Italian wine: Late Harvest Greco Bianco of Calabria at Tenuta Iuzzolini
- WTI Magazine #131 Sep 19, 2020
Over the last few months I’ve shared some wines from Calabria, a wine region of Italy that is one of the lesser discovered one that I love to explore and share. Today is the first day I’m sharing a wine from the Greco Bianco grape and it’s a late harvest one from Tenuta Iuzzolini.
The Winery ~ Tenuta Iuzzolini
Four sibilings, Pasquale, Diego, Antonio and Rosa started the winery back in 2004. They own over 1,200 acres with their parents Fortunato and Giovanna, with 250 acres dedicated to vines. I actually was not familiar with this winery before today, but they’re no small shop producing 1.2 million bottles annually with 13 different stypes of wines including sparkling, passito and grappa. Per their site they pride themselves on the “recovery and enhancement of Calabrian native vines” featuring Magliocco, Galioppo and Greco Bianco.
Tenuta Iuzzolini’s vineyards are located in the province of Crotone in Cirò Marina, along the Ionian coast. Most of their wines fall under the Cirò DOC or Calabria IGT designations. The climate of the area is Mediterranean with various fertile soils that are calcareous with clay and sand.
The Iuzzolini family has always for generations worked in viticulture. However, until 2004 it was limited to selling grapes or bulk wine to local consumers. In 2004 the family wanted to innovate their business with a mission to export the Calabria brand all over the world. They thought to produce wines of the highest quality exclusively for the hotel, restaurant and café sector around the world utilizing the principal indigeous grapes from their land (Gaglioppo, Greco Bianco e Magliocco). They have had exponential growth and today we export their wine in all the principal markets of the world receiving awards, in particular our Donna Giovanna wine achieved a score of 98 from Luca Maroni.
The greco bianco vine is an indigenous vine of Cirò. The mission at the winery is to export the Calabrian brand and Cirò all over the world. For this reason they utilize the indigenous vines like Greco Bianco. They chose Greco Bianco for a late harvest because it is the most appropriate for this type of wine.
The wines of Calabria and southern Italy are only being discovered in recent years, finally it is their moment and they want to contribute to discovering Calabria in the world. Unfortunately not everyone knows the wines and the grapes of Calabria, but as soon as you taste their wines you will be in love immediately.
The climate of Calabria is unique in the world. The summers are dry and very hot with winter short and mild. This climate naturally is ideal for the cultivation of the vines since it causes them to become very mature and reach a very high sugar level. It is very important to consider the vicinity of the vines to the sea. This gives the grapes a level of very high sapidity.
2018 Tenuta Iuzzolini Donna Giovanna Calabria IGT (Greco Bianco late harvest) - The Greco Bianco grapes are manually harvested and picked in late October. This wine spends 6 months in new French barrique with an additional 2 months in the bottle. More golden colored in the glass. This wine showed ripe, tropical fruit on the nose. A sharp acidity up front upon opening, but smoothed right out in the glass. Ripe fruit with a textured mouthfeel and a hint of toastiness and herbs. Quite unique and not what I expected for a late harvest.