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10 hectares of south-facing, sun-exposed vineyards comprise the soul of the Ronco Del Gnemiz winery. Situated on Friuli Venezia-Giulia’s multi-layered, mineral-rich and uniquely prized sandstone soil, ‘ponca’, its perhaps of little surprise that Ronco Del Gnemiz has been one of the North-East Italian region’s leading wineries for over a decade. But there is more than land to thank for that – in fact, the management of Serena Palazzo has taken Ronca Del Gnemiz to new heights.

Purchased in the 1960s by her father, the winery was inherited by Serena in the early nineties – on return from college graduation. Now run by Serena, her partner, Christian Patat, and their sons, the Ronco Del Gnemiz winery, found in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, continues to produce true gems, underpinned by uncompromising quality, an openness to invention and, most importantly, a deep-rooted respect for the terroir on which they grow Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Despite the vines’ exposure to intense sunlight, the Ronco Del Gnemiz Chardonnay Sol and Sauvignon Salici are characterised by a bright acidity. Perhaps something to do with Friuli’s tempering sea breezes and Alpine shelter – but no easy feat given the tempestuous climate of heavy rainstorms and harsh winters for which the north-western region is known. Serena’s expertise makes for grapes that are always fully mature, though never overripe, with rich fruit, purity and an expression of true varietal style contributing to wines as characterful as their maker. The concentrated and balanced grapes are accentuated by careful treatment in the winery, Serena often opts for barrique fermentation and ageing for the Chardonnays, adding to the delicate complexity and ageability of these delicious wines. Just about approachable in their youth, drinkers who have the patience to wait five to 10 years will be rewarded by some enchanting fruit development.

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