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Kathy and Terry Sullivan

ZorzettigSummary: Zorzettig offers a wonderful experience for wine enthusiasts and travelers. Enjoy a delightful time in the Zorzettig tasting room while enjoying their wines both indigenous and international varieties.

Upon arriving at Zorzettig in Friuli, we noticed a car with three demijohns filled with wine about to drive away. It was an interesting contrast of old versus new. We were ushered to the wine cellar.

ZorzettigWine Cellar

Off to the wine cellar, we were formally greeted with a sparkling wine their Brut Optimum OZ. The sparkling wine was made from the Ribolla Gialla grape and was a straw color. There was a noticeable bread note on the aroma and the taste of apples. We had this wine as an aperitif while ambling through the wine cellar. Since this was the second winery visit of the day the sparkling wine was a great segue to our tasting of Zorzettig wines.

Walls in the cellar were made of stone while the ceiling was made with bricks. Rows of barriques lined the walls stacked two high. Large capacity wood barrels were at the ends of the two sidewalls. A table was set up with the Optimum OZ. Adjacent to the table was an old basket press adorned with copper pails.

ZorzettigFriulian Kitchen

Our group then went to another building for our tasting. Zorzettig offers a warm feeling when visiting. The old farmhouse has a wonderful old style Friulian feel. Italian curios add to the atmosphere of a traditional Friulian kitchen and dining area. In the kitchen, copper pots and pans abound. A wood stove adds to the charm of the kitchen.

A Papal Blessing issued by Pope John Paul II December 12, 2003 for a 40th wedding anniversary rests on one wall of the dining area. A Papal Blessing is a decorative hand painted blessing for special occasions from the Pope. Also look for a mosaic of the Zorzettig logo. The room has other artifacts including a gramophone and spinning wheel.


For generations the Zorzettig family has been making wines. In 1986, Cavalier Giuseppe Zorzettig bought an old farmhouse in the Orientali del Friuli wine region. He used the winemaking skills he learned from his father. Today the next generation is making wine using modern winemaking methods.

The property has ancient cellars where Zorzettig wines are aging.  Wines at Zorzettig are crafted from indigenous and international grape varieties. The indigenous varieties are Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Picolit. Other varieties include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Franconia.

Along with the vineyards, the Zorzettigs have two hectares of olive trees. Olive varieties include Pendolino, Maurino, Leccino, Frantoio and Bianchera. The olives are handpicked and milled within 24 hours of harvest.


The Zorzettig vineyards consist of 110 hectares. In the vineyards sustainability is practiced. The vineyards have 4,000 to 5,000 old plants. The soil is poor but rich in minerals. Views of the vineyards show that each grapevine is individually staked rather than trellised.


While tasting Zorzettig wines we enjoyed Prosciutto, cheese, crusty bread, pastries and olives.  Some of the wine bottle labels have an image of an upside down wineglass with an animal inside representing nature. A different animal is used for each wine series.

The Pinot Bianco 2011 was a straw color with a floral and spicy aroma and taste. Friulano 2012 was a light straw yellow with an aroma of mineral and floral. The taste of the wine included floral and tropical notes. The crisp finish had fruit yielding to almond. The 2011 Ribolla Gialla was a straw color with floral and citrus notes on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp and yielded to some tropical fruits.

ZorzettigRefosco dal Peduncolo Rosso 2010 was a dark ruby. The aroma and taste offered dark fruit and minerals. The finish had tannins and dark fruits.

Picolit 2009 was a dark yellow. The grapes were dried in crates for over a month. The aroma and taste were of dried fruits. The residual sugar was 110g/litre; however, the sweetness was not syrupy. The suggested pairing was gubana.

Grappa is made from the Zorzettig grape pomace. The Grappa was clear and aromatic. It was very smooth and fruity with heat on the finish.

Enjoy a visit to Zorzettig where you will be greeted as friends. Be sure to look at the Friulian kitchen and numerous delightful artifacts while tasting Zorzettig wines.

Strada S. Anna 37
Spessa, Cividale del Friuli, Udine, Italy

Article written April 2013


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