Vitovska grganja or garganja is an old indigenous white variety, grown in Vipavska dolina (Vipavska valley) and Kras in Slovenia and Carso in Italy (Friuli). It is very resistant to drought, which makes the variety perfect for Kras/Carso environment. It gives elegant, complex, not very aromatic wine, with moderate alcohol levels, which makes it fresh and perfect to enjoy, being accompanied with food, or not. The grape is often used for production of orange wines (maceration).
Photo: Vitovska grape
You can see why in Slovenia some call it “Malvazija s piko” (Malvasia with dot). Another slovenian name used in some villages is “Beli refošk” (White refosco)
There are some exceptional producers of natural Vitovska in Slovenia as well as Italy. Branko&Vasja Čotar produce great macerated wine. It is golden yellow, a bit cloudy (not filtered) on color, very mineral on smell (petrol, earth) as well as on taste, which is fresh (great acids), earthy, slightly spicy and herbal with slight traces of almond bitterness. It can be a little more fruity from some others like Sandi Škerk or Benjamin Zidarich, all natural wine producers. Some other great natural Vitovska producers are: Lisjak, Fon, Štoka, Tavčar, Škerlj, Edi Kante, Rado Kocjančič, Andrej Milič, Stanko Milič, Emil&Ken Tavčar.
Many of us agree though, that Paolo Vodopivec is the master and absolute champion of Vitovska, which is the only variety he grows. His Vitovska comes in two versions: Classica and Amphora, both macerated. After tasting both of them, time and again, I still can’t decide which is my personal champion, but both are worth tasting, because they bring perfect moments to the life of wine lover.
You can drink it now, but it will be even greater with time, though my opinion is – drink it within eight to ten years from bottling.
There is Vitovska&mare festival in Duino (Trieste) every year in June, where you can meet most of Vitovska producers and taste this great wine.
Photo: Pouring Vitovska of Slavko Škerlj, Bajta at the Duino festival