Three of the wineries here are brand-new to the UK market. Having already received outstanding reviews at home and across the Atlantic, it’s about timethat British consumers have the chance to discover them.
Where applicable we’ve also listed an estates Grappa and Olive Oil, which wewill also distribute in mixed cases to make stock-holding easier for smaller retailers and delicatessen.PIEMONTE - GIORGIO SCARZELLO E FIGLI www.barolodibarolo.com
Federico Scarzello’s family vineyards may only cover 5.5 hectares, but the estate’s plots are amongst some of the finest sites in the region - Sarmassa, Terlo and Paiagallo. The Scarzello cellar is situated on the main road through the village of Barolo tucked away between a few houses and an illustrious neighbour. Within seconds of tasting his wines and listening to his passionate and knowledgeable discourse we knew that we had struck gold with Federico. There is a linear thread of purity and concise majesty that runs through his range of wines, these are serious interpretations of both grape and terroir, yet at the same time immensely drinkable.PIEMONTE - VILLA GIADA www.andreafaccio.it
Having been recommended to taste Andrea Faccio’s wines by Guido Andretta (Tenuta Vitanza), who helps distribute them on the U.S. market, his enthusiasm was backed up by Federico Scarzello (Giorgio Scarzello E Figli) who also extolled the virtues of Villa Giada’s legendary Barbera, ‘Bricco Dani’. Consequently it was with some anticipation that my old friend Jim Watson and I made our way up the hill above Canelli to Andrea’s winery at Ceirole. It takes quite a bit to get Jim excited these days, but an hour and a half later as we made our way back down the hill he was as giddy as a school girl!TUSCANY - FATTORIA DI GRIGNANO www.fattoriadigrignano.com
Possibly one of the most delightful settings you could imagine, this huge historic estate covers one hillside above Ponatssieve with 200 hectares of olive groves and around 50 hectares of vines looking across the valley to its illustrious neighbour at Selvapiana. The estate was a gift from Catherine de Medici to the family of the Marquis Gondi who built a fabulous manor house here on the site of an old Roman fort, it remained in the same regal family (our Queen stayed here in the 1960’s) until it was bought in 1972 by the Inghirami family who own one of Italy’s most prestigious fashion houses. The wines receive excellent reviews in both Italy and the U.S.A so it’s hard to explain why they haven’t received the attention that they deserve in the U.K. One can only assume that the Inghirami family have never felt the need to venture over here and promote them.
We discovered them via a circuitous route.TUSCANY - FATTORIA VITTICCIO www.fattoriavitticcio.com
Situated right in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, near the picturesque historic town of Greve, the Landini family purchased Vitticcio in the 1960’s. The estate is now owned and managed by Alessandro Landini who’s passion for viticulture and the science and techniques of winemaking are aptly matched by his university degree in Business Economics...with a thesis on the Economics of Chianti! The name Vitticcio means ‘tendril’ which epitomises the Landini philosophy of steady growth in tune with nature; this truly is a family business. The 30 hectare estate also offers Agriturismo (farm accommodation) with 4 beautiful apartments set among the winery that are everything you imagine when trying to picture this glorious part of the world. Alessandro is involved in a joint venture on the Tuscan coast where he directs the ‘I Greppi’ estate in the muchvaunted Bolgheri region. As for the wines? Well, they will speak for themselves!TUSCANY - TENUTA VITANZA www.tenutavitanza.it
I have known Guido and Rosalba now for more than 8 years, they were only in their 2nd commercial vintage when their Brunello stopped me in my tracks at Vinitaly. Unknown then, I knew that they were destined for wider recognition and since then their hard work has paid off with great reviews and scores in The Wine Spectator, 3 Glasses in the Gambero Rosso, and numerous other excellent mentions in articles around the world. The term ‘state of the art’ is over-used when describing wineries, but when I tell you that Guido ran a successful aerospace engineering company before his wife’s passion for wine took over his life you will get a clue as to the structure of the fabulous, cathedral-like dimensions of their circular fermentation room with its uniquely designed tanks and glass elevator. People often talk about wine being a combination of art and science and it is never truer than at Vitanza, where Guido’s scientific background is the perfect foil for Rosalba’s creativity...she was a lecturer of Philosophy in Rome until she persuaded Guido that grapes were more exciting than aeroplanes!VENETO - CORTE LONARDI www.cortelonardi.it
