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Zonin eyes new winemaking territories as Chilean portfolio roll out continues

Published:  21 March, 2018

Buoyed by its recent foray into Chilean production, Italian producer Zonin 1821 has revealed ambitions for further winemaking ventures beyond its homeland, with New Zealand and even the UK cited as potential countries of interest.

Speaking to Harpers at at Prowein, Zonin head winemaker Stefano Ferrante (pictured) described the Dos Almas labelled Chile project, which saw the first wines emerging in 2017, as “a very proud new chapter in our life”, adding that the global roll out of the wines to markets such as China and the UK is still underway.

“Chile is a wonderful country, with its climate, soils, it’s very interesting, with so many different expression of the varieties you find elsewhere, and varieties specific to Chile - it’s very exciting” said Ferrante.

Zonin is currently producing a range that includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere from Colchagua, plus Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca, but Ferrante said he would like to add wines from the far north and far south in the future.

Asked about future plans for winemaking ventures beyond Italy, Ferrante said: “We are exploring other countries, other areas of the world, to see where would be ideal for winemaking – the future is other countries”.

He said New Zealand was a strong contender, adding that he had also visited Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, saying English sparkling could be something to consider for the future”.

While admitting that an Italian producer may have more of a cultural hurdle to overcome as a producer of English fizz than an outside investor from Champagne, Ferrante’s enthusiasm is reflected in the commercial reality of Zonin’s growing portfolio of innovative and alternative sparkling wines.

Well know for producing its leading global brand of Zonin Prosecco, the company also now counts a sparkling Falanghina from Puglia and a new blanc de noirs fizz made with Sicilian Nero d’Avola, called Neroluce, both made by the charmat method, with plans to make traditional method sparkling wines from the grape too.

“We didn’t just want to produce another four or five Proseccos, we wanted to produce others style of sparkling wine” said Ferrante. “Wine lists have been dominated by Prosecco and Champagne, but now people are becoming more educated and are looking at different types of sparkling wine, they are open to trying different things.”

The company believes that consumers globally are now much more receptive both to alternative styles of sparkling wine around the Prosecco price level, but also at higher price points between that entry level and Champagne.

Zonin also unveiled a new artisanal scale gin from Italy’s coastal Maremma, which will be infused with Tuscan herbs and initially sold on the local market due to tiny production levels.