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Ruffino buys into Friuli

Tenimenti Ruffino is the latest major Tuscan winery to invest in the northest region of Friuli.

Headed by Paolo and Marco Folonari, Ruffino is one of Tuscany’s largest and most respected wineries, whose properties include estates in Greve, Montepulciano and Montalcino. The Folonaris bought the Borgo Conventi estate, in Farra d’Isonzo, Collio in December 2001.

Adolfo Folonari, export manager and son of Marco Folonari, said their philosophy was to enhance production with premium wines produced in top viticultural areas.

‘We decided to invest in Collio because its terroir is one of the best in Italy for the production of white wines,’ he said.

Borgo Conventi, created in 1975 by Gianni Vescovo, started with a couple of acres of vines. Today its 42 ha produce an average of 450,000 bottles per year. The winery will continue to be managed by Vescovo together with the Ruffino team, who will be replanting 16 ha this Spring.

Friuli was already popular in 1996 when the GIV (Gruppo Italiano Vini) bought the Conti Formentini estate in Collio. The 80-hectare estate produces some 400,000 bottles per year and includes some local Collio DOC varietals.

Another well-known Tuscan winery, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, invested in Collio just over a year ago by joining forces with Conte Douglas Attems, owner of a 30-ha estate in the Collio DOC appellation.

‘I have always been a bit wary of producing white wine in Tuscany. However, because of its importance in today’s wine market, I wanted to focus on a top-quality white wine, which is why we invested in Collio,’ said director Lamberto Frescobaldi.

Written by Michèle Shah9 January 2002

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