Marco Felluga grew up in a winemaking family whose mark on the industry can be traced back to the 1800s on the Istrian peninsula, where his grandfather, Marco Sr. pioneered the production of indigenous grape varietals like Malvasia and Refosco. In 1920, Marco Sr.’s son, Giovanni relocated the family business to Grado, near Collio in the Friuli-Venezia Giuli region of Northeastern Italy. After studying oenology at the prestigious Consorzio Colli di Conegliano, Marco worked at his family’s estate before establishing his eponymous winery, Marco Felluga in 1950 in Gradisca d’Isonzo. Today, Marco’s son, Roberto runs the estate and oversees 250 acres of vineyards, most of which are family owned and farmed within the Collio DOC and planted primarily to white varietals including Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Chardonnay. A small percentage of red varietals are also cultivated including Refosco, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The unique ‘ponca’ soils in Collio, comprised of marl, sandstone and marine fossils, yield powerfully textured, concentrated wines while the region’s nearby Adriatic Sea and Julian Alps provide a protective climate with high diurnal temperature shifts that are conducive to preserving acidity and finesse.
Marco Felluga has always personally cherished and championed the Pinot Bianco grape despite its humble stature (in relation to the more renowned Pinot Grigio), and this wine flaunts its inherently charming qualities. Comprised of 67% Pinot Bianco, 24% Pinot Grigio and 9% Friulano, this ‘Just Molamatta’ Collio Bianco is named in reference to the village of Molamatta in the province of Gorizia where the grapes grow. Fermented entirely in stainless steel tank before aging on the lees for six months and the bottle for one, it offers a fresh and lively character with a pleasantly unctuous texture on the palate. Aromas of quince, bosc pear, blanched almond and limestone greet you on the nose, introducing a fairly light and lithe palate that is lush and delicately creamy. Here, notes of poached pear, sweet meyer lemon and golden delicious apple emerge, balanced by a surge of cleansing acidity and an ever so slightly bitter almond skin flavor. The finish is long and lingering, revealing more of that beautifully supple texture and vivid minerality.