Nestled in the Friuli hills, just 30 km from the sea and a short distance from Slovenia’s winegrowing regions, Ronco delle Betulle is in a historic and acclaimed region for wine production. The subzone of Rosazzo is part of the larger Colli Oriental del Friuli DOCG. The estate has been certified organic since 2019. The mother/son team of Ivana and Simone Adami believe in minimal intervention, both in the vineyard and the winery. They eschew chemicals and herbicides, use only estate fruit, avoid irrigation and machine harvesting, utilize spontaneous ferments and only use light filtration in a couple of their white wines, with the remainder of their production bottled unfined and unfiltered. Though Colli Orientali is known more for its aromatic white wines, the Rosazzo subzone is also a great place to produce structured reds, particularly from the indigenous varieties, Pignolo and Refosco. The vineyards sit in the curious “Ponca” soil that exists only in this region. It is rich in mineral salts that carry through into the wines, offering a balancing salinity to the opulent fruit.
Ronco delle Betulle nestles in the hilly eastern part of Friuli in a sub zone called Rosazzo, an estate of approximately 17 hectares, of which 10 are under vine. The hills of Rosazzo benefit from a special microclimate set by several geographical factors: its closeness to the sea, its altitude and the presence of elevated parts. The nearby sea (which is approximately 30 km away) and the vicinity of the hills of Salta Caterina mitigate the climate; it is more breezy,more sunny and less rainy here than in surrounding areas.
The vines are planted 60 quintals per hectare using a unilateral guyot trellising system. Ronco delle Betulle benefits from mixed soil made of marl, calcareous clay, sandstone and calcified sand. This soil, referred to as “Ponca”, originated approximately 50 million years ago. It is rich in mineral salts and other nutrients that yield high quality grapes, and hence fine wines. The marl/clay soil in the hills result in an excellent full-bodied Refosco which, when aged properly, takes on a pleasantly bitter flavour and an ample tarry bouquet.
The Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso is a red grape variety that owes its peculiar name to the red color of the stems. Native to Friuli Venezia Giulia, it belongs to the large family of the Refoscos and is cultivated mainly in Friuli, where it produces the best wines. Recently, it has been introduced in a few Veneto DOC wines. It is late-ripening and is known for producing wines that are full-bodied with high levels of acidity, a slightly herbaceous nose and tannins.
Grapes are hand-harvested late in the season and left to macerate for 13-15 days. Aging is done in tonneaux and oak barrels for 14-18 months. Bottled without filtering.
A deep ruby red wine with aromas of red berries, mixed herbs and smoke. It has a full-bodied palate with red berry flavours accented by coffee notes.