We focus on the production of few singular wines whose character is influenced by our native land, Friuli. Arbe Garbe is Friulian for the “bad weeds” which are often used, there like here, as cover crops. Friuli is a region nestled between Austria, Slovenia and the rest of Italy. Like the “arbe garbe” it has been silently growing over the centuries, a border land that quietly and discretely provided fertile ground for the Roman Empire, the Barbarians, the Huns and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, all of which invaded it and settled there throughout the ages, all planting their roots and melting into the blend. A land of migrants, silent crossroad of cultures where sacred and pagan have been living next door to each other, the people timorously gathering in the village churches while the witches were gathering in the woods. Friuli hides in the Valleys of the Eastern Hills. Its real essence, like its quiet population, is concealed in the arcane valleys carved by the rivers of the Colli Orientali – Natisone and Torre. These valleys are traditionally populated with peculiar wicked creatures that human are not, while the wine has been free flowing on every kitchen table of every village, to our day. Our endeavours are motivated by this history of descretion and endurance, by the dignity and modesty typical of our people, Furlans, hard-working and iron-willed, humble yet proud of the cultural opulence and poignant beauty of this longtime forgotten Land. Working the land, making wine and baking bread were the everyday tasks of our ancestors and still inspire us today. Through crafting these wines we viscerally reconnect to our roots. The variables of winemaking are determined as vintage calls, through diligent study and raw guts.There are no absolute rules, no recipes. With a purely hedonistic approach, we create ever-changing blends that embrace the melting pot we live in, California, and the one we’ve left behind.
A le Salût,
Letizia and Enrico Maria Bertoz
ARBE GARBE 2015 ~ 45% Catie’s Corner Vineyard Malvasia Bianca, Russian River Valley, 30% Pagani Ranch old vine Tocai Friulano, Sonoma Valley, 25% Tanya’s Vineyard Ribolla Gialla, Russian River Valley ~ Arbe Garbe is Friulian for the “bad weeds” which are often used, there like here, as cover crops. Our main label was born in 2007 as a blend of white grapes inspired by the great white wines we have known and loved back in Friuli. We are currently working with Malvasia Bianca, Tocai Friulano and Ribolla Gialla grapes. The blend is never quite the same, so every Vintage remains a surprise, although this is by no means intentional. The packaging and the label artwork continuously vary as well, according to the ebbs and flows of inspiration, and are part of the same the creative process that originates the wines themselves. (304 cases)
BENANDANTS ~ 2015 Malvasia Bianca, Russian River Valley, 100% Catie’s Corner Malvasia Bianca ~ This name is rooted in our Friulian culture again. The Benandants were said to be vagabond healers, born “with their shirt on” or wrapped in their placentas, which infused them with their healing powers. According to the Friulian legend, these Friulian shamans were repeatedly sighted in the Valleys of the Natisone River, wandering at night in the woods by the shores, fighting witches and evil spirits, protecting farmers and their crops. The Benandants White spotlights the Malvasia Bianca from Catie’s Corner. (144 cases)
BENANDANTS ~ The Charbono has been vinified with the “appassimento” method, by drying the grapes on racks in a dark and well ventilated environment for 54 days, after which they have been crushed and fermented in barrels and bins, with daily punchdowns. After pressing, the wine spent 16 months in French barrels, 50% new.
The artwork for both labels is credited to the Winemaker himself.