13 June 2024

Piera 1899: third generation for the wines of Friuli Venezia Giulia

In San Quirino I discovered a very special "Cantina diffusa"

This is an all-female article. I have two women leading me on this adventure: Piera and her right-hand woman Anna. I am in San Quirino, in the province of Pordenone, perfectly equally distant from the sea or the mountains (just a half hour). This is an area rich in biodiversity. An example you ask? Something that perhaps not everyone knows is that... there is also a steppe here.

Yes, you have read that right and no, I’m not in Russia: I’m talking about the Magredi steppe, which formed because of the action of two rivers, called Meduna and Cellina, which created an arid and stony area carrying debris from the mountains. Below the Magredi these two streams still flow, and the whole area floods during periods of persistent rainfall.

It’s a very interesting place, unique in Italy also because of its flora and fauna. This is due to its proximity to the mountains, which drive raptors down to the plains in search of prey. Yes, okay, enough National Geographic.

But it was right here, in this arid land, that Piera wanted to put down roots in 2001. Born and raised in Padua, in 1992 her father passed his legacy onto her; her desire was to carry on the family business ... also by increasing its quality. And she saw great potential in the nearby Friuli Venezia Giulia.

In 2001 she chose San Quirino and the Grave area to develop her "Cantina diffusa" project. Someone less experienced may ask what that means. It’s very simple, really. The winery is in one place, while the vineyards are scattered throughout the territory of the Region, covering different DOC territories. This choice aims to bring into the bottle all the peculiarities of such a variegated area, with the goal to fully enhance biodiversity.

Here I had the chance to taste several wines from the Terre Magre line. These wines, from the areas of Friuli Grave, are born from the difficult, dry soils of the Magredi (the alluvial soils shaped by streams I mentioned before) and manage to release unmistakable aromas. Terre Magre helps to tell the wine mosaic that is Friuli Grave and enhances its potential, ranging from whites such as the indigenous Ribolla gialla, Pinot gris and international ones such as Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Traminer, also showing a good assortment of reds with Refosco dal peduncolo rosso, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet both Sauvignon and Franc.

Fresh wines aged in steel barrels, some of which have also been left to macerate on the skin for a few days. Their label is a photograph of the territory: the irregular cut at the top represents the Friulian Dolomites, the horizontal embossing shows the vineyard rows, while the two horizontal foil lines symbolize the rivers, and the smooth end speaks of the Adriatic Sea. Running your hand over it, in its roughness you can feel the soil rich in stones. A true tale. The freshness, minerality, and scents of the region are fully expressed in the glass.

The winery pays attention to sustainable processes and production choices aimed at minimal environmental impact, so much so that since the 1990s it has introduced a line of organic wines, pioneering the latest consumer trends.

In short, what can I say... if you want to have an experience in an area such as the steppes of Friuli Venezia Giulia, I recommend you drop by and do detour to " La Sartoria Vini," as Piera likes to call it, right at the entrance to the winery.

Cin-cin amici, à la santé!

Foto Jessica Zufferli

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