Reflecting on this time last year, today I am more at peace. Perfect timing to come across this wine from our past travel around Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. In the town of Cormons, you can find this bottle of wine named ‘il vino della pace’. The Wine of Peace is a collaboration of many things all packaged in a bottle of red wine and the bottle labels are created by world renowned artists.
Nestled into Italy’s north east corner is a hidden gem. The Friuli-Venezia Giulia (FVG) region borders on the Teutonic countries such as Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The quaint medieval towns between the Alpini Italiane and the mare Adriatico are an infusion of culture and culinary delights.
FVG produces elegantly structured white wines because of their unique terroir tucked between the Julian Alps and Aegean Sea. This wine region has vineyard tracs located on very steep slopes and its climate includes dramatic diurnal temperature shifts, this means a very quick and extreme drop in temperature. In many mainstream wine regions, the sun/day temperatures usually have a gradual drop into night/moon temp and vice versa (i.e., night into day). This terroir contributes to the complexity and depth that produces world renowned wines. Among the hundreds of flavors that can be released in a white wine, if your sensory threshold detects petrol, this is sometimes an indication of an age worthy wine.
The locals refer to their soil as il Ponca, ancient layers of sandstone marl. This soil composition reveals characters such as minerality and salinity to the wine's profile. Colli Orientali del Friuli is one of FVG prestigious appellations; Collio dell Vini, The Wines of the Hills. I have good memories of driving around the wine region and enjoying their local collio di rosso & collio di bianco. This area’s distinct terroir contributes to their vanguard movement, ‘The Amber Revolution’, was added onto the WSET curriculum.
Bastianich winery in FVG is a favorite wine experience owned by the world famous Joe Bastianich. He wasn't there when I visited, but Wayne Young, the guy who runs the place was! What an honor to meet Wayne, the reputable wine guru is from the bonafide NYC wine scene. I love the trendy spittoons and utilitarian sculptures at the tasting room.
Along our Vino di Pace wine journey around the Eastern Italy & Western Slovenia border, we stopped in Gorizia for a two-hour respite. Great experiences create great memories.
Cividale del Friuli is another historical town along our Vino dell Pace journey. The bountiful Natisone River and ponte del dievolo (The Devil’s Bridge) are reminders of their military dominance. Fainted remnants from yesterday’s frescoes show us this area was a busy Roman port town and wine was a most profitable commodity. Today, the public fountains still provide fresh flowing alpine water.
The FVG wine region memory gives me a peaceful easy feeling.
The Delong 100 Grape Varietal Challenge encourages all wine enjoyers to expand their wine drinking horizon by seeking out unusual grape varieties. These past few years, I have tasted over 180 grape varieties. After all, there are over thousands of grape varieties world wide. With so many wine grapes, styles of wine, and wineries to explore, wine is an educational adventure. So grab your virtual passport and come along with me on a Grape EdVenture™ around the world.
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