“Fine wines from old vines in the Eastern Hills of Friuli”
The wines of i Clivi are born in Friuli in between the Collio Goriziano and the eastern hills of Udine, named Colli Orientali, where, on sunny slopes – clivi meaning “slopes” – we cultivate 12 hectares of certified organic vineyards planted with the indigenous varieties Ribolla, Friulano, Verduzzo, and Malvasia, whose only international grape is Merlot, a variety which found home in this area more than a century ago. Taking care of this important heritage of old vines, aged between 60 and 80 years, it is for us a reminder of the responsibility with which we guard and we produce wine on this strip of land, giving us the chance to express two distinct D.O.C. denominations, Collio, and Colli Orientali del Friuli, whose sensory difference is related exclusively to the microclimate. The low yields produced by these old vines give a natural concentration and complexity to the fruit we seek to transform naturally with spontaneous fermentation, maintaining the elegance and aromatic integrity through careful maturation in steel tanks for 50,000 bottles of varietal wines with great personality, distinguished grace, and delicacy. We like to call it levity and together with territoriality and longevity are the cornerstone of our production.
“Territoriality and longevity are the cornerstones of our production.”
Ferdinando and Mario Zanusso
The hand-picked whole grapes (i.e. with no prior de-stemming) are pressed very gently (max 1.2 bar) in order to extract only the first and cleanest part of the must (mosto fiore), which is immediately pumped in a stainless steel vat where the most solid and heavy parts decant overnight. In the morning the upper part of the must is separated from the bottom (feccia grossa – hard lees) and racked in to another stainless steel tank, where the natural, grapes’ own yeasts start the fermentation of the sugars. This fermentation (called alcoholic) lasts till complete reduction of the sugars (which at the end are below 2 gr/lt) into alcohol. At the end of this process, the wine stays on its own fermentation deposits (feccia fine – lees), which are kept floating in order to avoid reductive (asphyxia) effects and to gain the stabilization and anti-oxidative benefits that these natural components bring. This is called maturation on lees. The length of this maturation varies from wine to wine; this Ribolla Gialla matures 6 months on its own lees, always remaining in stainless steel vats (no oak). After this time, the wine is bottled with a light filtration, meant only to eliminate the cloudiness brought by the floating lees. 30 mg of SO2 are added per liter, which with the natural amount produced by the alcoholic fermentation adds up to a 50 mg/lt total, where the maximum amount allowed by EU Organic Regulations is 150 mg/lt.
“Glittering sea water under a lemon yellow sun”
Tasting note: Aromatically neutral, nose of lemon zest, palate marked by a refreshing citric acidity combined with a salty, very dry
Certification: Organic (certificate N°E1649 by IT BIO 006)
Vineyard site: Gramogliano Hills, Corno di Rosazzo, Province of Udine, along the Slovenian Border.
Characteristics of vineyard: Planted with 30 years old vines
Soil: Marl and sandstone flysch of Eocene origin
Harvest: Early October
Production: 15,000 bottles/year
Residual sugars: <2 gr/lt
Acidity: 6.1 gr/lt
So2 total: 50 mg/lt