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Principi di Porcia
by
Kathy Sullivan

Principi di PorciaSummary: Principi di Porcia is a massive area of land owned by the same family stretching back to the Middle Ages. The vineyards have had more than 800 harvests. Today Principi di Porcia is a diversified farm focusing on vineyards, protecting the land with sustainability measures, growing numerous farm crops, and producing biogas.

The Principi di Porcia owners trace the ownership of the land back to the Middle Ages, 1181. As of 2013 the winery has had 832 harvests with 55 generations. Thus it is one of Italy’s oldest wineries. However, just as importantly is their focus on sustainability and the “green” investments. These “green” enterprises include solar panels, a hydroelectric plant and a biogas plant. Guecello Count di Porcia e Brugnera, owner and a descendant said, “Connecting with people is what we are here for.”

Principi di PorciaAs soon as we left our bus we were greeted with a glass of wine and prosciutto. Some of the prosciutto was wrapped on bread sticks, a very convenient way to eat it while holding a glass of wine and a camera.

Diversification

Principi di Porcia is a diversified company that includes many businesses including the vineyards and winery. Other businesses include: cereal grains, soy, forage crops, walnuts, poplar trees, trout, dairy cows and energy from renewable resources.

The Land

Principi di PorciaThe property has 850 hectares (2,100 acres) sustainably farmed. More than 140 acres are planted with grapevines. The vineyards are in two DOC zones: Friuli Grave DOC and Lison Pramaggiore DOC. In addition the property has a dairy farm with 245 cows. The milk goes to a cheese company that produces the cheese and the cheese is returned to Principi di Porcia for sale in the wine shop.

The cow manure is used as a fertilizer in the fields and also combined with corn mash to produce methane, a biogas. Solar panels are over the cattle area. Between the energy generating practices, enough energy is converted to support the winery, the farm, the businesses on the farm and to sell the remainder, enough for 3,000 families. Principi di Porcia is known as an “Energy Saving Company.”

Wine Shop

Inside, the tasting room and winery remind one of a contemporary style. The architects and interior designers were Marco Grandesso and Dario Schiavo. The clean, light lines of the architecture and furnishings are bright and do not reflect the age of vineyards and winery from the Middle Ages. The tasting room even has a high definition television to provide information about Principi di Porcia. Through glass doors visitors can see the gleaming stainless steel tanks standing like soldiers at attention.

Principi di PorciaWines

According to Guecello Count di Porcia e Brugnera, the winery is seen as a “journey from the vine to the cork.”

The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc was a dark yellow. Floral, tropical fruits with minerals were noticed on the aroma and taste. A refreshing Sauvignon is used as an aperitif or with food. Pinot Grigio 2012, a recently bottled wine, was yellow and offered a touch of aromatics and citrus and mineral on the aftertaste. The Verduzzo Friulano 2011 was made with Verduzzo Friulano. The dark gold wine offered a light aroma of floral and mineral notes. The floral was reminscient of flower stems and white peach skins. The wine had very light tannins.

The 2006 Torre Colombera (the tower of the pigeons – the Twitter of the Middle Ages) was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. The wine was a dark purple to black color. The aroma was of dried fruits and licorice. The taste offered notes of dried fruits, fig and licorice. The bold finish had fruity and chewy tannins.

During our walk through the property, Guecello Count di Porcia e Brugnera was asked how the family survived the wars that surely must have impacted this area. In reply he noted that the family survived by opening their doors and helping people.

We discovered that Principi Di Porcia is a very large enterprise. With the diversification of its land, it must surely be one of the most innovative winery/farms we have encountered on our wine journey.

The historic wine cellar is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. The farm is open Mondays through Saturdays.

Principi di Porcia
Via Zuiano, 29
33082 Azzano Decimo PN, Italy

 

Article written April 2013


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