Made from the Vitovska grape, which is a crossing between Prosecco and Malvasia Bianco, the wine is first fermented in clay amphorae that are buried underground. These amphorae come from Georgia. We should also mention the ransom story. As it goes, brothers Walter and Paolo Vodopivec had experimented with aging their wines in wooden cask and Spanish amphorae (inspired by Gravner), but they weren’t enamoured with the results. Paolo felt sure that Georgian amphorae would be superior, and so off they went to Georgia to source some. However, the local mafia held the clay pots for ransom. The story unclear whether their demand was “Given us the lari, or the 261lumies gets it!”, but the vessels were eventually ransomed and repatriated in Friuli as fermenters. Or as the anti-naturalists would have you believe, dementers.
Treat it with the respect it deserves. Upon opening it is intensely tannic and grippingly mineral. Decant once. Twice. The result, if you’re patient, is a wine that have a purity and fascination that makes you want to roll it appreciatively around your mouth. Deep, rich (but not heavy) and aromatic with layers of dried peach, warm apricot and apple notes on both the nose and mid palate, a splendid Vitovska that is as bone dry as the rocks from which the vines eke out their precarious existence, yet somehow refreshing and curiously saline with a very long finish that imparts further flavours of hazelnuts and dried fig. An ideal match for grilled trout, swordfish or sea bass or pork chops with fennel.
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