When we talk about Edi Kante we should always assume that he is one of the most influential winegrowers of the Karst, in the far central-eastern quadrant of Friuli Venezia Giulia. This land has a history bathed in the blood of over 1,500,000 soldiers, both Italian and Austro-Hungarian, who died during the First World War, and has experienced, as a logical consequence of such bloodbath, a period of terrible economic recession, which has been remedied only by the recovery plan launched in 1950. Despite this plan, Karst viticulture had remained rather backward and was characterized by a low quality production focused on two types of wine: white, an elementary blend of the various white berried grapes, and a red, the equivalent obtained from red berried grapes.
Edi, who took over his father’s business in 1980, immediately promised to overcome this race to the bottom starting from the ground: the vineyard system. His work resulted in the creation of vineyards from the sinkholes (hollows of fertile land that emerges between the karst rocks) or from stony soils, through a difficult work of adaptation of the latter, by removing or crushing rocks and adding a few centimetres of red earth. This last “correction” of the soil skeleton gave way to his vines to grow and, only later, to allow the roots to dig in the rock in search of feeding.
As for the farming techniques, we cannot forget his decision, initially unusual in those areas, to plant high density vines (over 8,000 vines per hectare), to obtain a very low yield from his vines (not more than half a kilo of grapes per plant) and to adopt a general biological-natural approach. The cellar was also one of the first to be built underground, developed up to 20 meters deep, divided into three levels, to allow each winemaking phase to take place (by gravity fall) in the environment with the correct humidity and temperature. Even inside the winery, finally, Edi was a pioneer, with his wines obtained by long macerations (he is one of the fathers of the so-called “orange wines”), with the almost total abandonment of the addition of SO2 and the aging of the wines in exhausted barriques to allow the proper evolution.
Among the most emblematic winery’s wines, there is a Vitovska Riserva produced in 2006 from a meticulous grapes selection coming from a vineyard at 250 meters above sea level, planted with a density of 7500 vines per hectare. Less than a kilo of grapes per plant, sent to the winery to carry out the fermentation without sulfur and then age in old barriques, for over a year. The wine then matured for a long time in the bottle, inside the cellar dug into the rock, on the model of the natural karst cavities, with a naturally constant average temperature of 12 degrees, throughout the year.
In the glass the wine shows a truly intense straw color, with golden streaks, and an olfactory fan that opens on notes of hawthorn, chlorophyll, gooseberry and kumquat, followed by cedar peel, strawberry tree honey, laurel and thyme, with final echoes of burnt shell and iodine. The palate structure is built over the three pillars of flavor/ iodine, softness and balsamicity (strictly in this order), accompanied by a hint of spiciness from white pepper; all enriched by the return of the green vegetal component that accompanies the sip up to an excellent length closure.
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