Address: Capriva del Friulu (GO)
Web site: www.villarussiz.it
Year of starter: 1869
Winemaker: Gianni Menotti
Produced bottles: 12
The story of the Villa Russiz estate is one of penetrating intuition and generosity, enthusiasm, commitment, emotion and tradition. The intuition belonged to the French count, ThÃ©odore de La Tour, who in 1869 realised that the sun-drenched hills of the Collio would be a very agreeable place to take up residence with his Austrian wife, Elvine Ritter. Above all, they would be the ideal setting for him to pursue his passion for viticulture, and for the modern winemaking techniques that were being developed so successfully in the France of the day. ThÃ©odore de La Tour was the first to perceive the potential that has made Collio wines respected all over the world. He appreciated its extraordinary mesoclimate, whose virtues derive from the beneficial encounter of cool winds from the Julian Alps with sea breezes from the nearby Adriatic. The two winds meet here, on the superbly aspected hillsides of Capriva del Friuli, which temper the effects of both. De La Tour created the property that would subsequently become the Villa Russiz estate. He brought in new varieties that were more appropriate for the territory and for the pursuit of quality. He built a stunning, high-vaulted cellar completely underground. Most important, he lavished constant attention on every detail, from vineyard, to cellar and bottle. Villa Russiz was, and remains today, a symbol of generosity and passionate commitment. After the death of her husband in 1894, Elvine Ritter showed that she, too, had her husbandâs dedication, until she was overwhelmed by the events of the First World War and decided to give up the estate. Later, the generosity of a noblewoman, Adele Cerruti, found a practical application at the estate in an institute for children, which is still active today. Villa Russiz became an ente morale, or not-for-profit enterprise. The Countâs meticulous passion for the cultivation of the vine is still very much alive on the 94 hectares of the Villa Russiz estate. There are 30 hectares under vine and planting density is kept between 4,500 and 7,000 vines per hectare, to ensure wines of outstanding concentration. The wines at Villa Russiz all come under the Collio denominazione d'origine controllata. So, too, do the three vineyard selections, Sauvignon de La Tour, Graf de La Tour and GrÃ¤fin de La Tour, the flagship wines of a range that takes the best of the past as its inspiration in the very modern search for superlative quality, for a coherent way forward, and for great wines as good as any in the world.
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