While I was doing a wine tasting with an Instagram blogger at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan, we had a chance to try another two wines that were not on the original curated wine carte that we were adhering to. We had a chance to try two wines from Livio Felluga, an Italian estate nestled in Friuli-Venezia Giulia at the norther tip of the Adriatic Sea.
Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli 2020 was the first of the two wines that we tried from this winemaker. The estate takes its name for the founder Livio Felluga who came to the region in the 1930’s. The family has been winemakers for six generations in Isola d’Istria in Slovenia. Today the estate is comprised over one-hundred-eighty-seven-hectares of vines. The winery is predominately white wines, but they do a few red wines as well. Friuli Colli Orientali or the “eastern hills of Friuli” was designated in 1970. This Alpine region naturally has a higher altitude and the vineyards are terraced on basically alternating layers of marl and sandstone. The fruit for the wine is hand-picked in small crates, and gentle destemming, the fruit is left to macerate for a short period, then softly crushed. Temperature controlled fermentation follows in Stainless Steel, and then the wine is kept on the lees for a few months, then it is bottled and matured additionally in temperature-controlled rooms. The wine is straw colored with notes of white and yellow fruits and florals. On the palate crisp tones of peaches and apples with a tinge of tea, bright and tangy with a nice medium count finish of terroir and a touch of salt, calling for another sip.
Livio Felluga “Abbazia di Rosazzo” Rosazzo DOCG 2017 was the second wine from this winery. The winery has encompassed the cellars and vineyards of the historic Abbazia di Rosazzo (Abbey of Rosazzo) and its distinctive white wine blend of Friulano, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Istriana and Ribolla Gialla. Rosazzo is the most recent DOCG designation (2011) in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the mineral rich grounds surrounding the Abbey. Here the vines are older, lower yields and flavor concentrated grapes. Tradition holds that the area was planted in the Middle Ages and that a local patriarch in the Fourteenth Century declared that anyone not planting vines would be excommunicated. The blend is celebrating its thousand-year-long history of viticulture. Friulano must make up fifty to sixty percent of the final wine, Sauvignon and Pinot Bianco both will be twenty to thirty percent and Ribolla Gialla at no more than five percent. The grapes are hand-picked in small crates and gently destemmed and left to macerate for a short period, then it is soft crushed. The must ferments in Stainless Steel, then the wine is raced into oak casks on the lees for a minimum of eighteen months. The wine is a nice yellow color with notes of white fruits, florals, hay, herbs, spices and vanilla. On the palate there is a richness of Crème Brulee with tones of pineapple and very refreshing with a beautiful finish of spices.