A few months after the purchase, Livio passes away, leaving Gabriella and two sons (14 year old Massimo and 12 year old Marco) to run the business. She decided to continue the family tradition with a passion and didication equal to her late husband and with the firm commitment and support of her sons. Once he finished school, the very young Massimo began to oversee both the vineyards and cellar, moving into the sales, marketing and business end of the wine industry when brother Marco joins him and shows an interest in and talent for vineyard management.
Today Massimo is Sales Manager for La Tunella, traveling the globe to bring the family's high quality wines to various markets all over Italy and abroad, including Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Greece, Canada and the United States. Marco is the winery's Vineyard Manager, responsible for 70 hectares of vineyards (more than triple the amount his father started with). View all La Tunella Wines
About Friuli-Venezia GiuliaView a map of Friuli-Venezia Giulia wineries (free-oo-lee veh-netz-ee-ah gwee-yee-ah)
Notable FactsSuccessful grapes of the Friuli include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Then of course, there's the famed local variety, Tocai Friulano (not any relation to Tokay d'Alsace or Tokay of Hungary), which produces wine that is floral and nutty in character but light-bodied. Ribolla Gialla, another white grape making wine with the floral notes and acidity common to the region - it is a delicious alternative to the international varieties of the area. Reds are not to be forgotten, although found less often. Merlot is the most planted, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and few indigenous varieties. Most exports are white.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.