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Zidarich_Logo.jpg As further evidence that there is more viticultural diversity in Italy than perhaps anywhere else on the planet, we give you the Carso - the thin slice of land connecting Trieste to the main mass of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Officially speaking, this is Italy, but, as is the case all along Italy‘s border with Slovenia, the wine culture transcends national boundaries.

Winegrowing Carso extends well beyond the border into Slovenia (as does winegrowing Collio further north), and its trio of peculiar local grapes - the whites Vitovska and Malvasia and a strain of the red Refosco known as Terrano are uniquely Slavic contributions to the Italian viticultural whole. Carso is a limestone-rich plateau that extends out from the city of Trieste and reaches toward the Julian Alps to the north.

The heavy limestone content of the soils likely gave the zone its name (Carso is thought to be derived from a Celtic word meaning land of rock), and it lends the wines, both white and red, a firm acidic backbone and mouth-watering minerality. On the white side, this means flinty, fragrant accompaniments to fresh seafood in Trieste, Muggia, and other fishing towns along Friuli‘s Adriatic basin, while the red Terrano is a high-acid companion to the heartier, Slavic-and-Austrian-inflected food further inland (you‘d be surprised how good a tart, tongue-piercing red like Terrano can be as a contrast to the richness of Stinco di Vitello).

The Azienda Zidarich is located in Prepotto, near Duino Aurisina, which is a small and characteristic village of the Carso area. The landscape is extremely varied and stimulating. The vegetation of the environment is very different and enhances the peculiarity of this territory dedicated to viticulture. Jagged chalky rock is the keynote of Carso viticulture, which is carried out on small terraces of red, iron-rich soil that have been reclaimed from the woodland. This lends the wines the characteristic acidity and mineral notes. The Vitovska is part macerated on the skins for twelve to fifteen days. It has a fine, delicate, fruity nose suggestive of plums, yellow cherries and poire william, followed by a palate with an upfront entry as you might expect from a variety that shares its environment with the bora gales that batter the coast.

The Terrano is made with a variant of the Refosco grape (known as Refosco Istriano or Refoscone) grown in characteristic red soil. The peculiar quality of the sun and soil of the Carso area contribute to the wine‘s particular characteristics. Low in alcohol, it is sometimes prescribed by doctors to cure digestive problems as well as to patients who need iron, because its acidity is thought to be beneficial.

Region: Carso, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia
Country: Italy