The Pittaro family, founder of Pitars, has its roots in the northern part of Italy at San Martino al Tagliamento in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The family has dedicated itself to the cultivation of vines and production of wines since the beginning of the 16th century but it was not until the 20th century with Romano Pittaro and his son Angelo that the winery’s modern history actually gained importance. In 1880, Romano, an expert winemaker, planted Merlot, a vine imported from France, in his vineyards. The family activity was enriched by the experience of Angelo who stayed in Venezuela for 15 years and upon his return, founded the winery in San Martino al Tagliamento in 1968. It was originally born as Cantina San Martino but later on, they adopted the name Pitars which is the family name in the local dialect. Today, the winery is run by sons Bruno, Mauro and Paolo Pittaro, along the with grandchildren Nicola, Stefano, Alessandro, Jessica and Judy.
There was a dedication to still white wines, which until today represents the company and the region where it is located. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is an Italian region that is considered as the land of great white wines where the characteristics of both vines and territory enrich the glasses with their distinctive aromas and complexities.
More than 160 hectares of vineyards of Pitars lie on the riverbed of the last morphologically intact river in Europe, the Tagliamento River. The basin of the Tagliamento is a candidate to become a “biosphere reserve” of UNESCO. It is a unique territory where deposited minerals from the alps of Friuli-Venezia Giulia enrich the alluvial soil that the river brings downstream. The vineyards are located in different areas of the riverbed and various grape varieties are cultivated in specific areas where they respond well with the peculiarities of the soil that can optimize their characteristics to the maximum. The red grape varieties prefer the more clayey soils of the Passariano vineyards which retain water and minerals useful for the growth of the plant and the ripening of the grapes. The white varieties instead are located at the Tenuta San Martino where the soil has a big presence of gravel which are rich in minerals and gives more drainage. In this soil condition, the grapes can best express their aromatic characteristics along with minerality and freshness. In particular, Sauvignon Blanc vinified in purity is the symbol of Pitars especially when they won the Gold Medal Award last year at the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2019.
“Sauvignon is a vine that best interprets the potential of our soils, which are lean and rich in stones. Stones help to accumulate heat and drain the soil. Our leaner soils, with a strong presence of sands and therefore drier, thus enjoy the benefit of a strong temperature rangeand contribute to a greater aromatic intensity and freshness of the wines. Important characteristics for obtaining great whites, just think of areas of the world, such as the Marlborough region in New Zealand, where land of this type makes it possible to make the most of the white varieties,” says Stefano Pittaro, oenologist.
“The vine is an intelligent plant, which is able to adapt to almost all latitudes by optimizing the resources available. A soil rich in stones and lean can affect the growth of the vine but this is not a limit for the quality of the product, indeed, on the contrary, it contributes to characterize the wines of our region. We have chosen to associate the most congenial varieties to each soil. The vineyards benefit both from the fresh air coming from the mountains and from the sirocco rich in salts coming from the sea. In the same way, the soil and water which the vines feed on are enriched by the constant contributions of the Tagliamento. They breathe and feed on the natural environment created by the river, which fortunately has preserved a high degree of naturalness to this day,” commented Alessandro, who follows the agronomic part of the company with Paolo.
Pitars, as represented by fourth generation Nicola and Stefano Pittaro, organized a virtual wine tasting of their 3 Sauvignon Blanc wines: Sauvignon Braida Santa Cecilia DOC Friuli 2018; Sèris Sauvignon 2019; and the newest addition, Cuntrevint 2019. Three versions of Sauvignon Blanc of marked freshness and minerality. The grapes are grown in a natural ecosystem, which enjoys a unique microclimate created by the its proximity to the Tagliamento River.
Sauvignon Braida Santa Cecilia DOC Friuli 2018
The grapes are cultivated on the left bank of the Tagliamento River, in the Rivolto vineyards, with soils rich in stones and clay which favor the ripening of the grapes. The harvesting of the Sauvignon grapes cultivated in the same vineyards falls in two periods, the first early in September and the next one on the second half of the month giving the wine complexity. In the nose there is a multitude of intense aromas particularly underlined with the variety’s quintessential representative smell, the tomato leaf. Fresh sage, mature tropical fruits and elderflowers. In the mouth, the acidity is well-marked with notes of minerals and very good persistence. It is a harmonious and elegant wine that best represents the varietal and territorial profiles. It has also been chosen as the best Sauvignon Blanc of Italy in the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2019. The annual production is about 42,000 bottles.
Sèris Sauvignon IGT Venezia Giulia 2019
Obtained from the vineyards of various vineyards from Rivolto and San Martino al Tagliamento, this straw yellow wine has a more enveloping characteristic with a persistent and abundantly floral nose, crisp white peach, notes of tropical and citrus fruits. In the mouth is expresses a persistent acidity with a good balance of sapidity. It has a good medium body with a long finish in the palate. The production averages 6,000 bottles in a year.
Cuntrevint Sauvignon IGT Venezia Giulia 2019
Cuntrevint was born out of an experiment obtained from the healthiest grapes cultivated in the right bank of Tagliamento River in Santo Cristoforo. It is located at the area closest to the river which is the windiest part of the estate and the thermal excursions are more significant which makes the maturation of the grapes longer. There is a very good drainage in the soil which is composed of layers of clay, stones and sand. The fermentation was carried out with indigenous yeasts. The result is a medium straw yellow wine with an intense and aromatic nose of mature exotic fruits, tomato leaves, ripe yellow stone fruits and fresh sage. In the mouth, the acidity is vibrant balanced with sapidity and finishes long. It promises longevity in the cellar. The production is limited to 700 bottles only. The label is uniquely done. It is all white with a tiny flap that can be pulled downwards and it reveals a design of the Tagliamento River in gold and blue.