Tunella Friulano 2015
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).
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.
Thriving in the NE Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia near the border of Slovenia, Friulano makes a uniquely high-pitched and vibrant white with a delicate perfume. Extensive in the area by the early 1930s, today Friulano grows in all of the best zones and is usually, but not always, bottled as a single-varietal wine. Somm Secret— The Friulano grown today, while named for its present home of Friuli, is actually the Sauvignonasse grape, a minor cultivar that came from Bordeaux.