral-enriched deposit of the diverted Isonzo River
  • The abundant minerals in the soil make for the grapes’ rich components and extract
  • The vines are sheltered by mountains from the wind, allowing grapes to ripen gently in the autumn
  • Estate owned, Estate bottled
  • The Bortoluzzi family is involved in every step of the winemaking process from grape to glass

The History

The Bortoluzzi estate was founded in 1982, but Giovanni Bortoluzzi had already been working in the wine industry for nearly two decades. A graduate of enology from the Scuola Enologica di Conegliano, the top enology school in Italy at the time, Giovanni was twenty years old when he started in the vineyards. By 37, Giovanni was known as the “wine ambassador” of Collio and Isonzo and was already at the peak of his career as consultant and bottler for several top growers in Friuli.

This unique experience and in-depth knowledge of the region’s star appellations gave Bortoluzzi a head start. Giovanni was able to select a few ideally placed vineyards on the gravelly, mineral-enriched deposit of the diverted Isonzo River. “I recall my first harvest when the children were still quite small,” says Giovanni with a smile. “There was a real sense of satisfaction in seeing that those vines, which had been cared for so painstakingly and so long, had rewarded my efforts.”

Giovanni has always believed that the entire family should be able to participate in the winery and thus works side-by-side with his three children. A team of technicians and highly qualified staff, whose standards are every bit as severe as the proprietors, supports the family.

The impression you get when visiting the winery is one of clockwork synergy and simultaneously, warmth and hospitality. For the Bortoluzzi Family, a passion for wine has always been vital. The Bortoluzzi philosophy is “Wine is not just any product: in it we find the passion, love, and dedication of the people who crafted it. The more you love wine, the easier it is to transmit your message to the consumer: sensibility is very important, as is tradition. We strive to be forward-looking in order to improve. At the same time, we never forget what history and experience have taught us. Most important of all, we focus on the quality and naturalness of the product, from vineyard to bottle: healthy grapes, genuine wines.”

The Terroir

Bortoluzzi’s vineyards are located along the diverted Isonzo River. The terrain is gravelly and mineral-enriched. This abundance of minerals in the soil makes for the grapes’ rich components and extract, and for the wines’ richness in fruity, floral nuances and varietal character.

The vineyards are also protected from the cold Northern winds that come from the mountains. As a result, the grapes are able to gradually ripen into the autumns which are mild.

The terrain has presently 125 acres is under vine, including plots from both Collio and Isonzo which are the best of the best and are considered among the most highly prized in the region.