The Beauty Of Friuli’s Vineyards And A Family History: A Day At Lorenzonetto Cav. Guido Wine Estate

Entrance of the Lorenzonetto wine estate

Last month I was in the Italian region of Friuli to spend some time with part of the family and during those days I had the pleasure of visiting one of the largest wine estates in the area because during our lunches at home we always drink the red wine produced by Lorenzonetto, buying it directly from them.

The Lorenzonetto Cav. Guido wine estate is located in the municipality of Pertegada, near the town of Latisana; the wine business is entirely run by the Lorenzonetto family, where winemaking and vineyard cultivation have been handed down through generations (they have been winemakers in Friuli since 1968).

Although the company retains the ancient traditions related to winemaking, it has also embraced the technological innovations of our time for the production process. The area of the Friulian plain where the wine estate is located makes the development of vineyards particularly favorable because the soils are well endowed with micro-elements. The area is also favored by a microclimate because of its proximity to the Adriatic Sea (about 11 km from the coastal town of Lignano Sabbiadoro) and its currents of warm and salty air, which facilitate the creation of tasty and fragrant wines.

Friulian vineyards and trees in the fall
Inside the Lorenzonetto store
Wine barrels

It all started in the 1960s, when Guido Lorenzonetto, together with his wife Ornella, arrived in Friuli and immediately started crafting fine wines which were greatly prized by local residents and tourists (Friuli is one of Italy’s most visited regions and the vineyard clientele is also international because the area is very close to Austria and Slovenia).

The running of the estate founded by Guido Lorenzonetto and his wife is now handled by their sons Mara and Marco, who have always been committed to improving and expanding wine and prosecco production and vineyard cultivation. I had the pleasure of meeting Ornella and Mara and was very impressed by their kindness and the professionalism with which they run this wonderful family business. They welcomed me to their wine estate and showed me around the wine production areas, allowing me to explore the surroundings and take photographs.

Their winemaking philosophy revolves around Tradition, Terroir and Technology. Environmental sustainability is one of the company’s main missions, as the whole structure is equipped with photovoltaic panels for self-generation of the energy needed to produce its wines.

The Lorenzonetto vineyards and terrains are also home to numerous little animals typical of the Friulian territories because of a microclimate that is conducive to hosting characteristic animals such as hare, duck, herons and geese.

View overlooking the vineyards from the Lorenzonetto wine estate
Wine vessels
Large wine barrel outside the winery

The “Friuli Latisana” DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) appellation zone where the Lorenzonetto Cav. Guido wine estate is located consists mainly of clay soils, which are difficult to work but rich in mineral salts. The whole area stretches into the Southern belt of the province of Udine and it is particularly suited to winemaking; linking the ancient traditions and the existing natural and human heritage to the most modern systems of vine cultivation and production has helped to enhance the value of the grapes that come from these noble vineyards.

Latisana has been a renowned production area since the 15h century, when the son of the Doge Andrea Vendramin Bartolomeo moved to the Latisana feud and established a reputable horse farm, initiating vine cultivation; this led to the spread of Tisana Furlano wine in Venice and the wine was also called Vendramino, in honor of the Venetian patricians Vendramin.

Wine machinery
Stainless steel wine tanks
Tank door

For about ten years, the Lorenzonetto wine estate has been using high-tech winemaking machines and wine tanks made of stainless steel, which are essential in order to obtain wines with organoleptic properties of increasingly better quality.

Winter and summer pruning are done by manual techniques that allow for the accurate distinction of branches with better aptitude for the production of quality grapes. Harvesting is also carried out manually, ensuring that the grapes are selected and cleanly placed in containers for transportation to the winery. The harvest usually takes place in September, and I hope to have the chance to witness the process next year because it is one of the activities that I find most fascinating.

Lorenzonetto wine estate – Main building
Wine containers – Malbech, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Ribolla Gialla
Red wine at the Lorenzonetto store

The winery store is located inside the facility and is open year-round; upon your arrival you will be greeted by members of the Lorenzonetto family who will advise you and allow you to taste their wines. The Lorenzonetto wine estate has won numerous awards and accolades thanks to its high-quality wines, which have won prizes at Triveneto wine exhibitions (Mostra dei Vini Triveneti di Camalò). Their “Extra Dry Millesimato Prosecco” was first runner-up in the 2021 Sparkling Wine selection, and their Sauvignon was included in the 2013 list of the 100 Top Wines of the Friuli region. At the Lorenzonetto wine estate you will find wines that meet every food pairing need, from aperitifs to desserts.

RED WINES: Refosco is an ancient Friulian grape variety that is quite widespread in the Friuli region. It has a deep ruby red color and reveals a spicy nose centered on red fruits. An excellent full-bodied wine, which is gradually softened by aging.

Cabernet Franc is a prestigious wine with intense ruby red color and it is characterized by spicy and herbaceous notes, dry and with a very pleasant taste. This wine goes outstandingly well with glazed or baked meats, poultry and braised meats.

Merlot has an intense ruby red color and a robust, slightly herbaceous aroma with hints of cherry and raspberry. It is a wine of good alcohol content that lends itself well to aging.

Rosso dei Picchi is a slightly sparkling wine with a delicate bouquet and it is very pleasant when served chilled as an aperitif. Excellent with fresh and aged cheeses and as a dessert wine.

