Based in Cormòns, near Gorizia, Cantina Produttori was founded in 1968 and its members' vineyards now extend over 350 hectares of this beautiful land, softly laid down on the Oriental Hills near the Slovenian border and the Isonzo river, and so devoted to wine growing since ancient times that it's home to many DOC areas (Denomination of Controlled Origin): DOC Collio, DOC Friuli, DOC Friuli Isonzo, DOC Colli Orientali... Thus certifying the high quality of wines coming from this very special, tiny piece of wine heaven. Ezio Dalla Pozza, Aldo Moretti, Adriano Drius, Stefano Gregorat, Filippo Bregant have been and are the passionate presidents who, since the beginning, have believed that the future of vine and wine should rely exactly on the enhancement of the territory.
2 millions bottles per year come out of Cantina Produttori's plant (70% white wines and 30% red wines), ready to spread the word all over Italy and the rest of the world, and they're the result of a very strict productive process in which everyone plays an important part to make their wines so incredibly tasting – even the landscape!
The importance of being a DOC: Collio and Friuli
The peculiar taste of Cormòns' wines is due to its territory's specific nature and to its geographical position. The area is just at the feet of the Julian Alps but close to the Adriatic Sea: so the climate is mild and temperate, thanks to the mountain peaks protecting a land gently caressed by the sea breeze, while basking in the sun. The soil, too, is unique: both Collio's and Oriental Hills' terrains are characterized by the Flysch of Cormòns, consisting of a sequence of sandstone and marl, rich in limestone, potassium and phosphorous. The marl (called ponca in Friulian dialect) represents the best humus for hillside viticulture. Being easily erodible, the Flysch makes it necessary to terrace the hillsides thus giving the Collio landscape its one-of-a-kind shape. It all ultimately leads to structured, full-bodied wines with a complex bouquet rich in aromas, like Cantina Produttori's Collio Picolit or Collio Friulano.
But the terrain of the Doc Friuli area is varied: the north of Cormòns' and Gradisca's countryside is made of calcareous soil, rich in mineral components and ideal for vine growing and another area, where alluvial soil and foothills intersect, has Cormòns at its centre. The soils of the Isonzo alluvial area are gravelled and ideal for whites and reds, like Cantina Produttori's Bianco Pietraverde and Rosa Carmonis.
Friuli Venezia Giulia is a land of great native vine varieties such as Pignolo, Friulano and Schioppettino and Cantina Produttori makes great wines out of them: Friuli Colli Orientali Schioppettino, Tre Venezie Pignolo, Friuli Aquileia Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso just to name a few.
Then there are... the bubbles! Like Brut Kremaun (Kremaun is the German translation of Cormòns), a sparkling white made with Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco grapes following the classical method, and wonderful sparkling wines with native varieties like the renowned Ribolla Gialla in two versions: Brut and Extra Dry. And Cormorano Rosé Brut (Merlot grapes), Moscato Giallo Gran Dessert and many others.
A distinctive product brought worldwide fame to Cantina Produttori di Cormòns: it's Vino della Pace (Peace Wine), which it started producing in 1986 and eventually led in 1997 to a music festival of its own, Jazz&Wine of Peace. But that's a long story and we'll tell it in our forthcoming article.
Cantina Produttori's members focus primarily on taking care of their vineyards. All of them must comply to the so called “Quaderno di Campagna” (countryside notebook), a meticulous code of conduct which reports all the seasonal details, from the winter pruning (between November and March) and agronomic practices to the harvest, in order to achieve a homogenous and high qualitative standard of the grapes. To help them monitoring the situation, nine weather stations collect and send weather data constantly to the headquarters.
The must is then left to rest so that a natural clarification takes place. After the must has settled, it's poured into the fermentation room where yeasts are added. Once the alcoholic fermentation is over, both white and red wines rest on their bed of yeasts in order to obtain structure and aromatic complexity in the storage cellar. Some white and red wines are refined in Slavonian oak for a period ranging from six to twelve months.
Since 1981, Cantina Produttori has had its own sparkling wine plant with an expressely devoted cellar. And it has its own bottling plant too, which is divided in two lines – for still and sparkling wines.
Cover photo: all the members of Cantina Produttori di Cormòns