There may be a better producer of white wines in Italy than Enzo Pontoni of Miani, but as of yet we can't find them. His white (and red) wines have become absolute cult wines owing to a remarkable depth of flavour and concentrated texture, though they are never heavy or unbalanced.
The grapes of Miani wines grow on a total of 13 hectares (four directly owned by the family). The varieties grown include the red Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso as well as white varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Malvasia and Friulano. The altitudes of the vineyards range from 100 to 300 metres above sea level, and the vine density in most of the vineyards is a relatively low 3000 plants per hectare. In the winter the vines are pruned mercilessly, and the drastic green harvest leaves rarely more than a single bunch or two on a vine. It is clear that revenue and profitability have never entered this winemaker’s agenda, while the manicured vineyards show intense passion for viticulture.
Miani estate is located in the Colli Orientali DOC area which is the hilly slice of the Udine province near Italy’s border with Slovenia. Enzo took over the family winemaking business about a dozen years ago, after his father had passed away, abandoning an engineering career in order to dedicate himself fully to his new passion. At almost 7 feet tall, Enzo has a commanding presence and does not compromise when it comes to making wine: each year he produces a total of only 9000 bottles from his thirteen hectares, and all according to rigorously organic farming methods. He ages many of his wines in French oak barriques, and does not interfere with the natural temperature of fermentation.
His reds are complex and decadent, and his white wines are, for many experts, most likely not just the best in Friuli but perhaps in Italy.