Welcome to the first Wine Wednesday on our blog! Tim and I have developed oenophilia (a love of wine) over our last few years living in Italy and we’ve enjoyed discovering our palates. Wine has become more than just a beverage; we do a variety of activities related to wine, and while we’re certainly not aficionados (yet), we’re excited to share our wine experiences from around the world with you! We put the topic of our first Wine Wednesday post to a vote on our Facebook page, and you told us you wanted to hear about an winery we recently visited in Northern Italy first. So without further ado, let us introduce you to Cantina Rauscedo.
Pouring rain had thwarted our plans to masquerade in Venice for Carnevale, so I pulled out my iPhone and started scouring my The Wine Traveller guide/Italy app for wineries open on a Saturday afternoon in our region, the Friuli Venezia Giulia (full review of the app here). Score! Cantina Rauscedo was open and their history sounded quite interesting. So off we went to taste wine and see what we could learn.
Cantina Rauscedo is actually a cooperative estate covering around 900 hectares and is the second largest in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Established in 1951, the entire population of the village of Rauscedo joined in the project to cultivate local grapes and produce wines of the territory. The community still comes together to produce wine today and anyone is welcome to join in the harvest every Sunday in September.
Interesting fact: A parasite destroyed the roots of almost all European grapevines around the end of the 19th century. The Rauscedo green part of the European vine was grafted onto the root of a wild American vine in 1917. Because of this unique grafting, Rauscedo is recognized as the world capital of rooting. The grafted vine spent its first year in a nursery and then was planted in the vineyards.
We tasted 3 white wines, 4 red wines, and 2 sparkling wines during our visit (and came home with 6 bottles for around €20). Our favorites were the Friuliano, which is a very typical white wine of the Friuli region. It is slightly fruity with scents of white peach and tastes of bitter almonds. It pairs perfectly with Montasio cheese (made from sheep’s milk), which is one of Tim’s favorite cheeses and San Daniele proscuitto.
The I Fiori Rosso (2009) was our top pick and we came home with two bottles. It’s a blend of Cantina Rauscedo’s Merlot and Refosco dal Peduncolo and aged for one year in barriques (Bordeaux style oak wine barrel). It pairs perfectly with game meat and mature cheese.
Fans of the I Fiori Rosso, it was no surprise we also really liked the Refosco dal Peduncolo. Awarded the 3-star prize as the best vintage red of the Friuli region, it has scents of red fruits of the forest. It pairs well with meat and salamis.
We were introduced to a new wine, Malvasia Dry, a sparkling wine that is a bit more fruity than a Prosecco and not too sweet like a Moscato. It was highly recommended we try it with crab.
Know Before You Go
- Cantina Rauscedo is located at Via del Sile, 16 in Rauscedo, a providence of Pordenone. They also have another location near Udine at SS13 Via Taboga, 291 in Gemona del Friuli.
- The Rauscedo location sales point and cantina is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30am – 12:30pm and 3:30pm – 7:30pm. Call ahead for vineyard tours.
- All vineyards in the area are open for tours on May 26th; no appointment necessary.
- Sundays in September the public is invited to join in the harvest celebrations.
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