The vastness of Italy’s rich viticultural variety never ceases to amaze, and it is always a thrill to turn over a heretofore unknown stone. During the past few years, due to our new relationships with Gravner, Zidarich, and Vodopivec, we found ourselves spending more time in the northeast of the country, and taking a closer look at the Veneto region in particular. While Valpolicella and Amarone are the red wines that dominate the public consciousness of the Veneto, they hardly tell the whole story. As is the case throughout Italy, despite the proliferation of international varieties (as widespread a phenomenon in the Veneto as anywhere), pockets of deep tradition exist and thrive. In that vein, we consider ourselves quite fortunate to have discovered Dominio di Bagnoli—a unique fattoria nestled in the southeast corner of the Veneto, in the commune of Padua.
Owned for the past century by the Borletti family, the Bagnoli estate dates back another thousand years prior (during which time it was owned by the church), and in fact there exists evidence of viticulture in the area from pre-Roman times. Encompassing over 600 hectares of land and forest, the farm produces rice, flour, honey, grapeseed oil, and, of course, wine. The Borletti family and their team run the entire farm as sustainably as possible, with many of the products certified-organic, and they pride themselves on their operation’s very low carbon footprint. The Villa Widman-Borletti—the nerve center of Bagnoli—is a splendorous work, designed and constructed in the mid-17th century by the famous Venetian architect Baldassare Longhena. Within the complex are a granary, a theater, stables, a pigeon loft, a medieval monastery garden (adorned with forty amazing statues created in the 19th century specifically for the estate), and the wine cellar itself—a thick-walled, vaulted-ceilinged, subterranean barrel room of striking beauty. The whole operation is a sight to behold, suffused thoroughly with a palpable, almost achingly old-world éclat.
Bagnoli’s wine production centers around the local Friularo (known also as Raboso Piave, in reference to the local Piave river), a tight-bunched, late-ripening variety that combines pert acidity, jaunty tannins, and mercifully low alcohol—not a far cry from its northeastern siblings Terrano and Refosco with whom it shares a parent. Friularo is particularly suited to the sandy soils of the Bagnoli estate, which contribute to its exuberant and burstingly red-fruited aromatic profile. A whiff of the nearby Adriatic Sea permeates the wines as well, manifesting in an attractive complicating trace of salinity. Furthermore, the high-acid Friularo takes particularly well to late-season harvesting, and indeed Bagnoli produces a powerful, spice-driven, complex Vendemmia Tardiva that still manages to convey freshness and lift. Notably, Friularo di Bagnoli was upgraded to full DOCG status in 2011—a clear testament to its ultimate distinctiveness and quality.
Fermentations at Bagnoli take place in cement and begin spontaneously in all but exceedingly rare instances, and aging occurs in very well-used French oak of various sizes—but mostly in enormous 50-hectoliter foudres which flank the dramatic cellar room. Sulfur dioxide is used sparingly (and never before malolactic fermentation has finished), and the wines typically end up with just 50-60 milligrams per liter of total sulfur. The finished wines possess undeniable charm, combining an unfussy elegance with an appealing trace of rusticity. In the manner of Italy’s most successful indigenous-variety local wines, Dominio di Bagnoli’s are comfortable in their skin and undeniably evocative of their place of origin, and we are eager to share them with you.
|Il Dominio Bagnoli Friularo DOCG Classico Ventdemmia Tardiva: This wine is produced exclusively from the ‘Friularo’ grapes, all of our production, harvested after the summer of San Martino (November 11th). An indigenous vine, Friularo has been present in Bagnoli for over five centuries. This wine pairs well with strong dishes and aged cheeses, and is a wine that can age for a long time. Recommended serving temperature 18-20 C|
|Il Dominio Bagnoli Friularo DOCG Classico: This is a particular wine that is produced exclusively with a unique and ancient grape in Bagnoli, ‘the Friularo grape’. The Friularo grape vine has been present in Bagnoli for over five hundred years. Wine suitable for grilled red meat dishes, fatty fish, such as eel and catfish, medium-textured or aged cheeses. It can keeo for a long time and must be served at 16-18 C.|
The vastness of Italy’s rich viticultural variety never ceases to amaze, and it is always a thrill to turn over a heretofore unknown stone. During the past few years, due to our new relationships with Gravner, Zidarich, and Vodopivec, we found ourselves spending more time in the northeast of the country, and taking a closer […]