It was finally time to have a trip with my 2 favorite girls, my wife and daughter 🙂 I know it seems like I only go on holiday with other people, but it isn’t. This year we set sail to Friuli to visit another favorite woman in my life, my dear Zia Livia. Zia Livia might already have a blessed age of 83, but she is as active as a 40 year old that and cooks like nobody else can (not even in restaurants). Until now I always was the apple of her eye, but let’s say I had to leave this spot to my baby girl 🙂
When I go on holiday with my wife I try to hold myself and not make it a wine trip. I allow myself to visit 1 (max 2) vineyards… I mean otherwise it be like a kid standing in front of a candy shop not being allowed to go in 🙂 . My mind was made up very quickly that I wanted to visit the Jermann wine estate. If I would have to describe Jermann in 1 word it would be “Flawless” or “multi-layered”!! What impresses me most about these wines is the purity and depth of flavor coupled with huge mineral extract, all perfectly in balance. In case you wouldn’t know it, the Friuli region is mostly known for its white wines. They do also have some really nice red wines like Refosco, but their main focus is white wine…
The Jermann winery was founded by current owner Silvio Jermann’s Austrian great-grandfather Antonio in 1881. A heritage Silvio is very proud of and cherishes a lot. You also notice the Austrian background when you visit the winery. FYI you will notice that there will be less pictures and no pictures from the inside of the wine estate… this is due to the fact I was not allowed to take pictures from the inside of the building… So you’ll have to take my word for how it looks, if not there is only 1 solution… visiting the vineyard yourself 😉
It must be said that Silvio Jermann is one of the winemakers that changed Italian wine history and created a new era in vinification of white wines. It did take him a bit of effort to convince his parents to change their way of winemaking as they had more conservative views. Something remarkable is that Silvio’s choice of country to build up experience in winemaking after his studies at some of the most renowned wine academies Conegliano and Istituto di San Michele. His choice went to Canada, not the first country I would think of… nevertheless I have drunk some very nice wines from Canada. Silvio’s move to Canada gave him the chance to broaden his horizon and the freedom to do some research of new techniques to make wine.
Let’s say that the research has paid off as he did not only convince his parents with his multi-layered, extract-loaded whites, he convinced the whole wine world!! You could see it as a combo of Collio’s incredible terroir and Silvio’s daring flair.. of lots of small vineyards that are personally monitored by Silvio, and unique blends of autochthonal and international grape varieties.
I do recognize this aim for perfection from another monument/innovator in Italian winemaking I visted this year, Guiseppe Quintarelli…Just like at Guiseppe, it was Silvio who has put the vineyard on the map and expanded it to what it is today. Today Jermann has around 200ha of land, of which not all is used to make wine, but only 3/4.
I already visited lots of vineyards, but I must admit that Jermann is one of the most impressive I’ve seen. Maybe because they only move to this newly build location I in 2007 (with first harvest in 2006) or better on 07.07.07 :-)I was told that Silvio likes numbers or dates like this. But I think the beautiful pieces of art, the gardens (including a golf course as Silvio is a Golfer… to bad he wasn’t there as we could have had a little match as I also played golf for a long time 🙂 ). You feel quit “Zen” at this vineyard…. or at least that’s how I felt when visiting it (hope people working there experience it in the same way). Although I think the lovely Serena also played a big part 🙂 FYI Serena is the person who showed us around the estate.
Like always the best part of the visit is at the end… the tasting of the wines. They upgraded the tasting as there is no better way to taste wines than with food ?? Local artisan products like San Daniele (my all time favorite ham!!), some cheese, polenta and freshly baked bread 🙂 Simple things, but things that rock my world!! We started with their evergreens or less complex or “entry level” wines the Pinot Grigio and Pinot Bianco. All from 2015, a wine year every winemaker is enthusiastic about
The Jermann white wines are either made from one of the following grapes or a blend: Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Picolit, Tocai Friulano and Riesling Renano. The grapes might change, but they all have 1 thing in common, purity!! What you’ll notice when you see a white wine bottle from Jermann (as off their 2009 vintage if I remember it good), is that they have a screw cap instead of the classic cork. The reason for this is keeping the taste of the wine how Silvio made it, a classic cork would change the wine’s taste too much and after lots of research they found out that with a screw the changing of the wine is far less.
I also see it as a kind of statement as for most people when they see a bottle with screw cap they think it is a wine of lesser quality… but in this case they get proven wrong!! AND another good thing about a screw cap is that you’re bottle will never taste cork 🙂 🙂
During this tasting I got proven again that I sometimes have expensive taste 🙂 🙂 no no just kidding… All wines were very pleasant to drink, but my preference always goes to full bodied wines… which in the case of Jermann would be the “Where dreams”(97% chardonnay) and their Vintage Tunina (a blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Picolit) . What intrigued me in the “where dreams” before I even tasted it was the many times it changed its name 🙂 . The first 9 years it was called “Where the Dreams have no end…” (for every vintage they had a different color for the capsule). In 1996 it became “Were Dreams, now it is just wine!” and they changed the capsule in blue, bearing a stylized Comet Hale-Bopp. Finally in 2003 they returned to their “roots” with: “W…. Dreams ………”, adding the year of harvest and a drawing of Mars on the capsule. A wine with a story behind it. ..A nice note: The wine was actually dedicated to U2’s “The Joshua Tree” album (1987) and specifically to the song “Where the streets have no name” 🙂 . When I actually tasted it, it does indeed make you dream of opening a second bottle of it 😉 charm hand in hand with complexity and rare elegant refined notes of exotic fruits, melted butter, vanilla… and they nose doesn’t disappoint the taste as the whole pallet comes through when taking a sip!!
As for the Tunina it was love at first sniff 🙂 the tempting aromas, the complexity, honey, mango, lime…. it all works! Again here the taste doesn’t let you down… and again that full body!!
Result of my visit? Yes, a few more bottle for my cellar (of which 3 have already disappeared) and less space in the car 🙂 🙂
I could and would like to tell you more, but I can only suggest to taste the wines yourself and maybe even plan a visit to the vineyard.