A wine tour offering the splendours of Friuli and Zonin1821

7th June 2017

Oltrenero Crause

Having explored much of Europe on the pursuit of fine wines, Italy is right near the top for both choice and tastes. Now when Zonin1821 came along with an invite that included the chance to experience the splendours of Italy such as fine ham, sparkling wines, cheese, coffee and more then you’d have to reckon on it being a dream tour which you just can not say no to.

For any gastronomy and wine professional, a wine press trip is a fantastic way to experience and learn new things about a wine region, it’s culture, the food, the people and of course the wines. Zonin1821 put all of this in to a Gastronomy Experience in the Friuli region, Italy. What strikes you with the team at Zonin1821 is that they are a young and fresh brand, innovative ideas flowing and the upmost desire to share the splendours of their wines and their wine regions with professionals from across the world.

The team invited on this tour included those from locations such as London, Texas, New York, Sweden, Germany, Holland and more… a global audience excited to embrace Friuli and to be delighted with Zonin1821 wines.

The wines enjoyed on the trip included their Prosecco DOC Tenuta Ca’Bolani, Opimio Pinot Bianco Tenuta Ca’Bolani and the amazing Piemonte Brachetto Castello del Poggio.

We were able to visit one of the wineries surrounded by hectares of rows of vines, Tenuta Ca’Bolani Vigneti Molin di Ponte, where many drinks were shared in splendid weather and where I was also able to practise with a drone to capture some footage of the great depth to this winery:

Great wines deserves to be shared with great people and that is just what we had on this tour with a collection of international wine writers and Sommeliers who were busy tasting, reviewing, eating, filming, updating social media and even sabering – It is vitally important to have a strong bond between guests on tours so that all maximise their experience from wine tours and remain friends after the event also expanding networks and of course expanding positive feedback for the hosts:

When it comes to ham then Italy certainly knows a thing or two about producing some of the finest examples. As part of the trip, we were invited to visit DOK Dall’Ava in San Daniele del Friuli. The place is a unique small factory storing and serving fine legs of pork to produce varied ham options, a favourite from the days tasting was the Bigorre. A location well worth a visit if ham and fine wines are one of your weaknesses!

Italy and cheese will be for many a match made in heaven so Zonin1821 played on this charming pairing by also including in our tour a visit to Borg da Ocis in Borgnano. “Our cows’ milk is used to make Ricotta and yoghurt, Latteria cheese, Caciotta cheese and flavoured Caciotta with herbs: rose petals, elderflowers, sage, rosemary, basil, pot marigold and nettle.

A tour of the farm led to a cheese tasting experience and once again fine wines including 2015 Virginia Chardonnay Reserve and the Falanghina 2016.

I must not forget the coffee element of the tour and one of the finest producers of Italy in ILLY. Another must visit if you are in the region to fully understand and appreciate what this company puts in to making coffee – A tour of the factory is an eye opener and showcases what goes in to making coffee from the countries it is grown in to the innovation behind improving the taste and importantly too, the standard of the lives of the coffee bean producers and their staff.

If you have not tried ILLY coffee then give them a go and certainly pop to see them if you are ever visiting Trieste in the Northern East part of Italy (note there is a town called Prosecco just down from the ILLY factory)! The official ILLy website is: www.illy.com

I do recommend that if you are in the catering / wine / tourism industry to contact Zonin1821 and explore the options they have for press tours, they would be especially keen to speak with Sommeliers and wine writers.

Christopher Walkey

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.