Nicola Manferrari is a bio-dynamic farmer in Collio in Northeast Italy. With about 20 acres of vines, he vinifies each plot separately to preserve each vineyard’s individual character. His Chardonnay comes from a mix of clones and locations in the Ca’ delle Valade vineyard Nicola purchased in 1998.
Each location’s grapes are harvested and vinified separately, a daunting task with the tremendous density of vines (approx. 2,800 vines per acres). The wine is fermented in a mix of new and neutral barrique, and final blending may be as late as 14 months after harvest. This is broadly textured Chardonnay.
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In the 19th century, Friuli was a major wine-producing region within the Austro-Hungarian empire, and contained the Collio region which became part of Italy after the First World War.
As in most of northeastern Italy, it was the Romans, during the First Century BC, who brought organization to the vineyards in Friuli. But until the 18th century when Charles of Hapsburg established the “free ports” of Trieste and Fiume (giving the Austrian empire access to the Mediterranean) the wines were largely unknown.
The most famous indigenous grape of the region is the Friulano, being traced to the 13th Century. The vineyards suffered from phylloxera in the 19th Century and were replanted to many “international” varieties, including, Sauvignon, Pinot Gris (Grigio), Pinot Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet, but still managed to maintain a regional style perfectly suited to the exotic cuisine.
In this secluded region where the Alps almost touch the Adriatic, the rustic cooking of the Friulian hill country contrasts with the more refined Venetian-style fare eaten along the coast.
In Alpine Carnia and the vine-draped hills of Udine and Gorizia (known as Gorica across the border in Slovenia), the open-hearth fogolar with a conical chimney is used for grilling beef, lamb, kid, poultry, sausages and mushrooms. The indispensable polenta goes with cheese, meat stews, blood puddings and game: hare, venison and wild fowl (woodcock and uite, a local delicacy in the sparrow family) are often cooked in salmì, a highly seasoned wine sauce.
Along the Adriatic between Lignano Sabbiadoro and Trieste recipes favor seafood: turbot, sardines, prawns, cuttlefish, squid, scallops, crabs, eels and even turtles cooked in soup.Trieste also maintains its eastern traditions with goulash or gùlas (peppery beef stew), rambasici (meat filled cabbage rolls), bòbici (soup with ham, beans, potatoes, corn kernels). Wursts, sauerkraut and horseradish add to the flavors of Friuli’s central European heritage.
Quick Pairing Recommendations for Red Wines From This Area
Rabbit, Veal, Pork-Based Stews, Raosts of Beef
Quick Pairing Recommendations for White, Rosé, and Sparkling Wines From This Area
Pork or Veal with Cream and Mushroom Sauces, Game Bird Roasts
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