Malbech is a light, sweet-tasting red wine that is excellent as an aperitif and with all meals. It is the wine we buy most often at the Lorenzonetto wine estate and I drink it daily for lunch whenever I am staying in Friuli, one of the regions of Italy where wine is synonymous with conviviality (we also tend to dilute it with ice when outside temperatures are high, without overdoing it so as not to lose its aromatic characteristics).

Franconia is a great red wine for aperitif and for the whole meal as well, with a soft and slightly sweet taste; I got to taste it during my most recent visit to Friuli and found it excellent.

Li Blançiuris is obtained from Cabernet Franc, Refosco and Raboso grapes. After a year of aging in oak barriques, the right balance is achieved for accompanying grilled red meats.

Cabernet Franc Passito is made by withering process, where grapes are hand picked and partially dried on pallets in airy rooms in order to concentrate the grapes’ flavors and sweetness prior to vinification. Realized with the free-of-charge collaboration of the LIONS CLUB of Lignano Sabbiadoro.

Red wine boxes
Moscato Spumante with an award certificate

WHITE WINES: Pinot Grigio is a wine with a soft yellow color and green hues. On the nose are notes of soft fruits and white flowers. On the palate it has great structure and balance and it is excellent when paired with fish dishes.

Chardonnay has a delicate, fruity scent perfectly balanced with banana flavor and its taste is full and harmonious.

Verduzzo is a golden yellow-colored wine whose fragrance is reminiscent of licorice. It is a classic dessert wine, especially paired with pastries.

Friulano is a well-rounded and full-flavored wine, with hints of almond on the palate. Discrete acidity, balanced and harmonious.

Sauvignon has a straw-yellow color with slightly green highlights. It is a fresh and appealing wine with multiple aromas of exotic fruit, cedar, anise, nettle, yellow pepper and mint.

Ribolla Gialla is a delicate wine with a pleasant, well-balanced palate that goes excellently with fish.

Malvasia is a great wine with a fruity and floral scent. The taste is fresh and this white wine is excellent for an aperitif and also paired with fish dishes.

SPARKLING WINES: Prosecco Brut is a sparkling wine with a fruity aromatic bouquet that leads to a well-balanced, light and fresh palate.

Prosecco Frizzante has a pleasant vivacity and an elegant perlage. It has a persistent and aromatic taste as well; on the nose are fruity scents with hints of apple blossoms and white flowers.

The bubbles of Prosecco Millesimato create a creamy and fine mousse with a persistent perlage. Fresh fruity scents with hints of apple blossoms and white flowers; the taste is round, lively and aromatic. Available in 0.75 liter and 1.5 liter Magnum formats.

Ribolla Gialla Spumante is a delicate and semi-sparkling wine, known for its lovely freshness. Its ideal companion is fish in all its varieties. Available in a 1.5 liter Magnum format.

Moscato Spumante Dolce is a sweet sparkling wine that is very delicate and the perfect companion to desserts. It is a sparkling wine with a golden yellow color and an elegant bouquet with hints of yellow peach.

Regarding ROSÉ WINES, the top of the range of the Lorenzonetto winery is Rosé Cuvée, which comes in a brilliant color with violet hues and has a fine and persistent perlage. The delicate scents of rose and violet are revealed to the nose.

Ribolla Gialla
Cuvée Prestige
Wine bottles at the Lorenzonetto store

In addition to wines and sparkling wines, the Lorenzonetto wine estate also has a production of grappa, including Grappa di Moscato (made from the distillation of yellow Moscato grapes), Grappa di Refosco (distilled from Refosco grapes), and Grappa Friulana (from the distillation of pomace selected from the vineyards).

In addition, the company is also strong in producing unpasteurized and unfiltered barley malt farmhouse beer.

The geographical location of the wine estate also allows for a wide range of aromas and fragrances that result in a fine oil. The proximity of the sea to the estate’s olive groves, along with the salt-rich nature of the soils, favors an excellent cultivation of native Friulian olive trees.

Lorenzonetto wine estate – Vineyards
Vineyards and flowers

Visiting the Lorenzonetto wine estate was a wonderful experience and it was exciting to see the winemaking machinery and the stages of production. There is a great atmosphere and the staff is very friendly and helpful so you will definitely enjoy your visit.

You can also purchase Lorenzonetto wines and other products online by visiting the store website; they offer both national and international shipping and you can also subscribe to the newsletter on the website to stay informed about upcoming promotions.

The wine estate gate and a large wine barrel
Friulian plain vineyards and the Lorenzonetto estate

Lorenzonetto Cav. Guido Azienda Vini & Spumanti, Via Lignano Sabbiadoro 148/B Pertegada (UD), Italy

Additional notes:

Thank you to the owner Mara and her mother Ornella for their kindness and for allowing me to visit their amazing wine estate. Thank you for providing me with comprehensive information about the wine estate; being at Lorenzonetto has been a great experience and am looking forward to visiting again soon. Also, thank you for gifting me with a bottle of Ribolla Gialla, it was very appreciated by the rest of the family as well.

Some of the information I have provided about the wines mentioned in the article was extracted from Lorenzonetto’s official website: .

All pictures are my own, except for the closeup shots of the Ribolla Gialla Spumante and the Rosé Cuvée, which were kindly provided by Mara.

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