I have worked with Giuseppe Lonardi for the past 6 years and have visited his delightful family-run restaurant and winery in the small village of Marano di Valpolicella on several occasions (the house speciality of Risotto di Amarone is not to be missed!). Giuseppe’s daughter Silvia joined the business two years ago and they opened 3 delightful guest rooms attached to the restaurant which she manages. Silvia has now also taken on the role of export manager and this exclusive range of wines has been developed by her father especially for the UK market. It is difficult to highlight individual wines from such an excellent range but the ‘Ripasso’ (or ‘Baby Amarone’ as the American market refers to it) with its wonderfully complex layers of bitter cherries with balsamic notes is fabulous. The Recioto is quite simply stunning, brimming as it does with rich damson flavours, and is without doubt the finest version of this style that I have tasted.FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA - PLOZNER www.plozner.it
The Plozner motto is “Piedi per terra, testa per aria” or “Feet on the ground, head in the clouds” which gives you a good indication of the free spirit we are dealing with here. It was Sabina Maffei’s quirky, imaginative, labels and her passionate philosophy that first caught my attention on the Plozner web-site - still under construction, but festooned with cartoons and looking at the world from a different slant than the usual dry, wine-trade technicality.
The brainchild of Lisio Plozner in the 1960’s – an imaginative entrepreneur and inventor – who was the first to realize the viticultural potential of the stony, alluvial deposit along the Meduna and Tagliamento rivers, west and east of the winery. The stark, flat, stony environment looks like the terrain of a distant planet in a Hollywood movie, but it supplies both excellent drainage and ideal absorption of the sunlight, nurturing concentrated, fragrant varietals.
Terrain composition is reflected in the Plozner wines: fresh, immediately appealing, minerality and characteristic acidity. Since its foundation in 1967, the winery has never wavered from its quality criteria and philosophy: Valeria Plozner's daughter, Sabina Maffei (Lisio’s granddaughter), with oenologist Francesco Visentin, combines avant-garde methods and a deep regard for terroir and natural environment. Lisio believed in organic farming long before organic farming was even formulated, and the present generations have maintained and developed this as an official Plozner prerequisite with a low environmental impact programme. The property’s total surface is 247 acres, with 148 acres under vine. These unique wines reflect the personality of their creator and your customers are going to be fascinated by them - Sabina uses the Vino-Lok stopper in her Cru wines which allows for hermetic resealing to retain freshness. The presentation may look light-hearted but these are seriously good wines designed to complement the finest fare and give options for food matching that are often hard to find.FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA - PIERA MARTELLOZZO www.pieramartellozzo.com
Piera Martellozzo is a dynamic woman who’s family have worked in the Venetian wine industry for generations, having spent many years cementing relationships with local families of growers she believes that wine has to be true to its terroir and traditions. We are listing but a small selection of the local specialities that she produces; the ‘I Cjamps’- local Friulian dialect for ‘The Fields’- range is the name given to her still IgT wines, and ‘Terre Magre’ -named after the ‘meagre’ dry, stony soil of Friuli Grave - are the DOC wines.
These wines are really good examples of the fresh, aromatic style of the region where the unmistakable varietal characteristics shine through with abundance. Piera Martellozzo are best know for their sparkling wines and as sales of Prosecco continue to boom in the UK we are sure that these excellent examples with their smart presentation will be very popular with your clientele, but please be aware that all Prosecco labelling is changing by law in the New Year! The star of the show is the extremely commercial Cuvee Rose Dry (dry being one of the great sparkling wine misnomers because it is less dry than Brut or Brut Extra) which won a silver medal at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards.