Vie di Romans
Gianfranco Gallo has managed the Vie di Romans estate in Mariano del Friuli since 1978 which, although it had cultivated vineyards and produced wine for over a hundred years, was largely agricultural until the 20th century. This Italian family have the same surname as the Californian giant wine producer Gallo - who prevented them from selling their wines under the Gallo name - and so the name Vie di Romans was chosen. This means “Road of the Romans”, as a Roman road once ran through Marinao del Friuli. Gianfranco is a perfectionist who radically transformed the estate, converting it solely to viticulture. Beginning in 1982 he invested in meticulous research into the vineyards, mapping the discrete microclimates and soils of each site to be able to plant and manage them accordingly, and coax the particular traits of each grape variety to shine reflecting the character of each distinct plot. The quest for uncompromising quality drives every vinicultural decision. Friuli is on the border with Slovenia and is the easternmost area of northern Italy. This is a unique area where different winds from the Adriatic, barely 20 kilometres away, and winds from the northern continent converge. These winds are both humid and dry, cool and warm, and create a constantly changing climate. Bora, the colder continental east wind, and the warmer Sirocco from the Mediterranean, also prevail at different times of the year and these alternating weather patterns determine if the climate will be continental-European or northern-Mediterranean in any given year. The winds ensure a wide diurnal variation, and sun exposure and a slow ripening period, build great concentration of flavours in the grapes. Soils are complex, very stony of glacial origin, rich in alluvial fans and minerals with a high concentration of ferrous oxides. 60 hectares are under vine in the DOC of Friuli Insonzo, on a broad terrace on the north bank of the River Insonzo, cultivated with the international Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir, and local Malvasia Istriana and Friulano. On the labels both the grape variety and the name of the vineyard from where the grapes were sourced are shown. The vineyards are named after traditional place names derived from local land survey maps. The white wines are released a full two years after the harvest, and have the ability to age. They convey the uniqueness and complexities of their origin - textured with great intensity and richness - these fascinating wines from this unique corner of Italy are truly impressive.