Who: Andrea Visintini, Cinzia, Palmira and Oliviero

Where: Corno di Rosazzo, Udine, Friuli Venezia-Giulia 

What grapes: Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Picolit, Franconia, Sauvignon Blanc…

How many bottles: ± 150,000

Key facts: This estate, once the location for the Castle of Gramogliano, has been in the family since 1884


Visintini Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali DOP

Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Soil type: Ponca calcareous marls
Elevation: 200 meters
Grapes: 100% Pinot Grigio
Method: after light pressing, 6 hrs of maceration with skin contact, spontaneous fermentation. Vinified in cement.
Bottles made: 10,000


Visintini Rosato

Organic: Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Soil type: Ponca calcareous marls
Elevation: 200 meters
Grapes: 100% Merlot
Method of fermentation:  Manual harvest for grape selection, destemmed and macerated on skins for several hours followed by a soft pressing.  Seven months maturation in stainless steel with several Bâtonage.  
Bottles made: 2,200

This wine is made by northern Italians who enjoy this with vast gastronomical variety of meals: from gnocchi and tagliatelle with hare sauce, to pork meat and grilled beef; from pasta and beans with pork rinds and prosciutto, to chicken, rabbit and roast duck.  It’s a young wine, here in North Carolina it can go well with cured meats and cheeses enjoyed on a porch, or with bbq in your neighbors backyard.  


Visintini Franconia

Organic: Certified organic with biodynamic methods
Soil type: Ecocene marl 
Grapes: 100% Franconia/Blaufranksich
Method of fermentation: Hand-harvested, de-stemmed, then macerated in cement tank for several days, with frequent pump overs. Malo occurs in tank, then the wine is lightly filtered and bottled the July following the harvest. 30mg/l total sulfur. pH 3.57, 4.94 g/l total acidity. 
Bottles made: 5,300


Visintini “Cinzia” Vino Bianco Venezia Giulia

Organic: Certified Organic, Starting to practice Biodynamic
Soil type: Ecocene marl and clay
Elevation: 200 meters
Grapes: 70% Pinot Bianco 30% FriulanoMethod of fermentation: Fermented with native yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.  The wine is aged in tanks for 6 months then bottled.  
Production: 6,000 bottles

Certified organic. 70% Pinot Bianco, 30% Friulano. 6,000 bottles produced. Guyot and Cappuncina trained vines planted in ecocene marl and clay soils. The vineyards are near Gramogliano, in the hilly heart of the Colli Orientali DOP. The fruit is hand-harvested in mid-September, de-stemmed and then fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel. After battonage, the wine is aged in tank until the following March when it is bottled.


Visintini “Palmira” Rosso

Organic: Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Soil type: Marl soil
Elevation: 200 meters above sea level.  
Grapes: 100% Merlot
Method of fermentation: 100% destemmed and crushed in a soft pneumatic press, short cool maceration then fermented with native yeasts in temperature controlled-stainless steel tanks.
Production: 6,000 bottles

Certified organic. Merlot grown at 200 meters above sea level in terraced Ponca (marl) soils near Corno di Rosazzo. Hand-harvested, 100% de-stemmed then crushed in a soft pneumatic press. The wine has a short cool maceration period, followed by fermentation in temperature controlled-stainless steel tanks.

Palmira, Oliviero and Cinzia Visintini are wine geeks of the best kind. You can see Slovenia from their farm, it’s the next line of low hills on the horizon, 6km away. Their grandfather Domenico Visintini bought the estate and its ruined medieval tower in 1884. A respectable portion of the original 13th century cellar is crammed with Palmira Visintini’s personal wine stash. Amphorae of biodynamically farmed Pignolo line the hallway outside, wine that won’t be ready to sell until 2016. In another restored alcove rest bottle of Refosco di Peduncolo Rosso and other cool indigenous grapes: Fruili actually has more indigenous reds than whites. The Visintini siblings do fine work with both.

Visintini is a clean, organized, efficient modern winery. The family are intellectual and inquisitive about wine, connected to the larger world outside of the Colli Orientali DOP and at the same time very aware of farms making interesting wine in Friuli. It’s fun to watch them hang out and talk shop with other growers in the local oenoteca in Cormons. Gossip about Colli Orientali and Collio is passed around, along with many bottles of the best wines of each DOP. And abundant prosciutto.  

The Visintinis farm twenty five hectares of indigenous grapes (Ribolla, Verduzzo, Friulano, Franconia) the bulk of which are in close proximity to the cellar. The winery was significantly expanded in 1976 by Andrea (the trio’s father) allowing for their current robust 140,000 bottle annual production, more or less. The new portion built by Andrea rests a full six meters underground, perfect for long term storage of the estate’s amphorae and bottle-aged reds. Andrea also installed the mixture of cement and stainless steel tanks that are used to ferment and age Visintini’s white wines. Their guiding principle in the cellar is to do as little as possible. In the fields Oliviero is charting a path toward biodynamic agriculture. After years of organic farming they are recently certified, and have begun making their own biodynamic composts and other preparations.