Valter Scarbolo gained a passion for viticulture and winemaking from his father Gino, who ran a farm in Lauzacco in the 1960s. Valter earned a degree in Agriculture and Oenology and founded Azienda Agricola Scarbolo in Friuli’s Grave region in 1982. In addition to vigneron, Valter bears the title of acclaimed restaurateur. He opened La Frasca Trattoria in 1994 and has since built a global reputation for reshaping the way foreign restaurateurs express Italian cuisine and hospitality. Naturally, Valter keeps food pairings in mind when producing his wines. More recently, Valter has been accompanied by his son, Mattia, who is starting to take the reins as the family’s next generation vintner and daughter Lara, who has taken the lead as winemaker.
“Most affordable Pinot Grigios are pretty anemic, but Valter Scarbolo’s is gorgeously textured, layered and delicious... the lesson here: when it comes to Pinot Grigio, picking a great producer is crucial... One of the best wines of the tasting, with far more depth and complexity than most Pinot Grigios.” - Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine
|APPELLATION(S)||Friuli-Venezia Giulia DOC|
|WINEMAKER||Lara Scarbolo, Emilio del Medico|
|ANNUAL PRODUCTION||17,000 Cases|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
The vineyards are located in the heart of the Friulian plains on the right bank of the river Torre and just south of the Colli Orientali. Valter cultivates over 30 ha of vineyards grown in red clay soils mixed with alluvial deposits, minerals and chalk, which provide optimal drainage conditions. The climate is dry and ventilated with alternating temperate winds of cool breezes from the east and warm marine breezes from the Adriatic. This ideal thermal excursion allows the grapes to ripen slowly, resulting in more balanced aromas and richer flavors.
Scarbolo believes “every vine is a friend” and implements sustainable practices in order to preserve the ecosystem. The selected rootstocks vary depending on the soil composition, and all vines are planted in the guyot method. Top priorities include hand-harvesting at optimal ripeness, dense planting of the vines and promotion of low yields. Scarbolo’s “Mattia” (the estate’s oldest site at 23 years old) and “Lara” vineyards are named respectively after Valter’s son and daughter.
With the help of renowned enologist Emilio del Medico, Valter and Lara Scarbolo work meticulously in the cellar to produce wines that demonstrate full varietal expression and showcase the richness of their land. They use a mix of selected and indigenous yeasts. Vinification and aging are carried out primarily in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with a selection of the wines aging in small French oak barrels. Valter feels that “taking the lees away from a wine is like taking its soul away”; therefore, all white wines go through lees stirring (bâtonnage). Additionally, they have instituted a program of longer bottle-aging prior to release to guarantee his wines are showing their very best. Valter’s conscientious approach to viticulture and winemaking give him a unique, value-driven place in the market.