Perseverance and refinement – Antonutti Wines
„When I put my nose in a glass, it’s like tunnel vision. I move into another world, where everything around me is just gone, and every bit of mental energy is focused on that wine.” Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Perseverance and refinement – The Antonutti Vines
It’s autumn and the holiday smell still floats around me. I’ve waited so long for the holidays and they passed by so quickly … I had so many beautiful moments that I do not know where to start my story from. If I close my eyes I can relive each experience again, I can continue to dream. The most beautiful moments are always accompanied by strong memories and experiences, and this summer’s experience, when I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Italy and to explore the wines from this part of Europe will stay close to my soul, and I will for sure go back again.
We can talk about perseverance and refinement, about traditions and passion in the field of wine. Antonutti Vini was founded in 1921 and since then it has been dedicated to the vineyards. We are talking about four generations that have continuously worked to get the best out of the 50 hectares in the Friuli area. We had the opportunity to visit the winery this summer, and for that our thanks and appreciation go to Nicola, who along with Adriana, Lino, Caterina and Riccardo represent the wonderful team that keeps this tradition alive through their perseverance, so that we can enjoy each result – wines with personality. Because here each wine has its own personality and is distinguished by its own characteristics.
I can wholeheartedly tell you that I was really impressed, I did not know what to expect when we passed the gate of the winery. Maybe not every one of you can understand why such a place is truly impressive. But when you have the opportunity to visit one, you will understand. Although the winery was officially closed when we visited it, you could somehow picture it in your mind, the moment when it is filled with people getting ready for the harvest, having everything settled, the constant bustle because every moment is particularly important, picking and preparing the grapes… but it was quiet when we were there, although by the time I am writing these lines the harvest will have already started at Antonutti.
Before visiting the winery, the main area that transforms the magical liqueur of the grapes into the wonderful wine which we enjoy on our taste buds, we went for a walk through the vineyards. Nicola showed us the most important grape varieties, we talked about the technology used in winemaking, we saw the differences between the grape varieties and we received both technical information and the story of the wines- which makes such an experience simply complete, and you just feel happy.
I could tell you so much about Antonutti wines, but I will limit myself, because I do not want you, the reader, to feel overwhelmed and I will only mention the ones that for me personally have a special significance, and especially the ones that I recommend. Some of these wines can even be purchased from specialty stores such as Top Drinks, or can be found in certain locations such as Kupaj, a wonderful place in my hometown.
Antonutti wines are characterized by many peculiarities and represent a perfect balance of flavours due to the careful care of the vineyard and the selection of grapes. The grapes come from both local and international varieties and are noted for their freshness and delicacy in the white wines and their vigour and personality in the red ones. Moreover, the coloured labels of these wines represent the Friuli region, reminding us of the most important elements that nature offers us in this area, sun, water, sky and flowers.
I will especially tell you about my favourites. With a particular refinement that sends you directly to a sunny beach or to the coolness of the hills, is Prosecco 921. Obtained from 100% Glera grapes harvested in the first part of September, this Prosecco Extra Dry is obtained by gently pressing the grapes and a first fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 8 days, followed by a second fermentation in pressure tanks, with selected yeasts at a temperature of 14C for 30 days. The process of filtration and bottling represents the last part and aging is done in bottle. What to expect when you enjoy it? A fine and persistent pearlage, a dry, but fresh taste with subtle notes of apple and ripe citrus and subtle notes of peach, perfect for beautiful stories with friends on an early autumn evening.
Simply ANT. A fantasy of love in a glass for the awakening of the senses and for deep feelings. The fine, elegant and persistent bubbles tickle you subtly and want you to discover their story. ANT is obtained from a selection of Chardonnay grapes for body and complexity and aromas specific to this variety, obtained by the classical method with an aging on yeasts for over 30 months.
About the Ribolla Gialla, On the Move, I have told you some time ago, because we had the opportunity to taste it on a wonderful evening at Kupaj. This brut sparkling wine, “on the move”, is obtained 100% from a type of grapes native to the Friuli area, Ribolla Gialla. Vinification is done by gentle pressing of the grapes, and the second fermentation takes place in pressure tanks at a controlled temperature of 14C for three weeks. The wine is held on yeasts for a period of 90 days, followed by bottle aging. The grapes are harvested early and retain the delicate scent and the persistent pearlage, a distinct freshness and a perfect balance. A delicate symphony with a percentage of 12.5% volumes, dominated by fresh aromas and minerality, which successfully contributes to a beautiful evening in the right ambience and company.
Because summer has officially ended in the calendar, and early autumn has already started, I will tell you about a perfect wine for this season. I say perfect, because it has a slightly yellow coppery colour, and it reminds us about the shades of tree leaves in autumn, like they will be very soon. Pinot Grigio “Ramato” (Copper-Hued). A wine with a special personality obtained of course from 100% Pinot Grigio grown in an alluvial area characterized by pebble in the western region of Friuli. Vinification is done by gentle pressing of the grapes and cold maceration at a temperature of 6 ° -8 ° C for about 12 hours. Fermentation takes place with selected yeasts, with maturation in stainless steel tanks, followed by bottle aging, resulting in a bright yellow copper wine with 13% volumes.
If ANT has impressed me because of its subtlety, Poppóne is the epitome of this epic journey in the world of the Antonutti wines.
Poppóne represents the balance of a perfectly thought out percentage, a story that will delight your taste buds and send you with your thought to the sensory realms you want to explore, because here we are not just talking about wine, we are talking about a true exploration of senses and tastes. The blend represents a seductive marriage between 80% Merlot and 20% Pignolo. Merlot grapes are harvested at the ideal maturity after which they are left to dry, followed by the destemming, crushing, fermentation and maceration processes. Finally, a light pressing and storage in stainless steel tanks where they will rest for a year. Pignolo is a rare and autochthon grape from the Friuli region suitable for long evolutions. The grapes are harvested when fully ripe, destemmed, crushed and left to ferment, followed by a resting in tonneaux barique for a period of 12 months. Next is the blending followed by bottle ageing. The outcome? The most perfect ruby red. Nose? Ripe red fruits that go beyond any imagination, notes that simply go beyond anything you’ve ever tasted. A taste you will always remember. It is a dance of love with an intense, balanced and complex taste, which lasts for a long time and makes you feel the thrills of the first sip.
I do not know how I could describe this experience, otherwise than how I have already lived it during our visit at Casa Vinicola Antonutti. Each wine I had the opportunity to taste, has its own unique qualities and each wine has a unique personality. Each wine tells its story and raises to glory a beautiful, almost 100-year-old family story. Four generations that continue to demonstrate what perseverance and refinement mean, and the dedication that starts in the vineyards to the magical liqueur in front of us.
You have a special place in my heart.
Text & pics: Yle Bocu