Summary: Lis Neris has been a cherished vineyard and winery for four generations. The winery and cellar are located in the small village of San Lorenzo and the vineyards are just a short distance outside the village. The focus of the winery is on white aromatic wines.
Lis Neris is located in San Lorenzo, a small village in the northeastern Friuli region of Italy, close to the Slovenia border. Today Alvaro Pecorari is the director of Lis Neris. Four generations of his family have been involved in the wine industry since the late 1800s. The winery is known for its white wine production but also produces a selection of red wines. We visited Lis Neris with the familiarization group of writers from the 2013 International Wine Tourism Conference.
Just outside of San Lorenzo, the rocky vineyard is next to a walled-in cemetery. The vineyard is located on what was once a seabed. While visiting the vineyard, church bells rang in the tiny village. A glacier created the valley. The land is rich in stones and the vineyard is known for poor soil and hot summers. The vineyard is close to the door of the Bora (a strong wind from Siberia). During our March visit, the vines were still dormant.
From the vineyards, one can see the end of the Alps in the distance. The nights can be 15 degrees cooler than the days, which help develop the aromatics found in the wines. The wines created from these grapes are structured and strong with aromatics. Lis Neris began with seven hectares of grapes and now has 70 hectares (173 acres) on three sites. San Lorenzo is 48 hectares and has plantings of white grapes. In Corona to the west there are 7 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, while in Romans there are 15 hectares. Grapes planted include Chardonnay, Friulano, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Verduzzo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Lis Neris does not source grapes from other vineyards. The white wines are produced with the gravity flow system from the crusher to the press. They believe that the winery should “Respect and maintain the quality from the vineyard.” Current production is between 400,000 and 450,000 bottles enough to fill 33,000 to 37,500 cases. Solar panels are used to produce power for the winery. A painting hangs in the tank room, a constant reminder of the town.
Pinot Gris 2011 was a young wine produced in stainless steel. The light yellow wine offered citrus and mineral notes on the aroma. The taste was of citrus especially grapefruit, a hint of yellow stone fruit and minerality. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to mineral. Gris 2007 was produced with Pinot Grigio grapes from a 30-year-old vineyard. The wine was a yellow color with an aroma of citrus with hints of yellow stone fruit. The taste was velvety with citrus and yellow stone fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity with just a hint of minerality on the aftertaste. Gris 2010 also from 30-year-old vines was a light yellow. The wine spent ten months on the fine lees and one-year bottle aged. The aroma and taste had citrus nuances. The taste was smooth. The finish was crisp and chewy with fruit yielding to mineral.
Confini 2009 (on the border) is a late harvest wine. Confini is a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The wine was yellow and the aroma very aromatic with notes of floral and yellow stone fruit. The smooth taste offered nuances of roses and yellow stone fruits. The finish was crisp, chewy and fruity yielding to minerals on the aftertaste. The long finish continued for several minutes and then changed back to fruit and floral.
When visiting Lis Neris, enjoy their aromatic white wines while listening for the softly ringing church bells amongst the ambiance of a small village.
Via Gavinana, 5
34070 San Lorenzo Isontino, Gorizia (ITALY)
Article written March 2013
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