Meroi is a family run wine estate located in Buttrio, amidst the Colli Orientali del Friuli wine area. The current production stands at around 45,000 bottles a year.
The winery was founded in 1920 by the current owner Paolo Meroi’s great grandfather, Domenico Meroi.
Meroi is a historical family name in Buttrio, already mentioned in the 15th century.
Domenico Meroi founded the estate at the beginning of the twentieth century. Besides the first family vineyard he also owned a restaurant in the centre of Buttrio – today known as trattoria “Al Parco” – a manor house surrounded by a lush garden, formerly Casa del Torso-Meroi, where the carnival festivities and the “Sagra dei polli” traditional chicken festival, were held.
During the Second World War, both the family manor and the restaurant were occupied by German soldiers, the first of whom reached Buttrio on the day following the 12th September 1943, with the order to supply them with all kinds of food; Domenico Meroi managed to hide the best wine behind a false wall in the cellar.
Domenico Meroi, nicknamed “Dominin”, handed down the ownership of the estate to his son Attilio and his grandson Davino. The Meroi winery took part in the first editions of the Fiera dei vini di Buttrio, the wine fair held at Villa Toppo-Florio starting from 1932 and which initially only involved the wineries of Buttrio and its surroundings.
Paolo Meroi today continues the activity started by his great grandfather. By the end of the seventies he managed to bottle the wine, which up to then was only sold locally and on tap, and to enlarge the estate to its current 19 hectares of vineyards on the hills behind Buttrio.
In 2007 the estate acquired the vineyard known as “Zitelle” (Italian for spinsters), formerly owned by an ancient Order of the Nuns of the Unmarried established in Buttrio and surroundings. Once an old clay quarry, the vineyard became part of the historic family vineyard known as “Dominin”.
Approximately 40% of the farmland in Buttrio is devoted to vine growing, most of which is included in the D.O.C. Area (Controlled Denomination of Origin) Friuli Colli Orientali.
The climate, which is never particularly cold and characterised by significant precipitation, is most suited for the cultivation of the vine. Indeed, the hill behind Buttrio is well known for its favourable temperature, which is slightly higher than those of the rest of the Colli Orientali, being particularly suitable for the ripening of the red grapes, making the wines velvety and elegant.
Adding to these favourable conditions there is also the type of soil of the hill, the so-called “Cormòns flysch”, composed by sandstone and marlstone – the latter prevailing – whose weathering and flaking into more or less fine pieces form the ponca soil.
|Altitude||Sun Exposure||Soil Type||Nitrogen||Potassium||Phosphorus||Calcium||Magnesium||Active limestone|
|Dominin||100-130m asl||South-East||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Medium||High||High||Medium||High||16%|
|Pesarin||120m asl||North/East||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Medium||High||High||High||Medium||20%|
|Barchetta||100-120m asl||Est-Nord/Est||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Medium||High||High||Medium||High||22%|
|Malvasia||100-120m asl||North/East||Red loamy soils||Medium||Medium||Medium||Poor||Low||Low|
|Ribolla||100-120m asl||North/East||Red loamy soils||Medium||Medium||Medium||Poor||High||Low|
|Chardonnay Zitelle||110-100m asl||North/East||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Low||Medium||High||High||Medium||25%|
|Crostone||90-110m asl||Sud/Ovest – Nord/Ovest||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Low||High||Medio||High||Medium||20%|
|Merlot FN||North/East||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Low||High||High||Medium||High||18%|
|Sauvignon FN||110m asl||North/East||Stratified Eocene marl and sandstone “Flysch”||Low||Medium||Medium||High||Medium||24%|
The vine training systems used are Guyot and Gobelet. The vines are cultivated organically, which entails not using any pesticide or herbicide, fertilizing with manure and treating the plants only by spraying copper sulphate and sulphur. Cluster thinning may be necessary in particularly fruitful years. Harvesting is done by hand when the grapes reach full ripening; the grapes of each vineyard are made into wine separately. Depending on the vintage, the grapes are harvested at different times, separately crushed and made into wine.
Generally in early September, when fully ripe, the white grapes are harvested and crushed, pressing immediately without maceration, separating the free-run juice from the press juice.
The juice settles for a night and is then poured into French oak barrels where fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts.
The white wines remain in third passage barrels for 11 months and age in the bottle for 1 year.
The red grapes are destemmed and then allowed to macerate for 2/3 weeks in oak barrels. Following maceration the wine is racked in barriques where it ages for 24 months.