Following the manicured garden paths towards the central courtyard of the 14th century ‘CASTELLO di DUINO’, it’s easy to go with Ebb & Flow.
Amidst an explosion of Flora & Fauna, we’re skipping to a Medieval, Mediterranean, Rock Steady beat.
Step by step, hand in hand, with the evenings charming host, VITOVSKA.
Organized by the Associazione Viticoltori del Carso-Kras, the annual event has just celebrated it’s 12th Edition. A unique cross-border initiative, it was founded to promote Vitovska viticulture and winemaking along the entire Karst plateau. Extending across the northeast Italian frontier and into Slovenia, the Carso (in Italiano) or Kras (in Slovene), is an area characterised by the predominance of bare limestone rock. An inhospitable environment for most agricultural activity, centuries of effort are at last beginning to reap viticultural rewards.
The small townland of Prepotto, northwest of Trieste, is often referred to as its home and renowned winemakers like Zidarich, Skerk, Kante, Vodopivec and Skerlj are among those who have worked tirelessly for years to bring Top Quality propositions to the table. The great news from this 2018 experience is that a significant number of new standard bearers are actively pushing to expand VITOVSKA’s potential. The Taste diversity on show was both refreshing and provocative with memorable drops coming from Zidarich, Skerk, Grgic, Lupinc, Rencel, Stemberger, Milic, Merlak, Bajta, Cotar, Cotova Klet and Castelvecchio.
We’ve come to learn this thanks to the valuable work of Dr. Manna Crespan and the team at Conegliano Research Centre. Their research also confirms that Malvasia Bianca Lunga has potential eye-catching genetic links with Malvasia Istriana & Malvasia di Lipari. It tells us that we can find it all over Tuscany and along the Adriatic coast from Croatia to further south in Greece. Is its home Tuscany or might one of these distant lands be its point of origin?
Whether we will ever know for sure, clearly Malvasia Bianca Lunga has long been a traveller! How did it ever discover the Karst ? Most likely it was transported there in the company of opportunistic Mediterranean traders. As is our way, we can’t help imagining this adventurous vine arriving in Trieste for the first time, perhaps aboard some Venetian vessel, being sold or exchanged and brought that short hike up to the nearby village of PROSECCO and fortuitously planted next to ‘you now know who’. Yeah, yeah. Hopeless romantics we are, but lest we forget, we’ve got Nature’s Way to thank for the GIFT of, VITOVSKA.
No suprise that it ably copes with the harsh weather extremes of the BORA wind and summer water scarcity. It’s a grape that makes what we readily call a “Signature White” wine, capable of speaking for itself, the region and the growing band of vinous hands who now seek to create tempting individual expressions for a world of winelovers, far beyond Duino’s shore.
For sure we’ll be back to Duino, Carso & Kras. Afterall we didn’t even touch on the existence of VITOVSKA GRGANJA. Yeah, that’s another love story :)
As we write, just below the ships are loading up. If you’re located close to a port, we suggest you get there soon because when it gets there, the VITOVSKA won’t last long.
We applaud the Associazione Viticoltori Carso Vino Kras, all the Winemakers & the amazing crew of Local Artisan Food Producers for their enthusiasm & skill in organising what we’ll remember as one of 2018’s most enjoyable Enogastronomic encounters.
ROCK STEADY VITOVSKA !