Location: Gradisca d’Isonzo, Province of Gorizia, Friuli, Italy.
The Bortoluzzi estate started off in 1982, although Giovanni Bortoluzzi’s wine-making vocation had begun long before. A mere thirty-seven years old at the time, he was already at the peak of his career as consultant and bottler for a number of top growers in Friuli, where he was known as the “wine ambassador” of Collio and Isonzo. This unique experience and in-depth knowledge of the region’s star appellations obviously gave the winery a head start. Giovanni selected a few ideally placed vineyards on the gravelly, mineral-enriched deposit of the diverted Isonzo River. The terrain, presently covering a total of 173 acres of which 86.5 acres is under vine, includes plots from both Collio and Isonzo which are the best of the best, for here are terroirs among the most highly prized in this privileged winemaking region. The abundant minerals in the soil make for the grapes’ rich components and extract, and for the wines’ richness in fruity, floral nuances and varietal character. The vines are sheltered by mountains from the raw northern winds, thereby allowing grapes to mature gently in the mild autumn sun. Pruning is extensive, for a very low crop yield of 100% varietal wines, and only the free-run juice is vinified.
Production is orchestrated by Giovanni with sons Alessio (assistant winemaker) and Alberto (vineyard manager), and daughter Angela (marketing). Giovanni has always maintained that “the entire family should devote themselves to the winery. A quality product can only be created thanks to everyone’s combined efforts.” The family is supported by the work of a team of technicians and highly qualified staff whose standards are every bit as severe as the proprietors’, and the impression you get when visiting the winery is one of clockwork synergy and simultaneously, warmth and hospitality.
It should be noted as of the 2003 vintage, Giovanni has chosen to label his wines as Venezia Giulia IGT instead of Isonzo del Friuli DOC . In no way has the wine changed nor the vineyards from which they are sourced, rather this was a deliberate decision in protest against some of the DOC policies.