My Wine: Mitja Sirk and Marta Venica

My Wine: Mitja Sirk and Marta Venica

If there were an international 30 under 30 for wine, Marta Venica and Mitja Sirk would have been nominated before they were of the legal drinking age here.

This couple from Friuli, a middle of nowhere part of northern Italy were born to make thoughtful and high-quality stuff. One grew up on a vineyard, and the other above a 2 Michelin restaurant his family runs today. They then worked at some of the greatest restaurants and wineries in the world including Frasca, Eleven Madison Park, Conterno, Chacra, Domaine Dujac, Domaine Roulot, etc etc

Look for Martissima if you want a red that reminds us a bit of northern Rhône syrah and Beaujolais but made from just native grapes. It's a sulfite-free wine inspired by the wine of Bodega Chacra called Sin Azufre.

Look for Mitja’s bianco if you want a white similar to a light style of Burgundy with crisp and savory flavors similar to grüner veltliner, too.

Martissima, Collio Rosso 2018

Marta Venica literally grew up alongside the vines of her family’s winery, Venica & Venica. For all intents and purposes, the Venicas are the first family of Friuil, having been making wine in the cool hills of the Collio since the 1920’s. Marta’s Collio Rosso is made from a blend of native Friulian grapes and falls somewhere between peppery northern Rhône syrah and juicy Beajolais in style. Though the red wines of Friuli have a reputation for being inky and dark, Marta’s wine is elegant, lively, and bright, with enough weight to still comfort in cooler months. 

Tastes like: Blackberries, White Pepper, Clove

How to drink: In Friuli, you’d probably drink this along with a big plate of sausages and some polenta. At home cheesy pasta, roasted pumpkin, or pepperoni pizza will do.

Martissima, Collio Rosso 2018

Mitja Sirk, Bianco Venezia Giulia 2019

When any 11 year-old makes their own wine, it’s a sign that they can probably skip 5th grade science. But when Mitja Sirk did it, it was a sign that Friuli would soon have another highly noteworthy winemaker. Mitja made that wine and six other vintages under legendary producer Josko Gravner. With lessons he picked up from Gravner - as well as stints with Conterno, Dujac, and Roulot - Mitja started making wine on his family’s estate a mile from the Slovenian border in 2016. He solely works with the region’s trademark grape variety, friulano, to produce a dry and refreshing white wine that’s a great alternative to White Burgundy made in a light style.

Tastes like: Pear, Green Apple, Almond

How to drink: Drink cold alongside salads, fresh seafood, or Prosciutto di San Daniele, which comes from the same area.

Mitja Sirk, Bianco Venezia Giulia 2019

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