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The production area is in the "Colli Orientali del Friuli" region to the north of Udine and, more specifically, between the Local Council areas of Nimis and Tarcento. The vineyard area totals 60.41 hectares with production of 2355 hectolitres; currently, thirty companies are registered with the Consortium. The morphology of these hills is very particular, with steep slopes – having gradients of more than 30% – and many operations often can only be performed manually. The terraces are very narrow - at times less than one metre - but, given the steep slopes, the vines are rarely shaded. These vineyards are the furthest north-east in Friuli wine-growing.

The Ramandolo basin is dominated by Mount Bernadia, whose peak stands 900 metres above sea level and provides shelter against the cold north winds. The vineyards, all south-facing, stand at 250 metres above sea level at Torlano, 369 metres at Ramandolo and 413 metres at Sedilis. The significant thermal excursions prior to the harvest give rise to a kind of climatic island that has seen drastic selection of the grape varieties cultivated; as well as Ramandolo, two other native varieties ensure excellent results here: Picolit and Refosco. The land is Eocene marne that is unsuitable for almost all other crops but highly vocational for wine-growing: the soil is poor in nutritive substances and ensures production based on quality rather than quantity.

Ramandolo is made from the yellow clone of Verduzzo Friulano grapes. The vine - that requires medium, Guyot or "cappuccina" planting frames - offers good resistance to disease, optimal growth and good, constant output.
Grape bunches are small, 12-14 centimetres long, with a short, very sturdy stalk, compact, pyramid-shaped and have two very evident "wings". The grapes themselves are small and spherical, with short stalks, evident rings and a short, well-attached brush. The skin is very hard, prune-like, with a golden yellow, almost amber colour, with a characteristic black dot at the apex of the grape itself. The pulp is succulent, acid, rich in tannin and fleshy. There are three large, pear-shaped pips.

The grapes are harvested late, very often after brief drying on the vine; in short, the harvest may even take place at the end of November. Regulations require that vinification must be performed in the production area. Years ago, the “cap riser” technique was used - that is, brief and delicate maceration that, given the low temperatures normally recorded hereabouts in Autumn, resulted in a kind of bland cryo-maceration; today, producers dry the grapes in special air-conditioned lofts to produce a wine with impressive aromatic complexity.

Ramandolo has an old gold yellow colour and a bouquet with hints of acacia, ripe fruit, plums and apricots; the full taste and big body are very persistent – since the pleasant sensation remains for some considerable time after swallowing – the wine is slightly tannic, delightfully sweet and recalls the agreeable and slightly bitter taste of chestnut honey with hints of lime-tree honey.

It is a meditation wine and also excellent with foie gras, liver pâté, San Daniele and Sauris cured hams and smoked trout; it is equally a superb accompaniment for cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Pecorino and seasoned Montasio, as well as dry fruit and pastries and the local Gubana cake.

Best served at a temperature of 10-12°C.

Consorzio Tutela Ramandolo Nimis UD; e-mail: info@ramandolo.it

Updating possible thanks to the contribution from the Piano di Sviluppo Rurale della Regione autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia,
misura m, sottomisura m1, Azione 1. Regolamento (CE) n. 1257/99