The WineKnitter Vol. 25 No. 03 Wine

Italy, Wine & Dragonflies, Oh My!

"We give thanks to what the land offers, and we owe her the greatest respect."

There are many interpretations and symbolisms throughout the world concerning the dragonfly. In some cultures, it represents transformation and exemplifies the light and joy we should be embracing. In other cultures, the dragonfly signifies good luck and is perceived as being magical. In some parts of the world, it is believed that if you encounter a dragonfly, positive transformation is on the way, and you are about to emerge forever changed and much wiser. The dragonfly has a short life of approximately six months, and in some cultures, it represents that one must live life to its fullest. For me, dragonflies are magical and have played an important role in my life for many years. In fact, I have one tattooed on my ankle! But that is another story.

Photo credit: Dorothea Oldani at Unsplash

So, what does all of this have to do with wine?   It begins with a talented winemaker and entrepreneur, a beautiful bottle and label, and of course, the wine!

Photo courtesy of Blu Giovello

Piera Martellozzo is an established winemaker and entrepreneur with three generations and over a century of history behind her.  In 1899 Piera’s grandfather, Giovanni, founded Winery Piera Martellozzo in Padua province, located in northern Italy’s Veneto wine region.  Piera’s father, Mario, is credited for developing the winery. In 1992, Mario passed the baton and entrusted Piera with managing the family’s small wine estate. 

Piera Martellozzo

Twenty-nine years later, under the guidance and tenacity of Piera, the winery has grown and expanded to include premium vineyards in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Trentino. With a focus on indigenous grapes, high-quality vineyards, and sustainability, including an organic wine range introduced in 1998, Piera has stood behind her mission to produce quality wines. She focuses on blending traditional production methods with acknowledgment of contemporary times and the future. Piera’s emphasis was initially on the production of Prosecco, but she eventually expanded her repertoire to include a more diverse “wine” menu.  Her expansion included Friuli Venezia Giulia, a wine region known for its white wine production. In San Quirino in Pordenone province, she purchased a comprehensive winery, which is now home base. 

Venezia Photo courtesy of Piera Martellozzo S.p.A.

Through a virtual conversation, I asked Piera to share her story behind the inception of the Blu Giovello brand and the dragonfly’s symbolism.

Piera: “Blu Giovello brand came to life 25 years ago from a four-hands project between our winery and our US importer, with whom we are still working! His expertise in the US market and our contribution of wine and ideas allowed us to develop a very successful brand. What we wanted to convey is a symbol of Italian style, made in Italy. Speaking of the single details, the origin of the name Giovello comes from the combination of the Italian words Giovane (young) and Bello (beautiful). The flying dragonfly is a symbol of harmony and prosperity. I wanted to put all the lightness, joy, and elegance of the dragonfly as an invitation to celebrate life and freedom from conventions. Blu refers to the wine’s origins. The blue color of the bottle refers to one of Italy’s typical colors, reminding us of the intense color of the sky and the waves of the Mediterranean Sea.”

The brand’s wines have increased by 35% over the last five years and 90,000 cases sold worldwide.  In addition to the Pinot Grigio DOC and Prosecco DOC Frizzante that I received, the Blue Giovello line also includes Prosecco DOC Extra Dry Spumante, Prosecco Rosé Sparkling, a still Rosé, and a still and sparkling Moscato. 

Reviews

Photo credit: Penny Weiss

Blu Giovello Pinot Grigio DOC Delle Venezie

The grapes for this wine are 100% Pinot Grigio and are sourced from vineyards at 656 ft. above sea level.  Delle Venezie is widely known for its production of light and crisp Pinot Grigio. Fluctuation in temperature between day and night adds to the development of aromatics in the skin.  And the breezy and cool climate coming from the Alps help to maintain fresh acidity in the wines.

Aromas: Citrus, pear, and a hint of floral
Palate: Tart apples, melon, and a touch of white stone fruit.  It is refreshing, crisp, and light.  Serve with soft cheese, grilled chicken, or seafood. 
Alcohol: 12%
SRP:  $9.99
Piera said, “It is simply a must-have!”

Blu Giovello Prosecco DOC Frizzante

This wine is made with 100% Glera grapes sourced from the hills between the Dolomites and Venice in the Prosecco DOC area of production. The vineyards are at 1312 ft. above sea level. Situated between the Adriatic Sea and the Dolomites, the vineyards enjoy a unique microclimate that contributes to this wine’s characteristic flavors. The Charmat method is used for production, with the second fermentation taking place in stainless steel tanks for about one month.

Aromas: Floral and fruit with apples and citrus
Palate: Fine bubbles, peach, lemon zest, apple, and toast with a hint of minerality and crisp acidity.  Serve as an aperitif or with light fare.
Alcohol:  11%
SRP:  $11.99
Piera said, “It is the flagship of Italian sparkling wine!”

Before Piera and I said our virtual good-byes, I asked her how climate change and Covid have impacted her and the challenges she might be facing in the vineyards and winery.

Piera on climate change: Climate change is affecting all of us. We were among the first wineries to embrace a sustainable approach. We have been investing for more than twenty years in sustainable viticulture, believing in its huge potential: avoiding chemicals as much as possible, respecting the land and the vine. We were among the first in Italy to invest in a green productive process; we have always embraced technology that will enable us to preserve each wine’s typical features, such as using microfiltration. Furthermore, over the years, we have installed a photovoltaic system that allows us to produce almost all the energy we need in the production processes. We have created a water treatment plant that allows us to depurate the wastewater coming from the production process so that it can be used again, and we have chosen to use lighter bottles. Our sustainable approach also involves packaging. When possible, we use recycled materials.”

Piera on Covid:  “Working with both the on- and off-trade channels, we were able to close 2020 at the same level as 2019. We have seen an increase in sales on the off-trade channel and monopolies (Canada and Sweden) and an inevitable decrease in the on-trade sales. We embraced all the challenges requested in order to offer the best safeguard conditions for all our team. We provided masks and made sure there was enough space for everybody to carry out their work in a totally safe environment, and we adopted home working for all those who could work from home. The winery is the people, they are the beating heart of it, and we have to preserve it.”

Piera also spoke about the future. 

“A lot has been done already, but we still have much to do to keep up with the best green standards. The winery aims to keep prioritizing this aspect through investments, granting both wine quality and the sustainability of production processes that respect the environment and the people involved. We give thanks to what the land offers, and we owe her the greatest respect.”

With spring around the corner, these are delightful and light wines to enjoy while sitting outside and watching the dance of the dragonflies!

Cheers!
Penny

Feature photo is courtesy of Piera Martellozzo S.p.A.

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