i Clivi

Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Corno di Rosazzo, Fruili
People: Mario Zanusso, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Certified Organic


i Clivi 2017 'RBL' Brut Nature, Italy (Colli Orientali) Login In Stock
i Clivi 2018 'RBL' Brut Nature, Italy (Colli Orientali) Login AG 90 In Stock
i Clivi 2015 'Clivi Brazan' Friulano, Collio DOC Login In Stock
i Clivi 2015 'Clivi Galea' Friulano, Friuli Colli Orientali DOP Login In Stock
i Clivi 2018 Friulano, San Pietro Vineyard, Friuli Venezia Giulia DOP Login AG 91+ In Stock
i Clivi 2017 Malvasia Vigna 80 Anni, Collio DOP Login AG 94 In Stock
i Clivi 2018 Ribolla Gialla, Trevenezie IGP Login AG 89 In Stock
i Clivi 2015 'Clivi Galea' Merlot, Friuli Colli Orientali DOP Login In Stock

Media Links
Hawk Wakawaka Wine Review: The Pinnacle and Depth of Joy: i Clivi Wines, and Meeting the Zanusso Men

Social Media
Instagram: @iclivi
I Clivi Facebook

Ferdinando Zanusso grew up around wine—his father was an amateur winemaker who owned a tavern in Treviso—but it wasn’t until he’d moved to West Africa, occasioning him to travel often through (and dine in) Paris, that he actually learned to like the stuff. But once he’d been bitten by the bug, he was all in, purchasing a vineyard in Friuli in 1996, and returning to his home region to make wine.

His son Mario had a similar come-to-Jesus moment when he returned from Milan after studying economics. He found that working his father's land had a very powerful "grounding" effect that he loved. The two then became a pair, working the vines and honing in on what exactly i Clivi would become. Today, Mario is at the helm of i Clivi and producing exquisitely charismatic wines that capture the sunny slopes in northeastern Italy.

Each step Mario takes is to make a wine that honors the region. He owns two southern-facing vineyards totaling 12 hectares with 60-80 year-old vines, all dry farmed and certified organic. Only native varieties are planted: Ribolla, Friulano, Verduzzo, and Malvasia. There is a touch of Merlot, which has been in Friuli 100+ years.

i Clivi's two vineyards are only a few kilometers away from each other but fall into two different denomination of origin DOC and also in two separate provinces: one in the Collio DOC, province of Gorizia, and one in the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, province of Udine. These two vineyards are named by their toponyms, respectively Brazan and Galea. Rooted on two pieces of land whose geological composition shows almost imperceptible differences, the different microclimates, mainly due to the winds coming from the sea hitting Mount Quarin in Brazzano Cormons and descending from the Julian Prealps lapping the hills of Gramogliano in Corno di Rosazzo, is the determining factor in the differences of personality perceivable in the wines.

Mario uses every good measure to not over intervene or manipulate anything, but to make clean, transparent and well-crafted wines. The yields are kept low and harvested by hand. He uses only the first pressing of the grapes. The fermentation is allowed to happen spontaneously. None of the whites are macerated with the skins (these are clean Fruili wines). The wine is raised in steel tank with extended time on the fine lees. The sum of all these parts is wine of delicacy and depth. Are the two things mutually exclusive? A resounding and delicious no! As Mario puts it: "Some would say that our wines are made by subtraction, and perhaps yes, we like to give a more light and crisp character to what we produce … 'Less is more.'"

Vinous 1/2020
"Located in the western tip of Colli Orientali (province of Udine), the estate also farms vineyards in Collio (province of Gorizia). The property is characterized by a wealth of old vines, even up to ninety years of age. Owners Ferdinando and Mario Zanusso produce about 50,000 bottles a year from their 12 hectares of what are some of FVG’s purest, most age-worthy and mineral wines. Production here is made from mostly native wine grapes (Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano, Malvasia Istriana, and Verduzzo Friulano), the only international variety farmed is Merlot, which is considered traditional to the region. As good as the Malvasia and Friulano cru wines are (and they are truly exceptional, ranking with Italy’s best white wines), don’t miss out on the also outstanding Verduzzo, for my money the best classically dry Verduzzo made in Italy."


  • i Clivi 2018 'RBL' Brut Nature, Italy (Colli Orientali)
    Rating: 90 (1/8/2020)

    Bright straw color. Fresh and delicious apple and pear notes dominate the nose, complemented by floral undertones. Clean, lifted, with a hint of glyceral sweetness (but less than 1.5 g/L r.s. declared) nicely contrasted by the variety’s typical salinity. The long close brings floral reminders to the fore. About 10,000 bottles made a year.
  • i Clivi 2018 Ribolla Gialla, Trevenezie IGP
    Rating: 89 (1/8/2020)

    Bright pale yellow. Clean aromas of peach, pineapple, apple, white pepper and minerals, with suggestions of exotic fruits; as pretty as this nose is, it strikes me as being less deep than usual for this wine, normally one of the best Ribolla Giallas of the region. Then also rather gently flavored, with yellow apple and pear notes offering lovely if almost too delicate inner-mouth perfume and verve. Finishes crisp and medium-long, with a hint of minerals at the back. This is a lovely but very simple example of Ribolla Gialla by I Clivi’s normally very lofty standards, the result of their having to harvest earlier than usual due to 2018’s difficult weather. Still, I like this wine’s early appeal and knockout mineral purity.
  • i Clivi 2018 Friulano, San Pietro Vineyard, Friuli Venezia Giulia DOP
    Rating: 91+ (1/8/2020)

    Golden-tinged straw yellow. Delicately pungent and herbal, with almond, fresh citrus and apple notes, this offers a very recognizable Tocai Friulano nose and set of flavors. Richer, riper and more glyceral than usual, it hints at a little residual sweetness (though it sill tastes like a classically dry wine). Very pure, clean and long, this is made from 70-year-old vines that show in the wine’s depth.
  • i Clivi 2017 Malvasia Vigna 80 Anni, Collio DOP
    Rating: 94 (1/8/2020)

    Luminous straw-green. Green apple, pear, chamomile, mint and white flowers on the nose. Then juicy and dense, with lovely pristine yellow apple and pear flavors that linger impressively on the crisp mineral finish. A beautifully nuanced wine. The Vigna 80 Anni name refers to the eighty years old age of the vines, but in fact the vines today are even older than that. A knockout Malvasia Istriana.