Vivi il Vitovska! The white grape of Carso

by Stephanie Davis

There’s a sliver of Italy around the city of Trieste between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia that contains a rather unknown, wine region called Carso. Indigenous to Carso is the white grape called Vitovska, also known as Vitovska Grganja or Garganja in Slovene. This rare grape is only found in Slovenia and Italy’s Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. It recently captured my adoration.

Another equally impressive fact about Vitovska is how it survives the region’s wicked, high-speed Bora wind. It is a hardy grape that grows in large bunches. These attributes require strict vineyard management to make elegant wines. Vitovska is a natural cross between the Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) grape and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. Therefore, Vitovska shares similar taste profiles and characteristics.

Taste profile

My only experience to date with Vitovska is Edi Kante’s 2015 bottling – a gorgeous, terroir driven expression of the grape. Edi believes in natural, simple wine making. He emphasizes healthy vines and pristine grapes. Edi is passionate about Vitovska and its ability to age, unlike many white wines.


Kante’s 2015 Vitovska is pale in color, subtle in aroma, yet alive and electric on the palate. I particularly like the fresh Bosc pear notes on the nose. There is a duality of soft richness and sharp creaminess in the mouth. This is probably due to the 12 months it spends in old, used barrels and later bottled unfiltered. Despite its light and friendly nature, there is plenty of tactile action on the gums and tongue.


In addition, this Vitovska from Kante is a wine that deserves attention and concentration. Imagine serving it as an aperitif, in lieu of Champagne, or pairing it with good conversation. Keep in mind, the lightness of the wine does not stand up to heavy spices or bold flavors. Move in the direction of steamed, green vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sea salt and Weißwurst (German veal, pork, milk sausage). Give it your full consciousness and appreciation when drinking it, and be transported to the vineyards in Carso.

Where to find it

I hope the intrigue has you Googling Vitovska already. The Kante wine is available through Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Call or email your local purveyor about ordering it for you. I bought 6 bottles from my trusty bottle shop. Simply inquire and the purveyor will request a shipment.

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