Ronchi di Cialla Refosco 2015
Pairs well with roasted red meats, game, grilled meats, meat cooked with red wine, pork sausages and tasty cheeses.
Viticulture has thrived in Colli Orientali del Friuli since the reign of ancient Rome and today its verdant, rolling hills support a long list of autochthonous varieties, each playing a unique and important role in the modern Colli Orientali wine scene.
The region is primarily recognized for its white wines. Its indigenous varieties of Ribolla Gialla, Verduzzo, Picolit and perhaps most importantly, Friulano are made into single varietal wines or blended, and often blended with the international varieties of Sauvignon blanc, Pinot grigio and Pinot bianco. The latter have been flourishing in the area since the 1800s. But it wasn’t until the 1970s when producers started using cold fermentation techniques to produce fresh, fruity, crisp and aromatic whites that this area began to attract international attention.
While reds only make up about a third of the area under vine, Colli Orientali is home to some of Italy’s most exciting and rare red wines. Refosco, Schioppettino, Tazzelenghe and Pignolo are among the autochthonous varieties while Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir also have a stronghold.
Colli Orientali holds much in common with its neighbor, Collio; the only thing dividing them is a political line. Both are influenced by the cooling effects of the Julian Alps and moderated by the Adriatic Sea. A unique soil of alternating marine layers called flysch also dominates Colli Orientali, providing a mineral-rich environment for vine roots and optimal water drainage.
After growing in the Friuli region of NE Italy for the last 2,000 years, Refosco has adapted to both the region’s hillside vineyards and flatter plains. Hardy enough to withstand any tumultuous fall weather, Refosco finishes ripening relatively late in the season; its intense fruit and aromatics require the time. Interestingly Refosco is related to the Teroldego grape of Trentino through their common parent grape, Marzemino. Somm Secret—It was documented in 1390 that Refosco was the favorite wine of Augustus Caesar’s second wife, Livia.