Dino Illuminati and family
The area around Controguerra and Nereto, situated
on the North of the Abruzzo region, between the
Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, is endowed
with a fortunate, natural position for its climate
and renowned from ancient times for its typical
It was here that Nico Illuminati, an impassioned
master in the art of winemaking, lived during
the latter half of the last century. Around the
year 1890 he initiated the activity of wine production
and set up the then known Estate of Nico - "Fattoria
Today the Estate has become much larger under
the guidance of Dino Illuminati, grandson of Nico.
He has brought the family-owned winery to new
heights with advanced wine technology, applying
the same skilled craftsmanship of his illustrious
grandfather, in an ideal fusion of the traditional
and the modern.
The Estate vineyards extend over 150 acres of
the finest terrain of the whole region. The nature
of the terrain is a perfectly balanced mix of
clay and sand with marked presence of siliceous
substances (potash, magnesium, lime, and components
of silicate). The terrain is loose, deep, and
fertile on considerably high, hilly grounds, twelve
hundred to fifteen hundred feet above sea level.
All of the vineyards have south/southwestern exposure.
At present there are 150 acres of vineyards in
production which makes the Estate the largest
privately owned winery in the region. Of the 150
acres of vineyards, 75 acres are of Montepulciano
grape varietals for the production of Montepulciano
d'Abruzzo red wine. Sixty acres are of Trebbiano
grape varietals for the production of the Trebbiano
d'Abruzzo white wine and 15 acres are of selected,
experimental varietals. This is a commitment by
Dino Illuminati to the upgrading of all of his
varietals and the development of newly selected
production of the proprietor's Reserve wines.
Dino Illuminati has won many awards, including
the "Gran Canal" award two years ago at the Veneto
Wine Festival. It is given to the "winemaker of
the year" for outstanding work in experimentation
and evolution of traditional and new varietal
wines. This year he won the prestigious "Oscar"
for national recognition as one of Italy's finest
wine makers. As well as the "Diploma di Medaglia
d'Oro" for outstanding winemaker, at the 1997
Vinitaly in Verona.
RIPAROSSO Montepulciano d'Abruzzo D.O.C.
"Riparosso" is a D.O.C. wine made from 100% Montepulciano
grape from the vineyards situated in the township
of Controguerra at 300 meters above sea level.
"Riparosso", the name of this wine comes from
the neighboring gullies known as "Ripe" and the
soil, which verges on red (Rosso). Illuminati's
best known red wine, "Riparosso" is red wine at
it's friendliest. Rich,as found in a good Cabernet,
Smooth like a velvety Merlot & warmly reminding
one of Chianti in the past. Ripe fruit and soft
tannins are the hallmark of this easy drinking
red wine. Perfect for appetizers, paired with
grilled "white" meats, or to enjoy with cheese.
2 Bicchieri in Gambero Rosso Three years in a
row! The Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide has Given
it "Top 100 Best Buys" noting, " Dark ruby with
purple highlights. Moderately light bodied. Full
acidity. Reminiscent of cranberry, raspberry,
cherry. Tart young red fruit with some grainy
tannins on the palate.Texture is almost silky
in the mouth. Good structure with pleasant cherry
tartness on the finish."
ZANNA Montepulciano d'Abruzzo D.O.C. RISERVA
"Zanna" is a single vineyard designated D.O.C.
Riserva wine composed of 100% Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Zanna comes from the Abruzzesi dialect, meaning
" the fangs of the wolf", implying this is the
red Illuminati wine that gets "to the heart of
the matter, cuts to the bone; the red wine that
goes for the jugular."
"Zanna" is rich and deep in color, with aromas
of orange rind and chestnut, and full-bodied flavors
with tender tannins and a slight spice of the
oak. This is a wine to enjoy over the next 10
to 15 years.
Vintages in Abruzzo resemble California in their
splendor, with long warm summer days, an almost
perfect growing season, a rich harvest (those
in Tuscany and Piedmont are not always as fortunate),
and an ideal fermentation. The wine ages 42 months
of which 12 are in small French barrique, Allier,
2 Bicchieri in Gambero Rosso ~1995 & 1998 Vintages!
"Zanna" has been under the guiding the hand of
Giacomo Tachis and his team, headed by Giorgio
Marone. They are considered the Top Group of consulting
enologists in Italy. Giacomo Tachis is the architect
of Tignanello, Sassicaia and Solaia. Grapes used
This is Illuminati's "Superbruzzo", known as "Lumen".
Lumen was conceived by Dino Illuminati and the
eminent enologist, Dott. Marone, assistant to
the famous enologist Dott. Giamoco Tachis, to
serve as a vehicle to show how red wine from Abruzzo
can achieve a world class status. This famous
team of enologists, world renown for their role
as the architects of such great wines like "Sassicaia",
"Tinganello" and "Solaia", have created another
great red wine, this time a blending of Montepulciano
and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is primarily
Montepulciano blended with varying percentages
of Cabernet Sauvignon, depending on the outcome
of the harvest. The 1993 vintage was the premier
release of this wine. From mature vines only the
outer clusters of ripe grapes go into this wine.
Free run juice is gathered then the remaining
grape pomace is gently pressed by the most innovative
technology available. At the end of the secondary
fermentation of the two wines, they are put together
in small 225 lt. casks of different qualities
of oak and aged for 18 to 24 months. Then the
wine rests in bottles, in the cellar, for more
than one year before its release. This is an elegant,
dry, rich red wine that can only get better with
aging. Very collectible. Very rare. Before serving
decant for two hours and serve at room temperature.
White, Metodo Classico and Dessert Illuminati