A visit to Edi Keber’s winery involves a short tour and outline by his son kristian, a keen wine maker, with a sharp sense about what he wants to do.
There is no doubt that at Keber you find the new and old but here tradition prevails. When I think of Keber, I think of solid white wines, those that show the ultimate respect for the vineyard terroir.
Driving away from la subida, the roads winds down into the valley and you climb a small hill where their house and winery sits. On the hill side of zegla, commanding views of the plessiva vineyards and forest, you see the slovenian hills as they lead into the giulian Alps.
The vineyards of plessiva weave a single cloak with those of slovenia, extending behind monte quarin, and is divided into the sub-areas of zegla, montona and novali, whose rows form harmonious geometries across the countryside. Plessiva offers a beautiful hilly landscape totally covered with vineyards, from which grapes grown for some of the finest wines of collio.
Situated just a stone’s throw away from the slovenian border, Edi Keber’s 10 hectares of vineyards grow on the classic “ponka” soil, a stony friable marl. Extremely poor, the “ponka” naturally stresses the vines which produce very small quantities of grapes (1-1.5 kg per vine) and provide a distinctive minerality, typical of Collio.
An afternoon of tasting gave way to another level of respect for the white wines produced here. Keber’s produces one white wine that embodies the tradition of the collio by blending the three varieties that have been grown in the area for generations: friulano, providing for body and structure, malvasia istriana to impart the aromatic component and ribolla gialla for its acidity.
Kristian, follows his father’s footsteps and is dedicated to their trade. The grapes are picked at their highest possible maturity levels and are then fermented and matured in old cement vats, which according as opposed to the sterility of stainless steel.
Keber’s wines are deep, intense, long-lived, where generous fruit and terroir blend seamlessly. The total production is 60.000 bottles and sulfurs are relatively low. The idea of wines from this region have more to do with slovenia than friuli, at least the tradition borders the idea of great wines.
There is n doubt that kristian is one of the young leaders in collio, and he knows what he wants and how to get it. I could recommend a visit to this winery and take your time, it is one of those places where hospitality, style and quality are synonymous.