11 February, 2014

Lis Neris at Tre Bicchieri - 2/13/2014 Ft Mason

I was lucky enough to visit the Lis Neris winery in the town of Gorizia in the FVG (Friuli-Venzia-Giulia) region of Italy on my past trip to Friuli (more about planning your trip here)   So I am excited to get to try their wines again at the upcoming Tre Bicchieri event at Fort Mason in San Francisco this week. If you are in the SF Bay area, make plans to go.  If you have one of these events coming near you, attend as there is never enough time to learn about Italian wine and the more you try, the more you will want to try.

 In the picture on the left, which I pulled from the Lis Neris gallery, you will see the snow covered Alps and the lovely vines. You can see the tower in the distance visually denoting history and its ebbs and flows.

 Standing in those vineyards and actually feeling the cooling (chilling, hypothermia inducing...) winds was a thrilling experience.  However, full disclosure, I was also thrilled by the Italian vineyard signs, right. --->

One of the most northern spots in Friuli, Lis Neris is 80 km from the Italian Alps and 3km from Slovenia.  The valley was formed when glaciers receded from the Alps, excavating a road to the ocean and leaving small round stones in their wake.  This poor soil dotted with rocks forms part of a great recipe Nature concocted for fresh, delicious White wines. [Farther west they do have vineyards that concentrate on red varieties]

The other part is the climate.  Hot.  Very hot in summer, with cooling winds that can lower the average 32 - 35 temp by 15 degrees. Celsius of course.  It's Europe.  This diurnal swing helps bring freshness and elegance to the wines.  Our little group shivered in the chilly winter air.

Much more fun to huddle for warmth and actually try to the wine:
2011 Gris, Lis Neris:
2011 was a hot year.  This wine is made from 100% pinot grigio.  It has lovely fragrance of stone fruit and exotic citrus, I thought was like Buddha's Hand. Made in simple, traditional style meant to "capture the fruit in a photo".  A more prosaic description of that can be found in the technical notes: "Fermentation takes place in 500-litre French oak barrels at 22-24°C,  followed by maturation  on the fine lees in the same barrels for 10/11 months, with frequent bâtonnage. The wine is cellared for 8 months after bottling." 
 Gris means "crickets". We agreed with that branding since the wine expressed a sprightly, friendly quality.  We also tried the 2007, which had developed tropical fruit notes and a creamy mouthfeel.

 Lis Neris comes from  Roman words meaning "black ladies".  It has been owned by the Pecorari family since 1879, but underwent a Renaissance of its own in 1981 when the Pecorari family focused on creating white wines of quality.  Their focus on the future also runs to practical sustainability.  Evidence of this focus can be found in that the estate produces all its energy via solar panels.

If you are attending the Tre Bicchieri events, be sure to stop by Lis Neris and enjoy some history in a glass.
 See you there!

And of course, we highly recommend visiting the enchanting, history rich and easy to plan Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region where Lis Neris is located.  More info about visiting here