A historic vineyard run by a real-life countess, peppered with works of art, watched over by a Hungarian vizsla dog and with a view over to the castle of Rocca Bernarda.

The estate, which has been in the family since the beginning of the eighteenth century, has been instrumental in preserving some traditional Friuli varieties.  In the nineteenth century, when French varieties were all the range, the countess’s grandfather, Giacomo Perusini, planted some Picolit vines on the estate to in an attempt to revive the variety; after his untimely death, his widow, Giuseppa, a painter and writer, but also an astute businesswoman, continued his work and relaunched the wine on the Italian market and abroad. The next generation were not to be left out either: one son, graduating in both Literature and Agriculture, Professor of Literature at Trieste University, continued to carry out research into land reform and vine-growing in Friuli, whereas the other strived to improve Ribolla Gialla, another native variety. This variety, considered since 1300 as one of the best Friuli wines, is one of their flagship wines.

Despite losing the historic family seat, Rocca Bernarda, to the Order of Malata, this aristocratic family of artists, writers, researchers and intellectuals, Teresa is herself an art historian, restorer and one of the custodians of the Venice Biennale, continues to work the remainder of the estate. They are in the process of converting to organic farming methods, although not yet certified, and are determined to preserve the biodiversity of the unique terroir and microclimate they have been blessed with, here between the mountains and the sea. One of a select fifty wineries listed in Luigi Veronelli’s ‘I vignaioli storici’ (The Italian Wine-growers Bible), they have won numerous awards, both internationally and internationally, their ‘Black Label Merlot’, made from their own selection of an old clone, winning the ‘tre bicchieri’ of Gamberi Rosso when first released. They not only produce wines from international varieties, such as the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio, but they also, of course, continue to produce Picolit, a sweet, elegant wine made from grapes partially raisined on the vine and late harvested, the flagship Ribolla Gialla and Refosco dal Penduncolo Rosso.

The family’s passion for art is evident throughout the estate; sculptures are scattered around the vineyards and the gardens, and a winery tower with painted walls and a Foucault’s pendulum also hosts, art exhibitions, concerts and other events. A perfect place to enjoy their wines, no doubt.