Outside of Cividale, Friuli, the vineyard Lis Fadis, which means ‘the fairytale’ in Friulan dialect, sits atop an ampitheater like hill. Filled with rows of vines and fruit bearing trees, the view here is spectacular. We arrived just before the rain hit, visiting the vines on their 9 hectares of land. Most of the grape types are those indigenous to Friuli, like that of Tocai Friulano, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Sclopetin (a sister of Schioppettino) and Picolit. Others are international like Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Their cantina is within old stone walls, keeping the temperature fresh and cool, aiding in the fermentation and preservation of the wine. In the cellar, six portraits of the elves who are represented in the fairytales, are placed on the walls surrounding a center well. Fadis, Sbilf, Aganis, Braulin, Pavar and Gian; each have their own personalities, as does the wine which their namesake is placed upon.
After the tour, we sat outside on the patio to taste the wine and watch the rain fall. The green of the plants and woods next to the blue of the infinity pool, relaxed us even throughout the downpour.
The first wine we tasted was the Sbilf Friulano 2009. In fact, the beautiful yellow color was due to a slight maceration (sitting time) on the skins and added also to the smell and taste of the wine. In fact the aromas of this wine were slightly sweet and fruity, mainly of intense pineapple and apricot. The overall taste wasn’t quite uniform– I personally believe it needed more time in the bottle to mature. The alcohol and acidity were strong and intense, with an overall brassy feel followed later by the fruit. The 2010, which we tried after, was much nicer and more balanced. It carried forward the intense pineapple but also had hints of banana on the nose. On the palate, it was more of a mineral and earth taste but sweeter and smoother to drink.
The Bergut, a blend of Merlot, Refosco and Schioppettino was from the 2008 harvest. Aged for 18-20 months in medium sized oak barrels, scents of cinnamon, mature red berries, vanilla, star anice and other spices filled the glass. It was a pleasure to drink this wine, which had a nice round fruit- forward taste with a slight kick of alcohol. Slightly acidic, with a touch of tannin, the wine finished with vanilla and tobacco resting on our tongues.