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I CLIVI, SKERLJ, BURATTI & MONTEFORCHE: FRIULI & THE VENETO IN PICTURES

We have recently returned from a trip to Slovenia, Friuli and the Veneto. We visited many growers and hit three wine fairs in three days in Vini Veri, Villa Favorita and VIVIT. A whole lot happened over the course of a week, below are some photographs of the more tranquil times, with our growers amongst their vines.

IMG_0019Ferdinando of i Clivi explaining the importance old vines and flysch have for the Friulano his family produce in their Galea vineyard in the Colli Orientali.

IMG_0021Ferdinando walking us through his Brazan vineyard. Just over the border in the Collio, the oldest vines here are close to 100 years of age.

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Steep vineyards planted with Ribolla Gialla in Friuli’s Collio.

IMG_4064Matej Skerlj in one if his Vitovska vineyards. Vines here are planted at a density of 10,000 per hectare to increase competition between plants, resulting in compact, powerful wines.

IMG_4082Matej leading us to another of his vineyards, a collection of tiny parcels hidden amongst the woods of the carst.

IMG_0027Looking down at the soil in one of Matej’s vineyards. Just a few centimetres of terra rossa littered with limestone and wildflowers separates the vines from the fossilised plateau of the carst below.

IMG_4242Another view of the carst illustrating just how little top soil there is here. Plants push deep through the limestone seeking life, resulting in fruit that is profoundly mineral.

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The cantina at Skerlj. Dug into the carst, the limestone provides natural insulation all year round for the few thousand bottles of Vitovska, Malvasia and Terrano Matej makes each year.

IMG_0192Marco Buratti and Nina at his home in the Colli Euganei.

IMG_0160Looking up to the Euganian hills from Marco’s vineyards. This was all woodland before Marco and a few friends began clearing the shrub, forming the rugged terraces and planting two hectares of vines in the summer of 2003.

IMG_4668Some hi-tech machinery near the top of Marco’s plot, with his home, cantina and the village of Teolo below.

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The winemaking facility at Farnea.

IMG_0155Watching the sunset over Marco’s vineyards.

IMG_4546Dinner Chez Buratti, a happy place.

IMG_0210Alfonso of Monteforche discussing the complex soils of his vineyards in Zovon di Vo in the Colli Euganei.

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Looking out from Alfonso’s vineyards across the Euganian hills. A magical place where he has replanted dozens of local grapes that were on the verge of extinction.