Fantinel is based in the sleepy little town of Spilimbergo in the heart of the Friuli region. Surrounded by the eastern ‘arm’ of the Alps on gravel-rich soils, this family-owned winery was established in 1969 by Mario ‘Paron’ Fantinel. Mario wanted to build on his reputation as a noted hotelier and restaurateur by also becoming a producer of fine wines from his native region of north-east Italy.
The company is guided by the family’s third generation, represented by Marco and Stefano, manages 300 hectares of vineyards within the two DOC regions of Grave del Friuli and Collio. Their large vineyard holding enables them to have complete control over quality from vine to glass.
They have a finely balanced team in the shape of Luca Grattoni, a young agronomist who moves around the vines with great speed and is well versed with the latest techniques in vine training, and winemaker Alberto Zanello who measures his experience in making wines at Fantinel in decades.
As well as producing the Borgo Tesis range and the very good Tenuta Sant’ Helena wines from lower yielding vines in the Collio region, they also produce an excellent Prosecco and a sparkling rosé.
A green approach has always been an important aspect of Fantinel’s production philosophy; the installation of a photovoltaic system at the winery, in 2010, is a recent example. However, their commitment towards sustainability has been a cornerstone of their viticulture for some time; since 2001, their 150 hectares of vineyards in the village of Tauriano, in Grave del Fruili, have been farmed using a ferti-irrigation system unique in the region. This both irrigates and feeds the soil creating fruit that make balanced wines, yet avoiding wasting water or fertilizer, reducing the environmental impact.