Summary: We spent two nights at Terra & Vini, an inn lcated in Brazzano. During our stay we had an opportunity to meet Elda Felluga, who spoke of her father Livio and his winery.
The Livio Felluga family has been involved in wine for several generations. The family started making wine in Istria where they planted Refosco and Malvazija Istarska. Istria at the time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Livio, the eldest son of the fourth generation of Felluga winemakers, brought his knowledge of winemaking and wine growing to Friuli. In the 1950s, Livio set up a cellar in the farming village of Brazzano and purchased a vineyard in Rosazzo about seven kilometers away.
The Livio Felluga family endured challenges including wars, living in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then the Kingdom of Italy, and a rural population that was moving away from the country in favor of cities. This left the land poorer and many crops were abandoned. Livio believed that high quality viticulture could enhance the Friuli countryside. He began to plant new vineyards and restore old vineyards in Rosazzo.
In 1956, Livio designed a wine bottle label that was a map of the land. The map showed mountains, rivers, castles and towns. This label has endured; its 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2006.
In the late 1950’s Livio purchased further vineyards in the hills of Rosazzo, confirming his love for this land and for the ancient Abbey, symbol of viticultural tradition. Time passed and today the vineyards and cellars of the Rosazzo Abbey are managed by Livio Felluga. The winemakers are Stefano Chioccioli and Viorel Flocea. Livio’s daughter, Elda commented, “Livio Felluga’s children Maurizio, Elda, Andrea and Filippo have inherited the same love of the land, tradition and quality. Time has proved him right: Rosazzo has become D.O.C.G. from 2011.”
The vineyards are protected by the Alps to the north and the Adriatic Sea to the south. The Felluga estate comprises 200 hectares with 155 hectares (383 acres) planted with grapevines. Grape varieties include Friulano, Picolit, Pinot Bianco, Ribolla Gialla and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites. The red wine grapes include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pignolo and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. During the time of our March visit, the vineyards were still dormant.
The soils in the vineyards originated 50 million years ago Eocene epoch. Marl and sandstone flysch predominate. The Friulan term for flysch is “ponca.” The terroir of the area is ideal for grape growing and making wines that can show character and elegance.
Livio Felluga produces about 800,000 bottles (about 67,000 cases) of wine and has world-wide distribution. We tasted some of the Livio Felluga wines while at Terra & Vini in Brazzano. The 2011 Pinot Grigio was a pale yellow color. White peach and citrus were on the aroma and taste with the crisp fruity finish yielding to mineral. The 2011 Friulano was yellow with a floral and citrus aroma. The taste reminded me of citrus and orange blossoms. The finish was crisp and the fruit yielded to mineral on the aftertaste.
The 2009 Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso was a dark purple to black color. The wine was aged in French barriques for twelve months. There were dark red jammy fruits on the aroma and taste. Tannins were on the crisp and fruity finish.
During our multi-course lunch, Elda brought out the grappa.
Terra & Vini
Several rooms are for rent at Terra & Vini. There is also a restaurant where we had a marvelous lunch. Behind the restaurant bar, a sign posts the Livio Felluga wines available. A room adjacent to the restaurant has a selection of Livio Felluga wines and other items for sale.
Terra & Vini article
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Article written March 2013
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