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Degrassi
by
Kathy Sullivan

DegrassiSummary: Degrassi winery is a delightful winery to visit in the northwestern part of Istria. Enjoy the amphorae that decorates the tasting room.

The Degrassi winery magically combines the old with the new. The wonderful tasting room offers wine produced with some of the newest winery equipment with large displays of amphorae carefully housed in alcoves. A small aged relic is located out of reach but after showing interest in the amphorae, it was placed on a table for a better view.

Owner Moreno Degrassi had an interest in wine as his grandfather also produced wine. Owner of a Croatian restaurant and making wine as a hobby, Moreno eventually decided to start Degrassi winery in 1996. When he started the winery Moreno strove to craft wines differently than a large production house. Today Degrassi winery produces 100,000 bottles, more than 8,000 cases.

Vineyards

The Degrassi vineyards of 25 hectares (60 plus acres) are near the winery in Buje about seven kilometers from the Adriatic Sea. Varieties include Malvazija Istarska, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Muškat Bijeli (White Muscat), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Teran, and Refosco. The grapevines are locate in four vineyards: Bomarchese, Contarini, Ferne’ and San Pellegrin.  

DegrassiWinery and Tasting Room

The facility houses the winery, tasting room and offices. The architecture has some resemblance to the old world with modern aspects. The outside walls are a light yellow. In the center of the structure appears to be a tower with glass at the top. As we walked through the Degrassi facility we saw two museum-like displays that included amphorae. These artistic displays added to the enjoyment of the visit.

Several barriques were in the barrel aging room. There is a selection of barrels including some crafted in Croatia. Another section houses the library wines behind iron gates.

The winery tasting room at Degrassi is amazing. Several historic amphorae are housed in brick cubicles. The wall is curved and within the curve is a long table for sit-down tastings. The degustation included wine, bread, olives, different cheeses and different meats.

DegrassiThe Logo

Degrassi chose to use a rebus symbol for the winery. The use of the rebus logo comes from a legend, The Legend of the Rhombus Ruby. The story involves Otto IV defending the coast of Istria from Venetian threats. Eventually the Venetians controlled the coast of Istria. To protect the crown rubies, Otto IV gave the rubies to his men telling them to hide. He then left for German fortresses. According to the legend to this day no one knows what became of the rubies.

DegrassiWines

The best selling wine is Malvazija. Wine tastings are with Stölzle stemware. Malvazija Istarska 2012 was a light yellow color with floral notes and a touch of tropical fruit.  Minerals were also noted. The finish was crisp and fruity. Malvazija Istarska 2011 was also a light yellow with floral and mineral nuances. The finish was crisp and fruity with the floral yielding to yellow stone fruit. Cuvée Blanc 2011 was a blend of Malvazija, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier. The aroma was of yellow stone fruit and the taste had yellow stone fruit notes with floral hints. The finish was crisp and fruit forward.

DegrassiTeran 2007 was a dark ruby offering notes of black fruits and hints of licorice. The fruity finish had tannins. Terre Blanche 2009 was a blend of Refosco, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir. This wine was very fruit forward. The fruity finish had mild tannins. Currently Degrassi wines are also available in Belgium, England, United States, Serbia, and Bosnia Herzegovina.

Travelers who arrive at Degrassi winery will experience a variety of wines as well as have the opportunity to see an array of amphorae. Wine tastings include proscuitto and cheese.

Degrassi Winery                                   
Podrumarska 3, Basanija bb
52475 Savudrija, Croatia

GPS: N45º 29.201’ E013º 30.049’

 

Article written March 2013


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