Ronco dei Tassi
The name ronco is Friulian for “hillside, terraced vineyard;” tassi means “badgers” in Italian. Ronco dei Tassi is a little nook of paradise bordering the splendid National Park of Plessiva; one of those rare locations where you feel nature and man are in perfect harmony. Founded in 1989 by Fabio Coser, the property was named after the numerous badgers at home in this untouched natural scenery. Initially a consulting enologist, Fabio’s earlier career allowed him privileged knowledge of the area’s terroir and styles, so that by the time he chose a winery of his own, he already knew Collio like the back of his hand – and belonged here as surely as most of Italy’s finest whites. Today, the winery and vineyards are family run by Fabio with wife Daniela and their two enologist sons, Matteo and Enrico. The property has increased from the original 22 acres (9 hectares) to 62 acres (25 hectares), 45 of which under vine (over 18 hectares), all in the heart of Collio (district of Cormons). The soil is calcareous marl, terraced at 140-200 meters (about 460-660 feet) above sea level. The vine training is Cappuccina and Guyot. Substantial investments have been poured into creating a new, state-of-the-art underground winery and barrique cellar, comprising 300 new French and American barriques; the vineyards were purchased or replanted with a density of around 2,500 vines per acre, yielding 1-1.2 kilos of grapes per stock. The oak is carefully moderated to maintain varietal character and goût de terroir: the wines age briefly in barrique so their unique fruit, fragrance and finesse are neither stifled or distorted by the wood.