The team at Xtrawine return once again this week to shine a spotlight on a wine producer who we think deserves the extra exposure for having created a vintage of such exceptional quality that it should really be sampled by everybody who has a true love for the passion and work that goes into creating the best examples of Italian wine around.
This week we will be taking a look at a fairly new winemaker, at least in comparison to some of the older companies in Italy that have been around for centuries, examining how even those who do not have strong family ties to the industry can excel as winemakers with a lot of hard work and true dedication to their crafts.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Bastianich Winery, its history and one of the best wines to emerge from the company in recent memory.
Those who enter the world of winemaking have the ability to draw upon centuries of dedicated work and passion to help them on their journeys to creating vintages that will enchant the taste buds of all who taste them. Some will inevitably end up failing to capture the magic that can be found in some of the greatest bottles in the world. However, others are able to apply the many techniques they learn and combine them with their passions for the industry to create stunning wines that are worthy of being introduced to the palettes of millions of people throughout the world.
Such is the case with the Bastianich Winery. Founded in 1997, the producer maintains around 90 acres of vineyards, all of which are located in the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC region. Of course, with such an impressive array of wines already having emerged from this region, it was crucial that the founders of Bastianich worked hard to learn their crat quickly, lest they be lost in the shuffle amongst the many other producers in the region.
Thankfully, this is something that they were able to achieve, taking their reverence for the rich history and traditions that surround the winemaking industry, while also combining them with new ideas that only those who are fairly fresh to the world of winemaking are able to bring. Unhampered by family traditions, though still harbouring a deep respect for the craft, the team has been able to develop a strong reputation as purveyors of quality wines that are well-worth exploring almost since the company was founded back in the late-1990s.
The Bastianich family did not burst out of nowhere in the Italian winemaking scene though. In fact, members of the family have been deeply connected to some of the most prestigious winemakers in Italy since the 1970s, learning an enormous amount about the industry at this time despite not then being directly involved in the production of wine. Instead, the family served some of the finest wines that Friuli has to offer in their family restaurants in New York, combining the knowledge that they had gained from their connections with their culinary sensibilities to create dishes that complemented the wine and ensured that all diners had an amazing time.
Over time, the family, particularly the younger members, began to cultivate dreams of founding their own winery, with the aim of taking the things they had learned over the years so that they could further enhance the reputation of the Friuli region by creating stunning wines of their own, tinged with international sensibilities. That dream came true in 1997, allowing the family to etch its name amongst the pantheon of those that have already worked so hard to bring fame to the Friuli region.
Acquiring their vineyards was only the first step, however. The family then needed to work diligently to ensure that they did what was needed to ensure they produce the quality of grapes that are required to create truly sensational wines. Making use of the varied positions of their vineyards and the various microclimates that this allows for, the family set about growing a number of grape varieties, making them less reliant on outside producers and thus able to control the quality of the grapes that are used in their wines more directly.
They set about working on the land, replanting and re-terracing their vineyards between 2000 and 2002 to ensure even more control over the vines and the fruit that they produced. This has ensured that the grapes grown at the Bastianich winery are at the peak of their potency of quality, allowing the company to quickly refocus on developing staggering wines.
Now, after less than twenty years in the industry, the Bastianich family has developed a steady reputation for the creation of stunning wines amongst those in the know. For those who have yet to enjoy the privilege, here we will take a look at one of the most impressive wines to emerge from the company in recent years, so you can understand just why the family has been making such a splash amongst connoisseurs.
The Bastianich family has built a reputation on the creation of gorgeous white wines, in keeping with the traditions of the Friuli region, and it is perhaps the Bastianich Vespa Bianco 2013 that represents the apex of their achievements thus far.
This stunning IGT Venezia Giulia is a beautiful white wine that offers all of the refreshment that you would expect, while also providing enough layers of complexity to intrigue even the most experienced drinkers.
Often highlighted as the flagship of the Bastianich range, this wine represents power and the evolution of the traditional ideas that have allowed for the creation of so many stunning wines in Friuli over the years.
When brought to the nose, you will be enchanted by notes of citrus and mineral, demonstrating both the quality of the grape and the land that produced it. Upon further exploration, you will also detect subtle hints of honey, ripe pear and wild clover, suggesting that there is much more to this wine than meets the eye.
This will be confirmed when it is introduced to the palette, with the wine offering an amazing structure that ensures it has an immediate impact. Perhaps most impressive is the longevity of the wine, which allows you to enjoy it for much longer than you may other, inferior examples of white wine.