On the 21st of March Livio Felluga and Pierre Lurton joined the Roll of Honour for the Vinitaly International Award, the prestigious prize assigned since 1996 by Vinitaly to Italian and international estates that have distinguished themselves for their efforts in the wine sector.
The two icons of the world of wine received the award during the opening Gala Dinner to Vinitaly at the end of the fourth edition of OperaWine, the exclusive event featuring Italy’s 100 Best Italian Wine Producers selected for the occasion by Wine Spectator. Amongst these was Cantina Livio Felluga with its famous Terre Alte 2011, one of Italy's most prestigious white wines. The bottle bore the distinctive label created by Livio Felluga himself back in 1956, a pioneering marketing concept portraying the much loved hills and slopes surrounding the estate that today extends over more than 160 hectares of hill country in the Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli. With 135 hectares planted to vine, the winery yields excellent typical Friuli wines ranging from Malvasja to Ribolla Gialla Friulano, as well as its renowned Picolit, a noble wine that honours the memory of one of Italy’s most prestigious wines once served to Czars, Kings and Princes of Europe.
The winery has also recently been entrusted with the management of Rosazzo Abbey, always regarded by Livio Felluga with immense admiration and respect. The selection of the finest grapes from the vineyards of Rosazzo Abbey yields “Abbazia di Rosazzo”, an ultra-refined white wine.
The story of the winery spans over two World Wars and five generations beginning in Istria where Livio Felluga was born and grew up amongst the family’s vineyards. In the late ‘30s Mr Felluga moved to Friuli, near the Collio villages, where he first encountered the hillside wines that he would one day master. As his son Andrea comments: “My father spent his life in search of quality, making sacrifices and going against the grain. He strongly believed in his decision to reach excellence with hillside wines. Growing up, we lived and breathed his passionate belief for this challenge that completely involved us. Such challenge has been recognised and confirmed by this prestigious prize that he accepted with great pleasure and makes us very proud of his work. It spurs us to continue on his path with the same tenacity and passion.”
Livio Felluga, 100 years old, is still actively involved in the management of the family business run by his four children and remains firmly convinced that “premium-quality wine is made first in the vineyard and then in the cellar.”
The award also went to Pierre Lurton, managing director of the world famous estate Chateau Cheval Blanc: as of 2012, its wine is one of only four to have received the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status in the Classification of Saint-Émilion. A particular vintage of this wine (1947) is considered by leading wine experts to be the finest red wine ever produced in the world. Pierre Lurton has been managing Chateau Cheval Blanc since 1991, preserving the identity of the cru and its style and achieving excellence among the best Bordeaux wines every year. He conducted thorough studies on the Cabernet Franc grape variety and his rare expertise and intuition drove Bernard Arnault and LHMV to hand over to him also the reins of Chateau D’Yquem.
During Vinitaly 2015, Cheval Blanc starred in the VIA Executive Wine Seminar “Château Cheval Blanc: Portrait of Cheval Blanc and Petit Cheval” featuring a vertical tasting of different vintages of the estate’s magnificent Cabernet Franc-Merlot blends.
Veronafiere is the leading organizer of trade shows in Italy including Vinitaly (www.vinitaly.com), the largest wine and spirits fair in the world. During its 49th edition Vinitaly counted some 4.000 exhibitors on a 100.000 square meter area and 150.000 visitors including 2.600 journalists from 46 different countries. The next edition of the fair will take place on 10 - 13 April 2016. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine (www.vinitalyinternational.com) “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” will unite international wine professionals on April 9th in the heart of Verona, offering them the unique opportunity to discover and taste the wines of the 100 Best Italian Producers, as selected by Wine Spectator. Since 1998 Vinitaly International travels to several countries such as Russia, China, USA and Hong Kong thanks to its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International. In February 2014 Vinitaly International launched an educational project, the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) with the aim of divulging and broadcasting the excellence and diversity of Italian wine around the globe. VIA has now also organized its very first Certification Course with the aim of creating new Ambassadors of Italian Wine in the World.