Bot­tling rus­tic Italy

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - LIFE - David El­lis

WE’RE not sure how they do it, but open a bot­tle of Dal Zotto Pinot Gri­gio from the King Val­ley in the foothills of Vic­to­ria’s Alps and you get the im­pres­sion you’re treat­ing your­self to some­thing straight out of a lit­tle part of rus­tic ru­ral Italy.

Their lat­est pinot gri­gio, from vin­tage 2016, is just such a drop from this fas­ci­nat­ing fam­ily, who as pi­o­neers of the King Val­ley are now some­what of an in­sti­tu­tion, hav­ing started off grow­ing to­bacco, then mov­ing into con­tract grape grow­ing in 1987, and ul­ti­mately go­ing on to cre­ate their own-la­bel premium qual­ity wines soon af­ter.

And al­though now re­tired, pa­tri­arch Otto, who mi­grated here from the cool-cli­mate Veneto re­gion of Italy, is still very much a prom­i­nent char­ac­ter, reg­u­larly seen around the Dal Zotto win­ery, along with his wife Elena. And doubt­less Otto still has a bit of quiet in­put into the busi­ness that’s run these days by sons Michael, who is chief wine­maker and chief ex­ec­u­tive, and Chris­tian, who heads up sales and mar­ket­ing.

Do your­self a favour and get hold of a bot­tle or two of their 2016 pinot gri­gio, a drop that on open­ing ex­udes loads of lovely pear fruit, fen­nel and hon­ey­suckle aro­mas, and on drink­ing fills the mouth with fol­lowthrough fresh fruit and a touch of nut­ti­ness.

This is a great drop, par­tic­u­larly at $19 a bot­tle, with one of our favourite pinot gri­gio matches of crab or prawn salad.

Or do as the Dal Zotto boys sug­gest and put it on the ta­ble with crispy-skin sal­mon and Asian greens.

ONE TO NOTE: Mar­gan Wines has re­leased a most re­ward­ing 2015 shi­raz made from 50-year-old vines grow­ing on the ex­cep­tional red basalt vol­canic clay of Tim­bervines Vine­yard in the Hunter Val­ley.

These great old vines were ac­tu­ally first planted back in the 1960s and early 1970s by Lin­de­mans and Sax­on­vale, and were bought by An­drew in the late 1990s, giv­ing him to­day a won­der­ful va­ri­ety of fruit, with the shi­raz for this 2015 re­lease be­ing a stand­out.

See www.vint­ or

Pa­tri­arch Otto mi­grated from the cool-cli­mate Veneto re­gion.

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