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Many restaurants try to author a high-caliber wine list that will pique the interests of their clientele, but few go so far as hotelier-restaurateur Mario Fantinel did. When he wanted to offer the customers of his Friulian restaurant high-caliber selections, he looked for top-quality vineyard land to start his own winery. That was 1969. Now, the Fantinel family operates a multi-tiered wine brand, the original restaurant (as well as a restaurant-hotel), and an extensive wine bar collection. Fantinel’s efforts comprise multiple estates—including flagship Fantinel, Zuccolo and boutique wine label La Roncaia—that work to define Friuli’s complex terroir and highlight the distinctions among three of Friuli’s DOCs—Collio, Grave, and Colli Orientali. Each label is dedicated to evoking the nuances and tradition of a particular geographical area, to cultivating specific indigenous or international varietals, and to exploring a distinct stylistic orientation.
In Friuli’s Grave zone, central Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Fantinel’s Zuccolo Prosecco vineyards enjoy sunny summers and cool night. There is a balance of warm air coming from the Adriatic coast and a fresh cool breeze from the Dolomites.
Limestone soil transfers into the wines a minerality and freshness that is unique to this part of Italy. Zuccolo immaculate vineyards lie 300-400m above sea level.