Marchesi de' Frescobaldi, a name that has been linked with Tuscan wine for 700 years, is expanding its involvement with its only winery outside the region. Last week the company purchased 30 percent of Conti Attems, a winery in Friuli's Collio region, best known for its white wines. Frescobaldi first invested in Attems a decade ago, buying 70 percent of the shares. The heir to the original owner decided to sell the remaining stake. The price was undisclosed.
"It's exciting. We have never invested outside Tuscany," Lamberto Frescobaldi, vice president of the company in charge of production, told Wine Spectator. "We believe Friuli is a great site for white wines. There is good light, the sea is close, and the nights are cool."
Attems's founder, the late Count Sigismund Douglas von Attems, a leader in the Collio region, was friends with Frescobaldi's father, Vittorio, and invited him to invest in the property back then. The Frescobaldis have always kept the winery separate from their Tuscan operations and have no plans to put their name on the label. "We want Frescobaldi to be a Tuscan company," said Lamberto.
Attems owns 49 acres of vineyards, and Frescobaldi says they intend to plant 10 more in coming years. The winery produces several different varietal wines, including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla and Fruilano, as well as a single-vineyard blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano and Pinot Bianco called Cicinis.