Paolo Vodopivec

Friuli, Italy

Paolo and Valter Vodopivec, two brothers based in the Carso area of Friuli, where the soils are hard, stoney, very difficult to break up and rich in iron.

These guys make Vitovska, only Vitovska and make it very well indeed, favouring the old technique of skin contact. The yield for each vine is just 500 grams of fruit per vine, that is barely a bunch of grapes per plant and the only reason they can get enough to make the wine is that they planted over 10 000 vines per hectare! They learned from the great Josko Gravner, though have since swapped oak barrels for Georgian Amphora. Legend has it that the Georgian Mafia wouldn't allow Paolo to take the clay pots away without some dodgy dealings. Regardless, Paolo fortunately avoided ending up 'sleeping with the fishes' and his winery still has the Georgian pots buried safely in the Carso ground. The Vitovska (a cross between Glera and Malvasia) undergoes a wild fermentation with long skin contact in the Amphora without adding anything at all, no sulphur, no yeast, nothing to stabilise the wine and no temperature control. It is bottled without fining or filtration. This has got to be some of the best orange wine in the world - rustic and full of character, but without lacking in precision and finesse.

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