Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Place: Fernando Pighin & Flglis, Udine
In 1963 Luigi, Ercole and Fernando purchased the 200 hectare estate belonging to the Risano family in Friuli. In 1968 they purchased Spessa di Capriva, 30 ha in the Collio DOC, further establishing the quality of their wine production. In 2004, Fernando his wife Danila and children Roberto and Raffaela acquired full control of the wineries.
From the office headquarters to the individual vineyard properties, a constant symbol presents itself: The Rooster. It is a symbol of land, fertility and personifies sunlight. To the Pighin family, it is a reminder that wine is a reflection of the environment and what Mother Nature gives them any given year.
We toured the prized vineyards in the “Colli” (technically, “small hill” in the Friulian dialect) where the Pighin family produces some of their finest Pinot Grigio wines. The best grapes are grown in soil known as “Flysh”–well drained, rich, crumbly marl and sandstone.
Technically this area is closer to Austria and Germany and the wines can have similarities. The natural elements of the area help moderate temperature and protect the vineyards from harsh weather conditions. The Alps form the northern boarder and nearly all the vines are grown along the Sierra Foothills, stretching inland from the Adriatic Sea.
For this specific wine, no time is wasted. Grapes go straight from vineyard to press and stainless steel fermentation tanks on site.
Fernando lead us through a tasting of wines that were at various stages in the fermentation process. The wines had bracing acidity. There were similarities between each stage and they were certainly full of rich citrus and banana notes.
We later toured the Pighin Estate. Which was marvelous, old and highly prestigious. Many important visitors and friends of the family stay here when they are in Friuli.
They also house their small red wine cellars here.
After a full day of tours, Fernando took us to a local restaurant: Da Nando. We were welcomed into the restaurant and placed at a pre-set table filled with elegant Murano glassware. We weren’t sure what to expect, however; I am certain that not one of us anticipated the courses to keep coming. We started with a “mushroom cappuccino” (soup with a cream spuma), which lead to 5 fish dishes, 2 mushroom dishes, proscuitto, figs, a cheese course, chocolate and biscotti. Dish after exciting dish, each pairing delicately with the Pigin wines on the table. I was beyond full by the end of the meal, and wound up sleeping uncomfortably that night. It was all so delicious, but I felt a bit gluttonous.
Thank you to the Fernando Pighin and family for graciously hosting us for the day and teaching us about the area of Friuli and your wines!