|Setting up I Clivi in the early 90s, I sought to recapture the authentic character of the wine of this ancient land, which had been somehow lost over the past hundred years. I was lucky enough to be able to acquire two ancient vineyards - twelve hectares of very old vines on steep, terraced hills in two of Friuli's best sites: eight in Corno di Rosazzo, in the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC district, and four in Brazzano di Cormons, in the Collio district.
The vines were in a pathetic conditions, but most could fortunately be saved.
My idea was to let history speak through the wine, by making as “transparent” a wine as possible, in which soil, climate and tradition may come fully through and be perceived without interferences. A wine truly grown, whose character is shaped entirely in the vineyard by soil, climate and vines and is in no way altered in the cellar, a wine that stands solely on itself, on its own intrinsic qualities, and is not made to suffer any intervention or “improvement”. In short, purest terroir expression, “without addition or diminishing”.The recipe is organic cultivation in the vineyard, with naturally low yields which seldom reach 20 hectolitres per hectare, and spontaneous, non-interventionist winemaking to ensure absolute integrity.
The first wine was produced in 1996. Current production is around 1,500 cases of white wine DOC Colli Orientali del Friuli and DOC Collio from the local Tocai, Verduzzo and Malvasia varieties, and a 500 cases of red wine DOC Colli Oriental del Friuli from a particularly well acclimatized clone of Merlot, introduced here 150 years ago. – Ferdinando Zanusso