Sandi Skerk’s property is only 500m from the border of Slovenia in the Carso appellation of Friuli in the far North Eastern corner of Italy. Carso (“Karst” or “Kras” in Slavic dialects) is the calcareous limestone rock. Past president of the local Consorzio Tutela Vini Collio e Carso, Skerk’s approach is traditional and ALL NATURAL! In Carso, that means long skin contact for the whites (so called aka “orange wine”). The tannins drawn from the skins protect the wines from oxidation allowing Skerk to minimize the use of CO2 as a preservative. Other natural practices include destalking, indigenous yeast fermentation, maceration on the skins for a period of 30 days in wooden vats of medium size with manual punch down or immersion of the cap 4-5 times a day. Then the wine remains on the lees for a period of 12 months in oak casks of 1500-2000L. The wine is decanted into steel tanks and bottled without filtration and fining. Maturation and refinement in the bottle for 4-6 months before release.
Vitovska or Vitouska, also known in Slovene as Vitovska Grganja or Garganja, is an Italian and Slovene wine grape pre-dominantly planted in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. The name vitouska is of Slovene origin, from Vitovlje, and grganja is of Friulian origin, from gargànie (nere). The grape is now mostly found in the lower Isonzo and Carso regions of northeast Italy. Pretty much unique to Carso, Skerk has been one of the dedicated growers of the region to save Votovska from extinction. The grape produces a dry white wine. Vitovska is a cross of Prosecco Tondo and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. It’s characterized by thick skins, and thus an ability to withstand the cold Bora wind. The variety’s powerful acidity, floral notes and considerable versatility produce a complex and dry white wine.