On Monday 6th November, we had the pleasure to attend at the very first presentation of Nero Magis, a project that aims to apply the Magis founder Eugenio Perazzas’ vision, “to be unique and universal“, to wine.

As Eugenio Perazza said during the opening speech there’s a strong link between design and wind: “the will to enhance people’s life“.

The eminent winemaker Walter Filiputti, responsible for the Nero Magis project, during his talk remembered his first meeting with Mr. Perazza: “We work with the world’s top designers to make things with a pure Italian style. Our objective is to achieve something “more” (in fact, the Latin word magis means ‘more’). Why shouldn’t we do the same with wine, applying our vision to be unique and universal?”. He replied that it would be possible. Indeed, fascinating. But how could Eugenio’s inspiration be translated into a wine?

Friuli’s history gave them an hand. There is still a priceless heritage of native grape varieties in the local vineyards and they produce excellent, unique fruits. And the so-called international varieties have over the years been planted here. As Mr. Filiputti said, the most logical solution was to take two wines which reflect the spirit of this region, that have a strong local identity and that could also convert a union of local roots and the international scene into uniqueness and a major asset.

Mr. Filiputti devoted many years to reviving one of Friuli’s oldest wines, Pignolo. First mentioned in a document dated 1398, it is now one of the small number of Italian reds suitable for long ageing: the finest vintages can easily age for 30 years. Only Pignolo could be the wine “with roots”, the to be unique that could make a happy marriage with the polyglot, universal Merlot, which was first planted in Friuli in 1880.

And so the 2014 harvest brought the project together in the shape of two wines: Nero Magis, in which Pignolo and Merlot are united, followed in the 2015 harvest by Nero Magis Riserva, a monovarietal Pignolo.

Two wines, the same concept: two sister wines which express themselves with different tones. The first is more alluring, the second is rigorous, with intense personality and more suitable for laying down. The modern history of Italian wine, which began in 1970, succeeded in combining tradition with innovation. Ever since, each new wine makes its own contribution to this story.

The secret behind these wines is in the land. Here, they reap the benefits of a unique microclimate between the sea (only about twenty kilometres away) and the snowy Alps, which form a spectacular backdrop. Great wines are very often made where beauty is an integral part of the land: unique and, therefore, universal.

Now, Nero Magis and Nero Magis Riserva are about to write another, important chapter and who had the chance to taste them can rightly confirm that wine, as design, enhance life!