Working with his close friend and colleague Georges Pauli, winemaker at Chateau Gruaud-Larose and consultant to a number of leading Bordeaux properties, Brandolini implemented a series of radical improvements at the estate. Using select Merlot clones from Bordeaux alongside his existing Merlot vines, Brandolini implemented a system of high-density planting in Vistorta's well-drained, limestone-rich vineyards. Here, protective mountain ranges to the north and west combine with the moderating influence of the Adriatic Sea to create a superb microclimate for the cultivation of outstanding Merlot grapes. Now, 20 years later, Vistorta enjoys a reputation as one of northeast Italy's most sought-after red wines. View all Conte Brandolini Wines
About Friuli-Venezia Giulia(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.