“The wines of Clivi come from very old vines, between 60 and 80 years of age.”
Old vines means vines with very deep roots. The soil in this part of Friuli is formed by sandstone marl, i.e. sedimentary rocks of marine origin, consisting of layers of clay and limestone fractions, and the old vines roots dig into the deeper layers of this marl – here called with the german name Flysch – reaching unique nutrients and macro-elements, which are distilled from the roots and transmitted
to the grapes, developing great personality and character uniquely linked to the specific piece of land from which they come. As a result, this uniqueness is then transferred to the wines produced from these grapes. Wines that are more complex and mineral, more expressive of the terroir and less strictly played on varietal notes. Wines that can not be reproduced anywhere else.
“The old roots are tenaciously anchored to their mother-earth”
Despite the great difficulties that arise both from the operational side and economically for all the hand- work they require, old vines are a precious legacy not only for the age of the plants – 60 to 80 years old – but also because they
are an heritage of ancient wisdom in terms of preventing the erosion of the slopes, and as regards the varietal composition of the vines and, consequently, of the wine.
“i Clivi are two vineyards on the eastern hills of Friuli”
i Clivi are two separate vineyards, a few kilometers away from each other, vineyards that fall into two areas with different denomination of origin DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and also in two separate provinces: one in the Collio DOC, province of Gorizia, and one in the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, province of Udine, for a total of 12 hectares. These two vineyards are named by their toponyms, respectively Brazan and Galea. Rooted on two pieces of land whose geological composition
shows almost imperceptible differences, these 12 hectares of vineyards are placed on two hills 150 meters above sea level with a Southwest (Collio) and Southeast (Colli Orientali) exposure, and it’s the microclimate – mainly due to the winds coming from the sea hitting mount-Quarin in Brazzano Cormons, and descending from the Julian Pre-Alps lapping the hills of Gramogliano in Corno di Rosazzo – which is the determining factor in the differences of personality perceivable in the wines.
A minimum distance of few kilometers interspersed with a short plain brings macro sensory diversity that we decided to highlight through a separate vinification of the grapes coming from the two vineyards, in what the noble French term would define as “cru”: Friulano San Pietro, Verduzzo, Ribolla Gialla, Galea White and Galea Red from the Colli Orientali DOC, Malvasia and Brazan from Collio DOC. In the search for maximum expression of terroir, the tending techniques we adopt aim to the highest quality: exclusion of fertilization and irrigation, pruning
commensurate with the vegetative capacity of each existing plant, a foliage management that avoids the cropping for a better photosynthesis of the vine, a defense against fungal deseases with the sole use of copper and sulfur in the amounts allowed by Organic regulations, to which we adhere since 2007, and a manual harvest, where the hand-picking of only perfectly ripe grapes in small casks allows us to bring in the cellar only the highest quality fruits, avoiding premature oxidation and fermentation.
“We grow the local varieties Ribolla, Friulano, Malvasia and Verduzzo”
In placing confidence in this land, in contrast with the fashion of international wines which in the 90’s struck the Italian and regional viticulture, we have always cultivated local varieties, partly as a legacy of the previous ownership, partly because we believe that in order to express at its best the land to which we belong it is necessary to vinify grapes which are here perfectly adapted,
and for their territorial characterization are able to express their own personal terroir. The tending techniques adopted for the vineyards aim at the highest quality for Malvasia, Ribolla, Friulano, Verduzzo and Merlot, where the sea freshness of varieties harvested in Brazzano, Collio, is opposed to the width of the sun-kissed grapes from Corno di Rosazzo, Colli Orientali, less than three kilometers away.