Le Due Terre’s history as an estate goes back to 1984, but their reputation and quality are that of a generations old estate. It was founded by the husband and wife team of Silvana Forte and Flavio Basilicata in the village of Prepotto, on the eastern hills of Friuli, only about 10 kilometers from the Slovenian boarder.
Silvana and Flavio are rare examples of red wine specialists in Friuli. They have indeed established the potential for elegant reds in Italy’s extreme North-East.
In only a few decades Le Due Terre has established itself as a regional benchmark, earning every possible award for Italian wine. Recently Flavio was awarded Their daughter, Cora, has grown up on the estate and is poised to take the reigns of what has become a classic Friulian wine dynasty.
The name “Le Due Terre” pays tribute to the two soils in the region: clay and marl. Locally this mix is called “ponca.” The earth around the vines is studded with mudstones that progressively crumble into finer flakes every vintage. The soils, and the village of Prepotto in general are known for these clay based soils that favor red grapes, typically Schioppettino and Merlot is the most celebrated grapes under plant around this part of Friuli.
The winery has always been conscious of the environment, and makes wine in a natural style. In the vineyards chemical treatments are avoided, with an over-riding goal of preserving the environment as well as producing healthy grapes.
In spite of farming in a way consistent with organics, Le Due Terre has never been certified. They are an insider’s organic. Those that know the estate and recognize their purity and quality, know exactly what they’re getting. Silvana says:
“Our name is our certification.”
In fact Le Due Terre uses less copper in the vineyard than many organic wineries. Indeed, Le Due Terre means more than organic.
Vinification is done in a traditional manner, with a low-technology approach. Natural yeasts induce spontaneous fermentation, and the wine rests for 22 months in French oak without racking to age as gently as possible.
The hope is to keep the natural characteristics of the grape variety and the terroir intact. The long but gentle fermentation, maceration and oak aging create complete wines.
Flavio is a schooled winemaker, but he has left much of what he learned in university behind, and decided to make wine the way his grandfather would have. He insists that his education and a knowledge of chemistry are still crucial even when using a low-tech approach.
“You have to know the rules, to know when to break them.”
The resulting wines are natural, but very long lived, we mean decades of aging potential. Finesse and elegance the Le Due Terre house character. It is a style that any wine-lover, anywhere can appreciate.