Lison Classico & the fight for 'Tocai'

A few weeks ago our first batch of Lison Classico DOCG (bottle pictured, right) landed into the shop. It joins its sibling, the Goccia Pinot Grigio, which is also fairly new to the range. The new Goccia, a really lovely, elegant white made from the Friulano grape, is produced by Tenuta S. Anna estate, located in the Lison Pramaggiore district of eastern Veneto, about 50 km east of Venice, in Italy’s north eastern corner.

Lison Classico comes with an interesting story which might explain why more people don’t know what it actually is. Until recently it was known simply as ‘Tocai’, or ‘Tocai Friulano’. Sound familiar? It shared a similar sounding name to the famous Hungarian sweet wine, Tokaji. The Tokaji denomination refers to a geographical area of Hungary, specifically the wine growing area of Tokaj that takes its name from the Hungarian city of the same name.

Tokaji has nothing to do with Italian Tocai wines that are produced from the Tocai vine. The Italian Tocai is light straw yellow in colour, dry and velvety and moderately aromatic with soft peach aromas and an almondy taste. The name of the vine is linked to a number of historical events in the Friuli region and Hungary that have roots going back a number of centuries. Fabbro, the wine expert, has traced the history of the vine starting from 1100 when Italian missionaries introduced a number of the Tocai vines into Hungary.

The age-old dispute between Hungary and a number of other European countries, in particular Italy and France, has now been resolved and the winner is Hungary, forcing the others to create new names their own wines. It was the decision of the European Court in Luxembourg in 2005. Seemed to be a case of who could shout louder. Anyway, Tocai needed a new name and a new identity. Lison Classico it is.

Click here to view the range from Tenuta S. Anna.

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