The origins of the I Clivi vineyard are unexpected. Indeed, Ferdinando Zanusso, the founder of the estate, started his professional career in West Africa and, during his many trips, he developed a true passion for wine and its production. In the 90s, he bought a small vineyard of two hectares in the heart of his wife's birthplace, Brazzano di Cormons. The first vintages were humble and produced at a neighbouring cellar, Gaspare Buscemi, who only used natural yeast and stainless steel vats for alcoholic fermentation. Ferdinando and his son Mario admired this authentic technique and applied it in their own cellar in order to produce a wine as whole and intact as possible.
After the failure of the 2008 harvest due to a severe mildew attack, the estate rethought its winemaking techniques by producing more single variety wines and by introducing the Ribolla grape, that is according to them the future of the region. The vineyard cultivates as well the Friulano, the Verduzzo and the Malvasia varieties. They have always favoured local grape varieties because they believe they express the best from their precious terroir.
Veneto is one of Italy’s most productive wine regions with more than 2 million DOC appellation hectoliters produced each year from the forty varietals that are grown there. The vineyards stretch from Lake Garda at the foot of the Alps in the north to the lagoons of the Adriatic Sea to the east. The quality varies greatly from one sub-region to another and from one producer to another. The best wines generally come from the western part of the region around the city of Verona. Soave, Valpolicella and Amarone are among the most popular and best-known Italian wines and all come from this fascinating area.
Wine production in the northeast of Italy is just as diverse as the topography and soils that characterize the region. Added to this is a multitude of microclimates and work philosophies. The rich grape variety and the wide range of wines with different styles are therefore not surprising. Even within Veneto, some appellations such as Soave or Valpolicella are quite spread out, it is best to read up on an estate’s viticultural and winemaking practices, soil and vineyard locations to correctly evaluate a wine’s organoleptic potential. Usually the heart of appellation, categorized classico, is the most interesting in terms of quality.