Istria sits on four different types of soil, which are named after their colours – black, white, red and grey. Aside from colour, these soils differ in numerous other characteristics that make them suitable to raise various agricultural products – especially wine grapes.
One of the four jewels of northwestern Istria – Brtonigla – is unique in the entire Istrian peninsula (and perhaps even further afield) in that its terroir of a mere 32.72km2 contains all four types of soil.
A wine project to remember
This little hilltop town has recognised the exceptional potential of the four soils surrounding it, and has undertaken a truly special, praiseworthy project. In 2010, in local vineyards featuring nearly identical microclimatic conditions, the local Istrian Malvasia variety was planted – of course, in each of the four different types of soil.
In the years that followed, with painstaking, diligent monitoring by experts from multiple scientific fields, the project enjoyed spectacular success! Malvasia grapes raised in the same way, subjected to the same vinification process, even harvested on the same day, resulted in wines of equally high quality but completely different flavour characteristics!
These four wines from the four soils of Brtonigla received their own labels, and they can be found often on the wine lists of well-known northwestern Istrian restaurants, who pair them with various gourmet delights.
After Malvasia - Teran!
The perspective of the project "Four Soils - Four Wines of Brtonigla" hasn't stopped with just one variety of grape. The identical process has also been undertaken for another local Istrian variety – Teran. But the hard-working residents of Brtonigla then asked themselves, and with good reason – why stop with wine?! These were the foundations for the idea of producing olive oils on the four Istrian soils.
If you are interested in sampling the fruits of this interesting project, you can do so with local producers, who will gladly tell you the story of the four soils and the four wines of Brtonigla – alongside a glass or two of wine, of course.