Updated: Mar 29
On a sunny 12th December 2022, we arrived at the Trieste airport in Italy. As we had an
appointment to visit the Keber's place at Zegla in Cormons in the afternoon, we had dropped by the accomodation to leave our luggages first. After having lunch there, we walked about 30 minutes to the Keber’s place.
Went along Via Subida in front of the accommodation, we found the sign for Edi Keber on our left.
Turn left the sign and went ahead, we could find the Keber's house at the fork.
When we arrived at their house, Kristian’s sister Veronika and their dog Gino greeted us, and she showed the vineyard at Collio around the house. The hilly area stretching across the border with Slovenia is called Collio on the Italian side and Brda on the Slovenian side. The Keber family grow three indigenous varieties: Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Malvasia Istriana on both vineyards. They produce one kind of white wine each, “Edi Keber Collio Bianco” on the Collio side and “Kristian Keber Brda” on the Brda side. Edi and Kristian are father and son.
Shortly after, Kristian came back to the house and took us to the vineyard at Brda he inherited from his grandfather. The Brda vineyards are covered with terraced slopes which facing South and Southwest. In the vineyard photo below, Ribolla Giarra is planted on the left, Friulano is on the right and Malvasia Istriana at the bottom.
The soil is stratified marl and sandstone, called “Flysch” in specific geological terms, also locally called “Ponka” in the Friulano dialect or “Opoka” in Slovenian.
Kristian is currently building a cellar overlooking the Brda vineyards, and due for completion in March 2023. The cellar is in the shape of a clover, the walls of the cellar are made by Ponka, and the sun shines through the hole into the center.
In addition, they're planning to make an outdoor tasting space at the best place overlooking the vineyards on the right of the cellar.
Collio and Brda are less than 10 minutes away by car, but they are in different countries at the border of Italy and Slovenia, so they need some additional paperwork for export and import. Also, during the border closure due to the pandemic, they were unable to come and go. Once the building is completed, it will be possible to complete vinification and ship Brda wine in Slovenia.
On the way back to their house, we passed their fields at Collio, where are their free-ranging cows and sheep. As soon as they spotted Kristian's car, gathered around us, and when the car started to move away, they continuted to run after us. They looked to love and trust Kristian very much. It was a beautiful moment.
After returned to the house, and he showed us around the cellar. First, he took us to a room lined light blue cement tanks with wines currently under vinification process in. The tanks carved on the relief of wine. And then we went an underground cellar lined with barriques and their private wine stocks.
On the way, we passed a room with hanging hams and at the end we went up the stairs, and opened the door to a very warm tasting room with a fireplace.
We enjoyed chatting, eating the local cheese and drinking four kinds of wines : 2020 and 2019 vintage of Kristian Keber BRDA, and 2020 and 2007 vintage of Edi Keber Collio Bianco.
Gino was very jealous and cried when she saw Kristian was having fun with Veronika. Its behavior was very adorable, and she made everyone laugh.
This was the first time we met Kristian and Veronika in person because we started working together during the pandemic. We've felt warmth, kindness and calmness through their wines, but they were exactly what we imagined them. It was a day that made us realize once again that the wines expressed what the producer was, after all.