August, 4th 2022
(by Lorenzo Biscontin) At the beginning of July, took place the 16th edition of the Mare e Vitovska / Vitovska in Morje, the event which every year gathers the producers of this wine from the Trieste and Slovenian karst inside the Duino castle, where the karst overhangs the sea.
An event that measures the evolution, but it would be more correct to say the growth, of viticulture in the Karst. In fact, year after year there is a constant improvement in the ability of winemakers to modulate the expressive potential of the vine in a sensorial spectrum that is enriched with ever wider nuances, based on the typical freshness and saltiness.
A real “taste of terroir” that makes Vitovska recognizable and unique compared to all other wines, but never homologating with respect to the interpretation that the individual producers intend to give it.
From the pale straw yellow of the young versions refined only in steel to the amber of Vitovske with prolonged contact on the skins and aging in wood, you can appreciate a kaleidoscope of aromas: mint, hay, wild flowers, broom, honeysuckle, jasmine, pear, apple, eucalyptus, tropical fruit, sandalwood, citrus, almond, jam, spices, hydrocarbons, chase each other in the tastings.
The demonstration of how Vitovska embodies the identity of this terroir straddling the Italian-Slovenian border. True terroir, which ignores political boundaries because it is homogeneous in its geological, pedological, climatic and socio-economic characteristics, unique and different from the surrounding areas.
So much so that at the Mare e Vitovska opening conference the new logo of the Karst was presented, developed to represent the harshness of the plateau due to the extreme climatic conditions brought by the strong wind “bora” and the scarcity of water due to karst geology, but also the sea on which overlooks and the peasant commitment of those who live it.
On the other hand, “peasant stubbornness” was the term used by Carlo Petrini, in his speech that concluded the opening conference of the event, to indicate the cohesion with which producers are pursuing their vision of the Karst in the round, not limited to viticulture or Vitovska alone.
More than a return to tradition, a return to the centrality of the environment and to the enhancement of its influence in human activities, whether it is wine, oil, honey, cured meats or the extraction of marble from quarries known since Roman times.
A vision that is also found in the organization of Mare & Vitovska, where each wine producer is associated with a gastronomic offer from the area, thus offering visitors the complete food and wine experience. If you add the spectacular scenery of the Duino Castle, the experience is completed with the tourist side.
Personally from my fourth participation in Mare & Vitovska I returned home with a question: does Vitovska have the potential to become a luxury wine? I don’t mean a more or less expensive wine, I mean luxury.
It seems to me that all of the prerequisites are there: small production, strong territorial identity, variety and stylistic richness within the typicality, aging potential of the wine and therefore the influence of the vintage on the sensory profiles.
In doubt, I am putting a few bottles in the cellar and marking the dates of Mare and Vitovska / Vitovska in Morje 2023 on the agenda.