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Interview with Michele Jermann of Azienda Agricola Jermann, Friuli, Italy

The wines of Silvio Jermann from northeastern Italy have helped create a high demand for quality Italian wines.  The winery is best known for its white

Jermann's 'Vintage Tunina'; a field blend of international and indigenous varieties

Jermann's 'Vintage Tunina'; a field blend of international and indigenous varieties

wines, such as ‘Vintage Tunina’, a field blend of five grapes, and ‘Dreams’, the award-winning Chardonnay.  Silvio Jermann and his son, Michele, also produce a wide variety of red wines and also a dessert wine from the native grape, Picolit.  On a recent trip to NY, I conversed with Michele regarding the happenings in the world of Jermann wines.

DA:  Why is Friuli an ideal place for white grapes?

MJ:  The land of Collio, la terra di Collio, is rich in minerals, composed of compact layers of marl and clay.  The soil and the weather are important for making powerful and elegant wines.

DA:  How did you first decide to make wine?

MJ:  My great-great-grandfather began growing grapes in this part of the country in 1881.  It wasn’t until 1970 when my father decided to transform the winery and focus on making quality wines.

DA:  Where are you vineyards located?

MJ:  We began with only 10 hectares (roughly 25 acres) and now we cultivate nearly 150 hectares (nearly 375 acres) located within the Collio and Isonzo zones of Friuli.

Some of the major growing areas of Friuli in northeastern Italy

Some of the major growing areas of Friuli in northeastern Italy

DA:  One of your wines, ‘Red Angel on the Mountain’ is composed mostly of Pinot Noir.  This grape is said to be one of the most difficult grapes to grow.  What are your thoughts?

MJ:  It really depends o the land and the temperature.  For us, and most other producers, the Pinot Noir vines are grown on the best vineyards sites.

DA:  When do you typically harvest Pinot Noir?

MJ:  Typically around the middle of September.

Vintage Tunina remains my favorite of the Jermann bottlings and is produced from Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, and Picolit. The wine was first produced in 1975 and is a reference to the original owner of the land (Antonio) where the vines are grown.  Rich and powerful with flavors of peach, lemon, herbs, and cream, the wine is ideal with spaghetti with cavolo (cabbage) and speck (smoked proscuitto).

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