As an example of the incredible wines you'll receive as a Reserve Club member, here's what was featured in August 2023.
The Carso (Karst) appellation of Friuli sits on a plateau of solid limestone and red clay carved with caves and underground rivers on the far Northeastern edge of Italy near the border with Slovenia. Sandi Skerk’s six-hectare property lies just 500 meters from this border, where he crafts wines in an underground limestone cave cellar crisscrossed with suspension bridges and wooden ladders. One of the great natural winemakers, Skerk focuses on indigenous grapes from the region, using meticulous farming, strict selection, and low intervention techniques to produce wines in the traditional style he learned from his grandfather. Upslope from the Adriatic Sea, the vineyard experiences gentle marine breezes and the characteristic significant day-to-night temperature swings.
As an example of Skerk’s practical devotion to natural winemaking, he speaks about how extended skin contact in white wines protects the wine from oxidation and reduces or even eliminates the need for preservatives like SO2, in addition to producing the orange wines in such high demand. Skerk’s Ograde is a white made with equal parts Malvasia, Vitovska, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, macerated for 10 days on the skins at low temperature in wooden vats with indigenous yeasts. The wine then ages for 12 months in wooden vats, 12 months in oak casks, and finally four months in the bottle, with no filtration, clarification, or cold stabilization.
‘Ograda’ is the term that farmers in the Carso use to indicate a small parcel of land near the village, so the ‘Ograde’ aims to bring together the best from Skerk’s small parcels of each grape that comprise this blend. The wine is rich and complex with notes of wild herbs, mountain flowers, and candied citrus. It is an appropriately savory compliment to vegetable dishes, roast chicken or poultry and Alpine cheeses.
The Terrano is made with 100% Terrano grapes, a member of the Refosco family, that are native to the Karst Plateau of Italy and Slovenia. Harvested from low altitude south and southwest facing slopes of red iron-rich clay soils, the grapes macerate with indigenous yeasts for 10 days in wooden vats at low temperature before aging for 12 months in wooden vats. They then spend 12 more months aging in 2500-liter barrels, and finish for four months in the bottle, with no filtration, clarification, or cold stabilization.
The Terrano is an intense purple red in the glass with tart red berries, earthy minerality and spice. Its juicy acidity and firm tannins pairs well with cheese, lamb, pork sausage, gnocchi with Bolognese or truffles.