The Plozner winery was founded in the 1960s: a glorious decade, which saw Italy graduate from quantity to quality in wines. Its initiator, Lisio Plozner – an imaginative entrepreneur and inventor – was just the man for such pioneering years. He was the first to realize the viticultural potential of the stony, alluvial deposit along the Meduna and Tagliamento rivers, west and east of the winery. The apparently ‘hostile’ terrain of Friuli’s morainic Alpine foothills supplies both excellent drainage and ideal absorption of the sunlight, nurturing concentrated, fragrant varietals. The high percentage of stones (70%) curbs the vines’ vegetative vigor, favoring naturally small crops of great quality and concentration. The considerable presence of gravel, together with the vineyards’ proximity to the Alps, guarantees ideally dry microclimate and healthy grapes right up to harvest time.
Terrain composition is reflected in the Plozner wines: fresh, immediately appealing, with a salty tang and characteristic acidity. The grapes are estate-grown and hand-picked, then painstakingly vinified in the adjacent winery. Here, the wine is stored and matured in entirely underground vaults that ensure cool, constant temperatures and correct humidity levels.
Since its foundation in 1967, the winery has never wavered from its quality criteria and philosophy: Valeria Plozner’s daughter, Sabina Maffei (Lisio’s granddaughter), with oenologist Francesco Visentin, combines avant-garde methods and a deep regard for terroir and natural environment.
Lisio believed in organic farming long before organic farming was even formulated, and the present generations have maintained and developed this as an official Plozner prerequisite.
In 2002, Sabina began to devote herself full-time to running the winery. Another crucial year in the estate’s successful history is the present – 2007, Plozner’s 40th birthday. In Sabina’s humorous words, “time for a face-lift”: actually the culmination of these past four years’ ceaseless improvements and innovations: new vines, new tanks, total restoration of winery and cellars, state-of-the-art vinification areas, new communication strategy and even plans for new products.
The property’s total surface is 247 acres, with 148 acres under vine.
This most Northeastern region of Italy bordering Austria and Slovenia has a blend of cultures that date back to the rule by the Austro-Hungarian Empire before WWI. Germanic and Slavic influences continue through today in a region internationally considered one of the best for white wine. Friuli is well known for setting very high standards for quality and on average yields just 3.5 tons per acre—some of the lowest found in Italy. All of the vineyards are found in the southern part of the zone surrounded to the North by the Alps. A temperate microclimate results from air currents between the shelter of the mountains and the Adriatic Sea. However, there are 2 DOC zones considered exceptional to all others: Collio (Goriziano) and Collio Orientali. Most of the wines made are single varietal in nature, with all Collio wines required to be 100% of the named grape. Traditionally, it was thought the wines would not gain any benefit from wood aging and blending. But there have been a growing number of exceptions, as producers have recognized that the depth and complexity of wines already recognized to be quite rich and full bodied could be enhanced further with malolactic fermentation, oak aging and or blending. White wine is of such importance in Collio that only 1/5 of the wine produced is red. Friuli produces wines from widely recognized varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. However, there are also a number of lesser known varieties that provide wonderful alternatives-Tocai Friulano, Traminer Aromatico, Riesling, Ribolla Gialla, and Picolit for white, and Refosco, Pignolo, Schioppettino and Tazzelenghe for red. It should be noted that, while Friuli is well know for white wines, they account for just a little over half of the entire region’s production. Red wines, which have not been recognized on the nternational market, have now begun to create a stir in recent years as wineries traditionally awarded Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri for white wines are now receiving the top honor for the reds.