Saturday, June 20, 2020

Late Harvest Greco Bianco of Calabria at Tenuta Iuzzolini

Over the last few months I’ve shared some wines from Calabria, a wine region of Italy that is one of the lesser discovered one that I love to explore and share.  Today is the first day I’m sharing a wine from the Greco Bianco grape and it’s a late harvest one from Tenuta Iuzzolini. 

The Winery ~ Tenuta Iuzzolini 

Four sibilings, Pasquale, Diego, Antonio and Rosa started the winery back in 2004.  They own over 1,200 acres with their parents Fortunato and Giovanna, with 250 acres dedicated to vines.  I actually was not familiar with this winery before today, but they’re no small shop producing 1.2 million bottles annually with 13 different stypes of wines including sparkling, passito and grappa.  Per their site they pride themselves on the “recovery and enhancement of Calabrian native vines” featuring Magliocco, Galioppo and Greco Bianco.  

Tenuta Iuzzolini’s vineyards are located in the province of Crotone in Ciro' Marina, along the Ionian coast.  Most of their wines fall under the Ciro' DOC or Calabria IGT designations.  The climate of the area is Mediterranean with various fertile soils that are calcareous with clay and sand.  

Tenuta Iuzzolini Calabria
Copyright of Tenuta Iuzzolini
I connected with one of the sons, Pasquele, to dig a little deeper into the winery, their practices and learn more about these indigenous grapes of Calabria. 

1) Why did you and your brothers and sister decide to begin the winery in 2004? 

The Iuzzolini family has always for generations worked in viticulture.  However, until 2004 it was limited to selling grapes or bulk wine to local consumers.  In 2004 my siblings and myself wanted to innovate our business with a mission to export the Calabria brand all over the world.  We thought to produce wines of the highest quality exclusively for the hotel, restaurant and cafĂ© sector around the world utilizing the principal indigeous grapes from our land (Gaglioppo, Greco Bianco e Magliocco). We have had exponential growth and today we export our wine in all the principal markets of the world receiving awards, in particular our Donna Giovanna wine achieved a score of 98 from Luca Maroni. 

2) Tell me about the grape greco bianco.  It seems the focus is on native varietals.  Why did you choose to make a late harvest greco bianco with Donna Giovanna?   

The greco bianco vine is an indigenous vine of Ciro'.  As mentioned in the preceeding question our mission at the winery is to export the Calabrian brand and Ciro’ all over the world.  For this reason we utilize the indigenous vines like Greco Bianco.  We chose Greco Bianco for a late harvest because it is the most appropriate for this type of wine.   

3) Does the winery participate in any particular practices, biodynamic, organic, etc 

In our vineyards we only use natural fertilizers. 

4) What is the future for Tenuta Iuzzolini? Do you find it difficult to promote the wines of Calabria and unknown grapes?   

Our future goal is to always make known Calabria and Ciro' through our wines.  The wines of Calabria and southern Italy are only being discovered in recent years, finally it is our moment and we want to contribute to discovering Calabria in the world.  Unfortunately not everyone knows the wines and the grapes of Calabria, but as soon as you taste our wines you will be in love immediately.   

5) What is unique about the land and climate where the winery is situated?    

The climate of Calabria is unique in the world.  The summers are dry and very hot with winter short and mild  This climate naturally is ideal for the cultivation of the vines since it causes them to become very mature and reach a very high sugar level.  It is very important to consider the vicinity of the vines to the sea.  This gives the grapes a level of very high sapidity. 

The Wine 

2018 Tenuta Iuzzolini Donna Giovanna Calabria IGT (Greco Bianco late harvest) - The Greco Bianco grapes are manually harvested and picked in late October.  This wine spends 6 months in new French barrique with an additional 2 months in the bottle.  More golden colored in the glass.  This wine showed ripe, tropical fruit on the nose.  A sharp acidity up front upon opening, but smoothed right out in the glass.  Ripe fruit with a textured mouthfeel and a hint of toastiness and herbs.  Quite unique and not what I expected for a late harvest.  

Pairing: I chose to pair this wine with some grilled lemon pepper chicken and a caprese salad.  I wish I did a little research before or had tasted the wine sooner because I think I would've tried seafood instead.  Lots of spice with the chicken and the residual sugars of the wine I would've tried a different route.  If you think about where Calabria is located along the sea you'll find seafood in many of the dishes.  A great rule to always follow, what grows together goes together.  

Tenuta Iuzzolini Donna Giovanna Greco Bianco late harvest pairing
How familiar are you with the wines of Calabria and have any of my readers visited this region?


*This wine and oil were provided as samples, but opinions are all my own.  Importer: IVDC Wines.

No comments:

Post a Comment