The history of the winery I Clivi starts from far away, more precisely from West Africa, the last stage of the travels of Ferdinando Zanusso who, in the mid-90s decided to retire and buy an old vineyard in his wife’s native land: Cormons, in the heart of Collio Goriziano. Ferdinando has no wine training and, moreover, having travelled half the world for work, he does not even know how to speak the local language, but this does not prevent him from cultivating his wine dream with passion and determination.
It will be these two characteristics that will infect his son Mario, who abandons his studies in economics to enthusiastically support his father in the work of the vineyard and cellar. And this is how, today, the winery has undergone a small process of expansion, reaching 12 hectares of vineyards that, despite the proximity, fall under two different denominations: Collio Goriziano and Colli Orientali del Friuli.
Most of the land is currently owned by vines aged between 60 and 80 years, all lying on that characteristic rocky mix of marl and sandstone known as ponca. Here, also for the new vines planted, the choice was made to cultivate, without using heavy machinery, old native species such as Friulano, Verduzzo, Ribolla Gialla, and Malvasia Istriana.
The vegetative cycle of the vines is accompanied in the most natural way possible: no irrigations, no fertilizations, prunings differentiated plant by plant, and use of copper and sulfur within the minimum limits allowed by the biological disciplinary. This approach goes hand in hand with the one in the cellar, based on the absence of maceration (to obtain wines characterized by higher acidity and smoothness), spontaneous fermentation by means of indigenous yeasts, and racking without filtration.
From the vineyards in Colli Orientali del Friuli area comes the Clivi Galea wine, a blend of Friulano (90%) with a small balance of Verduzzo (10%) cultivated in the Galea vineyard, along the border with Slovenia.
Once in the cellar, the grapes are gently pressed in whole clusters, with the aim of obtaining only the flower must that, immediately after, is conveyed in steel tanks, for a first decanting process that lasts all night. The next morning, the must is poured into another steel tank, where the indigenous yeasts start the spontaneous fermentation and, then, the wine is left to mature for 18 months on the lees in suspension. At the end of the vinification process, bottling is carried out, with light filtration and minuscule addition of sulphur dioxide (3g/Hl), and the wine undergoes the marketing phase.
The 2018 vintage shows a straw-yellow color of medium intensity, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of medlar, Kaiser pear, chlorophyll and iodine, followed by lime peel, almond, thistle honey and helichrysum, with final echoes of flint. The palate is characterized by iodine sapidity and citric acidity, surrounded by a delicate hint of white pepper and a hint of softness; all enriched by the return of the white fruit and flint that accompany the sip until the traditional almond closure.
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