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Fruili wine adventure, February 2012

Mr Whirly discovers the joys of Collio in the barren and stark hills of Fruili in the most North Eastern point of Italy.

Its Friday 17th February and “ Little Miss” and I are whirling through the naked hills of this fascinating wine region, in our rather speedy Renault Clio, looking for a little Trattoria, recommended to us a few minutes earlier by Marzia, the very hospitable wife of the owner at Buzzinelli vineyards, just outside Cormons, in the heart of this undiscovered and unique wine region. When in Italy drive like the Italians I say, as we whisk around the country corners in search of “ Trattoria Dal Mic” in a little town called Mossa. What a fabulous restaurant this turned out to be by the way: amazing  Pumpkin Gnocchi, beef and the Malvasia from a local winemaker was sublime: at the end we joined a large table of 10 or more Triestian gentleman, in their 70‘s and 80‘s, and laughed the afternoon away. Old people are so fascinating! Little Miss ordered Grappa. It was a scary journey back to our Picech vineyard, where we were staying.

Go back about Eighteen hours and we had just entered Cormons after a day fun in Venice, Mr Whirly’s first visit. A lovely little jaunt, though too many people for me to be honest, since its the festival of the mask there. I did enjoy a lovely delicacy, Frissente Venetian I think it was called: a pure delight of naughtiness, candied fruit inside a little doughnut of Panettone, quite the most sublime thing I have ever tasted. In Cormons, we headed straight to the Enoteca de Cormons in the main Piazza. Here, all the local winemakers are represented by this wonderfully friendly establishment and we were able to taste the following wines;

Ribella Gialla ( varietal from this region)

Buzzinelli, Collio, 2010

Kurtin, Collio 2010

The two wines above were outstanding, especially the Buzzinelli wine


Renzo Scubia, 2010

Picech, Collio, 2010

Friulano ( another varietal from this region)

Magnas, 2010

Brunko, 2010

The following morning “ Little Miss “ and I visited the vineyard of Buzzinelli. It took us about two hours to find the vineyard since in Italy I find none of the numbers of the road make any sense in terms of being in any sort of sensical order, but finally we made it to the small holding and were looked after by Marzia, the wife of the owner. It so happened that we arrived on the day of  the

“Festival of the Pig”

so the local farmers were in the process of killing a pig and making Salami as well as Prosciutto. That night they were going to to cook the very large liver with onions for their celebratory dinner. Buzzinelli are a third generation vineyard, started in 1937, originally the family were from France.

We were only able to taste one wine in the cellar here since sadly all the wines were sold out. The Traminer, same as with Gewurtz on the front, was beautifully made. They also make, to taste at some point in the future, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Ribella Gialla wine steals the show; a grape that dates back to the 13th century, cut in the fields of Slovenia where they call it “ Gold Ribella” since the fields turn to gold. They also make a Picolot wine, made in small production, hence the name since not all the flowers turn to berries. More on this when I get to taste it. Its apparently rivals a great Sauterne.

The next day we drove to Trieste and then turned left into Slovenia to see what we could find there.