Dec
2008

Gorizia

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Enology has been practiced in the Gorizia area for thousands of years and over the centuries it has shouldered immense importance in terms of the district’s economy. Various ancient Greek writers mentioned a wine of the Gorizia area, which they identified as Adriano, much more information about the zone’s wines has survived from the Middle Ages; in a letter, Cassiodorus talks about the regions of the Veneto, Gorizia and Istria as being relatively well-blessed. He says that Istria, above all, abounds in vineyards and fruit orchards. Not much has changed since then.

Collio Gorziano or Collio DOC is an area primarily characterized by the Eocene-dated hills and slopes (or collio) lying in the province of Gorizia, relatively close to the Slovenian border. From the viticultural standpoint, the Collio Goriziano is divided from the Colli Orientali del Friuli only by an administrative boundary, the line separating the provinces of Udine and Gorizia. In both districts, the soil is composed of marl and sandstone and the climatic patterns are not much different. The Julian Pre-Alps provide an excellent shelter from the cold winds and the Adriatic coast helping to moderate the temperature range, as well as reflect the harsh rays of the sun and give the vines a double dose of sunshine. The reds, think Bordeaux-based varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, as well as Pinot Nero are soft and elegant, offering warmth and roundness on the palate. Freshness is the main feature of the whites, mainly aromatic varietals like Sauvignon, Riesling, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau, Malvasia, Traminer Aromatico, the shy-producing Picolit, as well as the fat cats Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla. In the mouth, they are dry and beautifully balanced. Wines must consist of one or more local varietals, up to 100%, and with whites, Riesling and Müller Thurgau may be included up to 20%. The reds are aged for 36 months, and 24 months for the whites.

The Isonzo, a river regarded as sacred to Italy, gives its name to the wine producing area internationally know as Isonzo DOC which stretches along the plain on the outskirts of the province of Gorizia. The wine producing area is located between the Carso plateau and the river Judrio. These soils are alluvial, being left by historically recent floods of the river Isonzo which flows along its natural course towards the Adriatic sea. The Julian Alps range, together with the mitigating influence of the sea, again creates the ideal conditions for the grape growing of superb quality. Here you may find frizzante or spumante alongside still wines. The varietals roughly mirror those of Collio but with grapes like Verduzzo, Moscato Rosa, Moscato Gialla, Refosco, and Schiopettino thrown in the mix.