We visited here on our trip to Collio last April 2019.
The composition of the terrain – primarily marl and sandstone from the Eocene epoch (34-56 million years old!) – is essentially clay-based rocks that disintegrate with the cycle of the seasons into smaller and smaller pebbles, finally becoming the mineral-rich soils which benefit Sturm’s vines. The Zegla cru adds much prestige to the estate: it’s not only the mineral-rich soil, known locally as Ponca, but there is significantly more altitude, from 150 to 200 meters above sea level. The climate is blessed for wine growing: cool breezes from the Julian Alps help maintain the fresh characteristics and minerality of “continental” wines, while the proximity to the Adriatic and excellent expositions bring an almost tropical ripeness to the fruit. All work in the vineyards is done by hand, and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used.
100% Ribolla Gialla from one hectare of vines located at 200 meters above sea level in the Zegla cru in the village of Cormons just adjacent to the Slovenia border. Fruit comes from vineyards that were planted in 1980 and 2000, with the median age of the vines being 20-25 years old. The grapes are destemmed and cold macerated for 24 hours before fermentation in stainless steel temperature-controlled tanks over the course of two weeks. The wine spends 6 months on its lees prior to racking and rests in the bottle before release.
There is a laser-like purity to the fruit and minerality that transmits a clear picture of this varietal seen through Zegla terroir. This wine has minimal skin contact before and after fermentation, so there is great clarity and does not display the “yellow” color (orange wine) or tannic edge identified with the varietal or region.