A SENSORIAL AND HISTORICAL JOURNEY FROM AOSTA VALLEY TO THE ORIGINS OF VINEYARD IN CAUCASUS

“This year, on the occasion of the preview of Spìule Chardonnay DOC FCO 2015, we organised a tasting dedicated to some white native vineyards produced along the 45th parallel, starting from Aosta Valley to reach Georgia, the cradle of vineyard - Marta Locatelli declares, owner of Tenuta di Angoris – For this tasting we chose some wines obtained from local grapes that were recognized in the viticultural tradition of the countries where they are produced”.


After the 2015 meeting centred on Chardonnay, and the one of last year devoted to native red wines suitable for ageing, this year’s topic concerned the wine-growing history that connects this strip of land that from the area of origin of vineyard reaches the Alps, by focusing the attention on certain native vine varieties of white grapes.

Before the tasting, Stefano Cosma (professional taster, wine writer and historian), explained the criterion used to choose these wines. “An important factual data that lead us to these territories and to reach Georgia, concerns the historical presence of viticulture and oenology schools, which starting from 1870 were founded in the Kingdom of Italy and in the Habsburg Empire: Alba (1881), Asti (1872), Conegliano (1876), San Michele all’Adige (1874), Parenzo (1875), without forgetting the minor ones like Vipacco (1873) and, on the other side, the Società agraria of Gorizia which dates back to the distant 1765. These schools prove the fact that, at this latitude, some of the most appreciated wines in Europe were produced: students and teachers also arrived from far areas of the Empire! Besides, even if the chosen latitude is more or less the same, the land is certainly different along these 3,500 kilometres. This factual data, however did not slow down (starting from the second half of the 19th century) the desire to experiment by planting exactly in the area of Gorizia the vine varieties Aleatico, Mosler, Pinot grigio, Frontignan, Riesling, Alicante and Isabella (whose musts were analysed in 1847), and in 1872 in Cormons they planted Carmenet, Gros-bi-dure and Gros-verdot from Bordeaux, Czerlienak from Dalmatia, Kadarka from Hungary and other varieties from the Rhine, Piedmont, Istria etc. Not only had this demonstrated the calling of this land for viticulture, but also the deep interest of man in this kind of knowledge. The fact that trade exhibitions developed in that period and that in 1888 the most important wines produced throughout the Empire were displayed at the Fiera di Trieste, also proves the great interest and importance that noble families had for this kind of agricultural production”. In addition, the Locatelli family imported their wines to Angoris in 1887 and obtained honourable mentions.

Cosma read a significant quotation from a Rumanian book from 1962, where a sentence by Doge Loredan’s doctor was quoted, who in 1502 found himself in the renowned viticultural area of Cotnari (Moldavia) and from there on 7th December of that year, he wrote to his family in Venice “In August and in September they produced here wines from the kind of those in Friuli". 

“The fact that the tasted wines (one Friulano and one Ribolla Gialla) were two among the most appreciated wines shows the fact that Friuli Venezia Giulia remains a point of reference for the production of white wines. While the historical facts presented demonstrate that this region has always been a territory of studies and experimentations that have led to the respect and to the enhancement of vine varieties and of the land itself over the centuries”, Marta Locatelli concluded.

This is the order of the tasted white wines: Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2015 DOC Valle d’Aosta (Cave Mont Blanc De Morgex et la Salle Soc. Coop. in Morgex – Ao), Roero Arneis 2015 DOCG (Vietti Srl in Castiglione Falletto - CN), Nosiola IGT (Az. Agr. Pojer e Sandri in Faedo - TN), Friulano 2015 DOC Friuli Colli Orientali (Tenuta di Angoris), Ribolla Gialla DOC Collio 2015 (Carlo di Pradis a Cormons), Zelen 2015 Vipavska Dolina (Vinska Klet Guerila in Ajdovščina - SLO), Žlahtina 2015 (Vinogorje Krk di P.Z. Vrbnik in Vrbnik - HR), GrasӑDe Cotnari 2015 DOC C.T. (Cotnari in Castel Vladoianu - RO), Aligotè DOC Podgoria Sarica Niculiţel (La Sapata in Loc. Somova Jud. Tulcea – RO), Feteaska Albӑ 2014 (Purcari Chateaux in Purcari – MD), Tsinandali 2015 (Binekhi in Tbilisi - GE) and Tsinandali 2013 (Badagoni in Village Zemo Khodasheni - GE).

The panel of tasters included Marta Locatelli, owner of the house, Alessandro Dal Zovo, oenologist and technical director of the company, Stefano Cosma, Michael Loos (designer of international reputation that collaborated to a number of projects for the promotion of Italian wine and curator of a monthly oenology column on Vanity Fair), Gianni Ottogalli (Associazione Italiana Sommelier FVG and responsible for the Guida Gambero Rosso for the Friuli Venezia Giulia region), Mario Busso (inventor and curator of the Guida Vinibuoni d’Italia), Carlo Petrussi (agronomist and scholar of viticultural and oenological culture in Friuli Venezia Giulia), Bepi Pucciarelli (professional taster, journalist and profound expert of food and wine culture), Adriano Del Fabro (agricultural expert and agrarian and agro-industrial journalist) and Gianluca Castellano (professional sommelier and maître of the restaurant “Agli Amici”).


The day had three particular moments: the tasting in the company in the morning and the ampelographic lesson of professor Carlo Petrussi, the aperitif at the Istituto Agrario Brignoli in Gradisca d’Isonzo (where they presented

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