Paolo Vodopivec, Carso – Friuli
“I have always admired wines that could age gracefully, and show significant improvements over time; and i do believe that Vitovska, the variety of the Carso, is capable of profound aging.” – Paolo Vodopivec
Paolo Vodopivec owns 4.5 ha on the rugged, hostile and cold wind-swept plateau of Carso, in Friuli, 260m above sea level. The soils are a mix of large rocks, pebbles and red clay. Vodopivec exclusively produces Vitovska, he replanted the vineyards in albarello, drastically increased density and reduced yields to miniscule levels. No pesticides or chemicals are used, instead bird houses have been constructed among the vines, allowing only a certain type of bird to nest and control insects and parasites depending on their location.
‘The Carso has always been a difficult and tough area, which can test people’s strengths. Harsh, unpleasant, difficult- in a word, true. Even people who do not know this unique terrain, can experience it through Vitovska- “the Carso in a bottle”. What nature has given to the vineyard, the grape gives to the wine.’ – Paolo Vodopivec
In Paolo’s words: ‘Today just like yesterday, Vitovska Classica is created in the present in the same way it was born in the past. First the wine is left to macerate for a fortnight in the vats of Slavonian oak, then it is treated to slow refinement in large barrels. More than two years is needed for the true value of the wine to be revealed in all its uniqueness. Vitovska Amphora expresses itself without hurrying nature’s rhythms. The wine is kept in contact with its grape-skins in buried, terra cotta amphorae, without monitoring the temperatures, for six months. A two years’ rest in casks then brings the wine to maturation, giving it a chance to express the fullness of its taste.’
‘I vividly remember the first time I tasted a Vodopivec wine. The vintage was 2001 and I nearly fell out of my chair. These phenomenal whites are among the most un-manipulated wines being made in Italy today. They will challenge readers’ perceptions about what white wines can and should be about. For those adventurous enough to give them a try, an immensely rewarding world of new experiences awaits.’ – Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate
‘This is natural winemaking at its most intense, as the grapes are kept in contact with the skins for six months in amphora pots buried underground. Afterward ,the wine is then aged in large casks for two years; the final result is magnificent. This is a richly textured white with an explosion of pear and melon fruit on the palate and a rich, lengthy finish with bracing acidity. It’s quite a statement and it’s a testament to the philosophy of Paolo Vodopivec and of course, the growing area of Carso.’ -Tom Hyland, Reflections on Wine
The Vitovska Amphora is a revelation – the neat, clean aromas of tangerines, orange skins and apricot are followed by a rich, generous palate of citrus fruit, marmelade, fresh grapes and autumn fruits. The final is impeccably balanced by a racy acidity. Wonderful and so different.