Mansus Makovec Sivi Pinot Grigio
Vipava Valley is right on the border of Slovenia, just north of the Italian port city of Trieste. While this wine is technically Slovenian, perhaps it has more in common with the wines of Friuli Venezia Giulia, one of our favorite Northern Italian wine regions. Up on the very top of the hill in Brje, overlooking the entire Vipava valley, winemaker Bogdan and his family farm their steep hillside vineyards where soft Mediterranean breezes mix with harsher continental winds coming from the Karst Plateau. This intersection of both climate (where the Mediterranean climate shifts to a more Alpine Continental climate) and culture (dozens of dialects spoken in this region and a hybrid cuisine reflective of this terroir) produces wines that are infinitely versatile and influenced by all of these factors.
This wine is 100% Pinot Grigio, a grape indigienous to Northern Italy, and it’s made using skin contact, a technique made famous by the winemakers of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and fermented using only indigienous yeasts. The maceration period lasts a week, lending the beautiful peachy hue in the glass, as well as texture and structure. Pair this with soft goat milk cheeses, cured meats, or creamy pasta!
Bulli Cör - Vino Rosso NV
Leonardi Bulli and his “Matriarch Boss” La Signora Bulli are at the helm of this traditional Emilia-Romagna estate. Leonardi is the fifth generation to run the estate, and his mother, La Signora Bulli, is especially proud of the medallion coins the family won for its wines in the late 1800’s, which are still featured on the label today. They are proud to be organic farmers with no sulfur added at any step of the process. In fact, “senza solfiti aggiunti” is written on their original vintage-kitsch style labels from the 1950’s. Here in Colli Piacentini, the northwestern part of the region, they are farming organically mostly old-vines. This is an honest farmer's wine, one which is described as “semplice ma non banale” — simple but not boring.
The blend is 60% Barbera, 30% Croatina, and 10% Uve Rare from a 5-hectare vineyard in Colli Piacentini. Vibrant fuschia in the glass, this wine delivers plenty of juicy red fruit character and spicy mineral backbone for balance. While traditional Northern Italian meats and cheeses would be the quintessential pairing (think Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano), this wine would also be great with a burger hot off the grill.