This year, Eli decided to start his yearly fall tastings visiting the vineyards of Friuli/Venezia-Giulia. This region, at the crossroads of 3 great cultures -Roman, German and Slavic- is unique and incredibly interesting. Friuli is the home of Prosciutto San Danielle, Montasio cheese, a great variety of agricultural products from asparagus in the spring to radicchio in the winter, and of course, there is a treasure trove of indigenous grape varietals like friulano, vitovska, schioppettino and refosco, just to mention a few, that grow on plethora of terroirs and micro-climates, influenced by the Alps in the North and the Adriatic sea in the South.
The first stop of the trip was in Goritzia, at the very border of Slovenia, in the hamlet of Oslavia, to visit the legendary Josko Gravner. Guided by Jana Gravner we walked around the vineyards and visited the cellar, where the gigantic Georgian clay amphorae, buried in gravel were fermenting and macerating the pressed grapes. After the amphorae, the wine will rest in oak barrels for many years. We had the opportunity of tasting older vintages of the famous amber wines, powerful, elegant and incredibly food friendly. Visiting Gravner was a great pleasure and an eye-opening experience.