Marco Felluga, White Wine Visionary in Italy’s Friuli, Dies at 96

Marco Felluga, who manufactured beautiful white wines that aided set the Collio spot of Italy&#x2019s Friuli-Venezia-Giulia area on the international wine map, died April three. He was 96.

&#x201CFriuli and the Collio area have endured a excellent decline,&#x201D claimed fellow winemaker Silvio Jermann of Jermann vineyard. Jermann claims that Felluga, alongside with fellow vintners Rely Douglas Attems and Mario Schiopetto, led the travel to elevate wine top quality in the Collio area, to advocate for the appellation&#x2019s advertising to DOC position and to generate a regional consortium of wine producers. &#x201CTogether they developed the present day Collio, [and] they introduced global recognition to the Friuli area. He was a excellent wine producer and a excellent guy, and his decline will be felt keenly.&#x201D

Marco&#x2019s passing arrived soon ahead of his relatives formalized a new partnership with the Tommasi family of Valpolicella. The Tommasis have ordered a bulk stake in the Felluga relatives&#x2019s vineyard and two estates&#x2014Marco Felluga and Russiz Superiore. Marco&#x2019s granddaughter Ilaria will continue being at the helm of the wineries, nonetheless.

Felluga Championed Aged Italian Wines

The Felluga relatives has labored in Italian wine due to the fact the 1800s. They settled in Friuli&#x2019s Collio area soon after Planet War II, and equally Marco and his brother Livio proven new wineries. Marco started his eponymous estate in 1956 in the city of Gradisca d&#x2019Isonzo, around 80 miles northeast of Venice, in the vicinity of the Italian-Slovenian border. The two Marco and Livio noticed excellent probable for top quality wine from their area, especially in its white wines. With other like-minded producers, they aided to set up the Collio DOC in 1968.

Regarded as an innovator, Marco selected in his early times to decreased yields, retrain vines and utilize other strategies that were being not the norm in the spot. But his eyesight to generate white wines able of getting old is what resonates most strongly these days. Likely versus the tide of crisp, effortless-consuming Pinot Grigios that northern Italy is so properly identified for, he developed the Pinot Grigio Collio Mongris Riserva cuv&#xE9e, aged on the lees for two many years ahead of bottling.

In 1967, Marco Felluga ordered the Russiz-Superiore estate and its 125 acres of vines. (Courtesy Marco Feullga)

In 1967, Felluga even further invested in the Collio area, getting the Russiz Superiore estate in close by Capriva del Friuli, which include 125 acres of vines. Somewhat than incorporating generation to Marco Felluga&#x2019s array of wines, he proven Russiz Superiore as a different brand name. Nonetheless, he introduced the identical philosophy of getting old ahead of launch to generate extensive-lived wines. The Collio Russiz Superiore Col Dis&#xF4re is aged for one particular 12 months in French oak barrels and one particular 12 months in bottle the Pinot Bianco Collio Russiz Superiore Riserva ages for 3 many years in oak and one particular 12 months in bottle.

&#x201C[For Marco,] The united states was generally a crucial goal,&#x201D claimed Brian Larky, founder and CEO of Dalla Terra Vineyard Immediate, Felluga&#x2019s U.S. importer due to the fact the 1990s. &#x201CAnd setting up Friuli, Collio and Marco Felluga were being priorities. Marco was generally inseparable from his beloved area.&#x201D

Teaming Up with Tommasi

Marco&#x2019s son, Roberto, labored with his father for quite a few many years but died from most cancers in 2021 Roberto&#x2019s daughter, Ilaria, took about the wineries. Now she will regulate the estates with the economical backing of Tomassi. &#x201CI will go on to guide the businesses, with our collaborators,&#x201D claimed Ilaria in a assertion. &#x201CThe Tommasi Relatives will guidance me in investments for expansion and advancement. The elementary cornerstones will generally be all those on which my grandfather Marco and my father Roberto determined to foundation their operate and their strategy to the globe of wine.&#x201D

&#x201CMarco [was] a visionary in his motivation and devotion to a regional viticulture of excellence,&#x201D claimed Massimo Zorzettig, co-proprietor of Tunella, a vineyard in the neighboring Friuli Colli Orientali appellation. &#x201CHe contributed decisively to the valorization of the territory and the top quality wine of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. [He was] one particular of the patriarchs of Friulian wine.&#x201D

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