As many of you already know, the stories behind major Italian wine companies are often as interesting, if not more interesting, than the wines that they produce.
In some cases, such as with the Antinori family, the wine company is just part of a wider family circle that has influenced regional politics over the centuries.
In others, the story isn’t quite so elaborate. Many wine companies come to life out of one person’s desire to create something wonderful. Out of that desire, a wine is born. And in many cases, the family of that originator continue to work on the wine and build on its legacy.
Such is the case with the company that we are going to take a look at in this article. It’s been a while since we have profiled an Italian wine producer in the pages of the Xtrawine blog. However, we feel that the Giorgi family deserves the treatment, not least because the company has produced one of the best Italian wines to find its way onto the pages of the Xtrawine website in quite some time.
As usual, we’re going to take a look at the history of the company before examining the wine that has prompted us to write about them in the first place.
The Giorgi family can trace its origins, at least in terms of its entry into the Italian wine industry, all the way back to 1875. It was in this year that the Cantine Giorgi was founded.
For many years, the company followed the tradition of producing wines at the behest of larger wine producers in the surrounding region. In this capacity, the company would join many others in creating wines for other companies. While not the most creative of endeavours, this early work granted the family invaluable experience when it came to tending the vines and the mechanics of wine production.
As is the case with many companies of this era, producing wine for other companies was soon not enough for Cantine Giorgi. The family wanted to do much more. With an ambition that outstripped many other producers in the region, the family split away from the producers that it had been working for and decided to tread its own path instead.
Thankfully, the company were well placed to make the transition. It had always focused on every aspect of wine production, which left it capable of taking care of every aspect from growing the grape through to bottling the wine.
However, it was a slow process. In fact, it was not until 1970 that Cantine Giorgi managed to establish itself as anything other than a producer of wines for other companies.
Still, that year will live long in the annals of the company’s history, as it was in 1970 that the company finally expanded. Under the guidance of the brothers Anthony and Gianfranco, Giorgi took over the Canneto Pavese. In doing so, it built a second cellar and gain access to the modern technology that it would need to make a real impact in the Italian wine industry.
As is the case with many wine businesses that see two people taking the reins, one brother handled the production aspect of the wine while the other looked after the business end of things. This allowed the company to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with, first in Italy and later in international territories.
The quality of the wines it produced, combined with the know-how that any business needs to succeed, finally saw Cantine Giorgi establish itself as the wine company that its founders had always hoped that it would become.
The family continued its expansion throughout the 1980s. A third cellar quickly followed the second and the company finally achieved its goal of gaining national penetration. At this time, Giorgi had 80 sales representatives dotted throughout Italy, all of whom were tasked with building up the hype that surrounded the company and ensuring that as many people as possible sampled the wine. Soon, it became far more common to see the company’s wines in some of the best restaurants and wine bars in the entire country.
All of that work during the 1970s and 1980s laid the groundwork for where the company stands in the present day.
Today, Giorgi has a truly international presence. The company exports its wines to almost 60 different countries and it now has a sales network of 160 people, all of whom work tirelessly to spread the word about the company.
Of course, all of this would be for naught if the wines themselves weren’t of a high enough quality. Thankfully, that isn’t an issue for Giorgi. In recent years, the company’s wines have earned a number of prestigious awards, including the Tre Bicchieri Gambero Rosso and the Five Bunches designation from Sommelier Magazine.
And that brings us neatly around to the wine that we’ve chosen to focus on in today’s article. This is the very wine to earn that five bunches award, so let’s take a closer look.
Giorgi Gran Cuvee Storica 1870 Op Pinot Nero 2012
The Giorgi Gran Cuvee Storica 1870 Op Pinot Nero 2012 is perhaps one of the most stunning examples of sparkling white Italian wine in the world. If you’re looking for something a little different to Prosecco, it’s an excellent choice.
The wine has an intense straw-yellow colouring, with a closer examination revealing just the slightest hints of gold floating around the glass. The perlage is a marvel to experience, as it is both persistent and abundant.
When brought to the nose, the wine exhibits a wonderful bouquet that offers a number of unique aromas. These include vanilla and apricot. However, experienced noses will be able to identify hints of mint and sage emanating from the glass as well.
To the taste, the wine reveals that it achieves new-perfect harmony. It’s beautifully balanced, with a slight dryness that makes it reminiscent of Champagne, at least in texture. The velvety smoothness of the wine gives way to a fine, yet vigorous aftertaste.
Best of all, this is not a wine that’s out of reach of the average person. In fact, you can buy your own bottle of this award-winning wine for less than 20 euros.