The Bettili family has been making good use of their passion for winemaking since 1850, beginning with just a few hectares of vines and a wine cellar which they built in the yard at the back of their family home. The current head of the company, representing the sixth generation, is Michele Bettili, who has been involved in operations since the 1990s.
Throughout several generations of hard work the family has expanded its operations, and it now owns around 200 hectares of vineyards in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions in north-east Italy. The Bettilis also have two wineries which produce 8 million litres of wine each year. Storage and bottling take place in their plant based east of Verona in the picturesque, medieval town of Soave, in western Veneto.
The family grows several indigenous grape varieties, including garganega, corvina, rondinella, glera (for Prosecco), and moscato, as well as international varieties like chardonnay, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon. However, it is pinot grigio that is responsible for some of their premium wines, and their expertise with this grape made them ideal candidates for the Vittoria Pinot Grigio, a Society exclusive in the UK.
The grapes for this wine are grown in DOC Grave del Friuli, a cool-climate region with protection from the Alps - two characteristics which combine to produce wines with delicate aromas and subtle flavours. The DOC gets its name from the gravel in the soils, which causes the vine roots to burrow deeper into the ground to find water. This poor soil quality produces richer fruit, with excellent mineral character.
Harvesting of the pinot grigio takes place relatively early to retain the grapes' natural high acidity. The fruit is then fermented in stainless-steel tanks, which keeps the wine fresh and ready for early drinking.