The lightness of being in Istria…
This is a saying that the wine makers at Vina Laguna like to use a lot because it evokes the fresh airy qualities of their wines, the region in which the grapes are grown, and the spirit in which the wines are made.
The vineyards in Istria have two very important things going or them: A variety of soils and a perfectly balanced climate. This has been known for centuries and the long history of winemaking in Istria is proof. Vina Laguna serves as one of the most current stewards of this incredible landscape and they take advantage of all the region has to offer in order to produce exceptional wines.
Details: In Istria we are doubly blessed: with a diversity of soils and locations to suit different grapes, indigenous and internationally known; and by a perfect climate born of Istria’s geographical position where Alpine and Mediterranean climates converge. This has been known for centuries and the long history of winemaking in Istria is proof. Across Istria’s different terroirs, Vina Laguna vineyards have been selected and cultivated, with major capital investment, to extract the best from this natural inheritance. Vina Laguna serves as one of the most current stewards of this incredible landscape and take advantage of all the region has to offer in order to produce exceptional wines. Red soil (terra rossa) is found closer to the coast and white soil (terre bianche), rich in calcareous clay emerges as we move inland to higher ground. Ancient indigenous grapes like Teran and Malvasia grow side by side with international classics like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Bianco – it has taken generations to determine which plot of land is best for which style of wine, whatever the grape. Coastal sites with good drainage are ideal for Merlot, for instance, whilst the indigenous Malvasia Istriana grape variety creates wines of different characters according to soil and elevation – part of Istria’s fascination lies in exploring these distinctions.
In vineyards close to Istria’s west, the Merlot grape thrives like nowhere else. Closer to coastal breezes than most New World Merlots, fruit is to the fore, not alcohol. With fresh Spring showers and soil well drained, the wine is fresher than in Bordeaux. This Istrian produced varietal is sensational, with aromas of blueberry, blackberry, and fresh pepper with a pleasantly long fruity aftertaste. At lunch or later, this is
the wine of the Istrian table. Lakoca! (To lightness, as we
say in Istria.)
On the fertile peninsula where the wine-growing tradition is older than memory, the finest red wines are made from grapes thriving in red soil. This light, drinkable, and versatile wine is the soul of the Istrian wine-making tradition. The three harmoniously blended grape varieties demonstrate all the power and tenderness of the red Istria. Terrano brings freshness and the unmistakable Istrian signature, Burgundy ensures minerality and floweriness, while Merlot adds fruitiness and softness. Terra Rossa complements good food and good company nicely and on a daily basis.
If you have ever found yourself muttering “anything but chardonnay”, expecting another over-weight, over-oaked specimen, think again. Here on this northerly Adriatic peninsula, where Alpine and Mediterranean climates meet in harmony, Vina Laguna suggests chardonnay can be cool again: cool climate, cool fermentation, and not a trace of oak. This wine means ripe grapes and full fruit flavors but with a freshness that most New World chardonnays can only dream about. Serve it cool at 10-12 Celsius with a seafood pasta and discover the lightness of being Istria.
This is the wine that truly defines the lightness of being Istria. Here, where Alpine and Mediterranean climates meet in harmony, is the home of the Malvasia Istriana grape variety, though it is also found across the Italian border. There are many types (or clones) of this variety grown, particularly around the Mediterranean, but here, on this most northerly Adriatic peninsula, Malvasia finds its high point: pure, bright, fresh and fragrant. Dry yet round and long, this is perfect served at 10-12 Celsius, with fresh seafood and nothing more than drops of lemon juice and a drizzle of fine Istrian olive oil.
2016 Perla Rosé
This is not your mother's Rosé. Vina Laguna crafts their rosé wines specifically to be just that - a rosé. This sparkling teran-based wine has a beautiful blush color and is not a blend of leftover red and white wines that happen to be laying around. The Perla Rosé is a sparkling wine that both refreshes and reveals its formidable character. The perfect summer aperitif when you want to beat the heat.