The Zorzettig family has started working in the wine business more than 100 years ago. Back then, while Friuli was recovering from the aftermath of World War II, on the hills surrounding Spessa, in the heart of Colli Orientali del Friuli, people were going back to vines and wine production. It was a way to relaunch the economy as well as reshape the landscape devastated by bombs.
The first bottles date back to the 50s when only a few brave people kept sticking to wine production, whereas the majority was being attracted by the rocketing industrial growth, the "Economic Miracle" that would transform Italy from a poor rural nation into a global industrial power.
70 years ago the Zorzettig family was not only growing vines in the family- owned estate but was also taking care of the vineyards belonging to Cividale Hospital, to which people bequeathed lands. When the Hospital decided to sell the lands, the Zorzettig family bought them. The lands purchased allowed the family to strenghten the wine business, slowly but constantly increasing and finally becoming one of the most important brands in the region.
30 years ago, the three Zorzettig brothers that were running the business together decided to take each one a different road. Giuseppe was the only one to intertwine the winery and the family name. Together with his wife Antonietta and his kids, he has been able to export Zorzettig name beyond the regional and the national border.
The winery is now led by Annalisa Zorzettig. In the last 10 years, she has been able to carve a brand new image for the winery and to turn it into a brand ambassador for the regional production.
Wine is a female business
Annalisa Zorzettig is the soul behind Zorzettig wines. Almost "born at the the winery", she has been walking around – actually toddling at first –since then, while considering to become a lawyer. In the end, the call of authenticity represented by wine production has prevailed, leading Annalisa to progressively shape and supervise the whole production.
Decision making is never an easy task, especially when it comes to choices that will shape the production for years and have a long-term impact on all the people working at the winery. Expert and reliable advisors are therefore a valuable asset. Annalisa is backed up by her mother Antonietta ("nonna Titti" as she is known at the winery) whose positive approach has proven very useful in difficult times.
Veronica, Annalisa's daughter, is now working full time at the winery, supporting Annalisa with her attention to detail, management skills and sustainable approach.
The youngest generation is represented by Leonie, Veronica's daughter, aged two, who can be seen smiling while scootering around in the vineyards.
Zorzettig could be considered as a matriarchal winery, if it were not forGiuseppe and Alessandro' s discreet contribution. Giuseppe is Annalisa's father and the person who decied to liaise the name of the winery with that of the family, whereas Alessandro is Annalisa's brother who oversees vineyard management.
Wine according to Annalisa
Wine builds bridges. This is Annalisa's thought on wine: "When something is good, it does not need explanations. Good things are appreciated by everybody, whatever their skin colour, their "race", their age". For Annalisa, wine has a universal value and has to remain accessible to all people.
"There is a strong tendency towards wine standardization with the aim of aligning wine to the international taste. Our attention must focus instead on integrity. Integrity means being able to preserve and convey to a wide and far-away public a set of values representing a specific region. Inside a bottle there is the age-old knowledge of our ancestors, there is a specific light and climate that have contributed in ripening the grapes, there is a fine-tuned agricultural culture that has allow to reach quality standards once unthinkable. If we are not able to convey these values, if we do not succeed in explaining what we are doing and why we are doing it the way we do it, well, all our work is meaningless. We must find a way to break through, to communicate to the present time to assert timeless values".
The wine that most represents the Zorzettig family is Friulano, once known as Tocai. When in 2006, after a dispute with Hungary, people in Friuli were forced to abandon the name Tocai which they have been using for centuries, the Zorzettig family decided to remember Tocai last vintage with a special label, "L'Ultin", a word which in Friulano dialect means "The Last One". In 2008, the bottle has been awarded the Label Award for Wine Culture, for "the extraordinary intuition of turning a homage to Tocai wine history into an element for the communication of present-day values".