Origin: Rosazzo, Friuli, Italy
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Ronco delle Betulle nestles in the hilly eastern part of Friuli in a subzone called Rosazzo, an estate of approximately seventeen hectares, of which ten are under vine. The hills of Rosazzo benefit from a special microclimate determined by several geographical factors: its proximity to the sea and its altitude. The sea mitigates the climate, the elevation ensures that Rosazzo is well ventilated and well lit, whilst the vicinity of Mount Caterina protects the area from the northerly wind. Ivana Adami has a purist wine-making philosophy: that the essential character of the wine derives from the sun, the soil and the area and that typicity should be respected and preserved, never altered. Elegance and freshness are other watchwords; these are wines with keen acidity.
Cabernet Franc is a key component of the classic "Bordeaux Blend" along with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It thrives in cool climate regions; most notable classic examples are from Right Bank Bordeaux, Loire, and Friuli in northern Italy. Warm wine regions with cooling influences also have successful plantings such as New York, Washington, Canada, Chile, and South Africa. The aromas vary according to the origin and winemaking style, but key characterstics include cassis and raspberry fruit with distinct leafy and bell pepper aromas which can also take on a floral tone. A bit lighter in style than Cabernet Sauvignon.
Like much of Friuli, the vineyards of Rosazzo are climatically influenced by both the Julian Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The presence of the sea just 32km (20 miles) away provides the zone with a maritime climate, with the extremes of summer and winter tempered by the body of water.
This is perfect for white-grape varieties in particular, as the cool, even climate allows them to develop acidity alongside flavor, giving balanced, intense wines. The Alps provide shelter from cold winds from the north. Warm areas around Rosazzo, are ideal for red varietals originating from Bordeaux. WIth controlled yields the wines produced are elegant, full of character, and ageing potential.
Rosazzo's soils are made up of crumbly layers of marl and sandstone that are known in the local dialect as "ponca", or as "flysch di Cormons" by more serious geology enthusiasts. This kind of soil is found throughout Colli Orientali and has proved particularly suitable for grapegrowing. However, it is somewhat susceptible to erosion, and so the hillsides are cut into neat terraces.
“Our philosophy on winemaking reflects our belief that great wines are the result of a perfect combination of soil, microclimate, good vintages, passonate people and the respect for nature. In the cellar, there is no need for too much technology, alchemy or magic formulae. We are located in DOCG Rosazzo, an area with a long-term tradition in wine production in Italy, and we do our best to make the best possible wines without manipulating or altering them artificially in the cellar.”
There is no synthetic chemistry, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, artificial irrigation used, nor mechanical harvest. The care of wooded areas and the use of an innovative system of natural phytodepuration of processing water contribute to protect the environment in a sustainable way. The grapes are strictly harvested by hand with the right physiological ripeness, softly de-stemmed, left in contact with the skins for a few hours or days depending on the grape variety and vintage.
Alcoholic and malolactic fermentations occur naturally, without use of selected yeasts or bacteria, with moderate temperature control. After adequate and patient ageing in steel and oak barrels, the wines come bottled with very light filtrations for whites, without filtration for reds. From 2019 vintage, the wines produced at Ronco delle Betulle are also certified organic.