The Friulani are an instinctive, autonomous, self-starting, energetic, creative bunch of Go-Getters. They don’t need an excuse or an invitation to do what they believe they must.

No surprise Friuli Venezia Giulia is such a ‘WINE-MAKING HOTBED’.

Leaders as they are in the growing global movement of ‘Natural Winemakers’,
where better to ‘Sample the Local Beat’ than inside the idyllic walls of Castello Canussio
in the UNESCO world heritage town of CIVIDALE del Friuli.

Welcome to BORDERWINE 2017.

The brainchild of Valentina Nadin, Luca Bernardis and Fabrizio Mansutti, this artistic TRIO have just turned the key in the Castle’s front door having celebrated a highly successful 2nd Edition !

As Natural Wine gigs go, this is a rather unique geographic event. It brought together +40 of the best natural winemakers from Italy, Slovenia and Austria who, not only share the same geo-political frontier but also the same ‘organic’ philosophy. Yes we’re talkin’ LOW interventionists to NO interventionists, Biologic to Bio-dynamic, ALL pure-ists whose love of nature, the vine and wine has driven them to choose low environmental impact alternatives in doing what they do.

Spread over two days, with open tastings, you’ll find winemaker meets, greets and seminars in constant ebb and flow.

The Castle and it’s neat garden play a beautiful duet together creating an atmosphere that is genuinely relaxed and homely. Ombrelloni to shade you from the early summer sun, this is real life without tension and stress.

Curiosity is of course high on the menu, as indeed are the tastes and flavours of Slow Food Cheesemakers, Cured Meat specialists and Andrea, the lone Craft Beer maker from the independent republic of MORGANA (his brewhouse is just outside Treviso,Veneto). And sure why not, all biological crafts people are a learned and supportive crew when it comes to bigging up fellow artisans. If you didn’t know, well now you do.

Heroes catching our eye were Friuli’s Radikon, Gravner, Ronco Severo, Franco Terpin, La Castellada (Ribolla Gialla) and Skerk (Vitovska). From Piemonte we were mightily impressed with Tenuta Grillo / Guido Zampaglione’s BaccaBianca (100% Cortese ‘macerato’) and Carussin / Luigi Garberoglio’s Single Cru (100% Barbera d’Asti). From the hills of Gambellara in Veneto, Volcanalia with their Biodynamic 100% Garganega Frizzante ‘sui lieviti’ (yeasty sparkler) was a shining star as were Movia (Lunar) from Slovenia and Jorg Bretz from Austria.

On the culinary fringe we’ve got a couple of special mentions.

BioSing from Slovenia, whose Biological Salumi Engineering (Bio-S-ing) brought us an entirely new understanding of this art form. Cheesy smiles too for Carnia’s Bonta’ dai Pascoli for their Slow Food awarded selection of Formadi Frant and Smoked Ricotta formaggi. And a shout out to ‘A Fishmonger called FONDA’ from Piran, Slovenia, for their superb Seabass Carpaccio.

Honestly, BORDERWINE is a living, breathing antidote to mass production, a place where you’ll realise that things really can be made so, so, so much better. Chapeau Valentina, Luca, Fabrizio & their crew…. you really do have something going on!

Whatever the date for BORDERWINE 2018, we’ll be sure to save it!

We highly recommend you should too.

In the meantime, while we’re waitin’, let’s tune those ear buds to the artisan natural pleasure of Kurt Wagner & LAMBCHOP… who definitely have something going on :)


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