Piè di Mont is the passion of the son and father duo of Roman and Paolo Rizzi. That passion is focused on traditionally made sparkling wine in the method of Champagne but with the overarching mission to make a wine from the Collio. Located in Gorizia, Italy, in the Collio hills, which bump up against the border with Slovenia. This area was the site of one of the worst battles of World War I on the Italian front. Yet today it resonates with life, energy and effervescence.
The vineyards of Piè di Mont barely top one hectare but the site is a special one. Classic ponca soils are planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla -- remember that overarching mission noted above. These varieties are planted in the vineyard in the same proportion as you’ll find in the flagship Piè di Mont blend, 20% Pinot Noir, 60% Chardonnay, and 20% Ribolla Gialla. As you work your way up the slope you’ll first find Pinot Noir, prized for its body, then Chardonnay, for its elegance, and finally Ribolla Gialla, lending exuberance and freshness. The vineyard faces to the southeast and is exceptionally well suited for sparkling wine as the afternoon shadows cast by the mountain provide early relief from the sun’s rays, allowing the fruit to hold onto its aromatic intensity, bracing acidity and balance. The vineyard was planted nearly 15 years ago by hand by Paolo and Roman and everything that takes place in the vineyard is hand tended.
Each of the three varieties is hand harvested and vinified separately. At this point, the three unassembled wines each remain in stainless steel tank, except for a very small percentage (5% approximately) of the Chardonnay, which rests in new oak each year. Come January following harvest, the Piè di Mont is blended in the proportions above, bottled and the secondary fermentation goes to work in bottle. And lest you forget the blend you can use the label to refresh your memory. The three sections with ruby on top, orange in the middle and gold on the bottom represent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla. Turn the bottle over and they are in the order you’ll find them as you proceed up the slope.
The Piè di Mont rests on its lees for nearly two and a half years before disgorgement and a brut level of dosage (6 grams/liter) is added to the wine to round out the edges but never to lend sweetness. But Roman still feels that more rest is important and the bottles stay in the cellar for an additional seven months before he’s willing to let them leave.
In 2010, Roman also made a very small amount of Blanc de Blancs. In this case the wine saw nearly three years on the lees before disgorgement but there is no dosage added. A more linear edge to it undoubtedly but the extended time on lees gives it great balance and yeasty character.
Roman and Paolo’s wines are always Millesimato, meaning the only juice you’ll find is from the vintage on the label. There is no reserve juice from earlier vintages that goes into the blend.
We are honored to be associated with Roman and Paolo and take seriously the trust they have placed in us to help deliver their message. We hope we make them proud.
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