Teran or Terrano has been in the terrain of the Carso / Karst / Kras plateau for 700 years, it’s as old as dirt and named for it too. It was nearly synonymous with Refosco up until DNA proved that it’s not that refosco, but it is refošk, a fitting example of the blurred lines between borders, grapes, and the shared history of this area. It’s that rare red grape that is both inky black and immensely acidic, making wines that are full-bodied and yet food-friendly.
Wind blows off of the Adriatic and through deep limestone caverns in the Slovenian / Italian border region of Kras / Carso / Karst. The Štoka family has grown Teran here in the iron oxide rich “terra rossa” for 200 years. Just 5 miles from the Adriatic in the village outside of Trieste, their vineyards grow in some of the most severe and unique terroirs in the world, on limestone bedrock riddled with sinkholes, cenotes, and massive underground caves. Patriarch Primož Štoka bottled his first wine 1989 just before Slovenia’s final independence separating from Yugoslavia. Today, his son Tadej works alongside him, farming their 17 acres of vineyards, tending wines in their cavernous limestone cellar, and raising their ranch full of cattle and pigs. The pršut, or air-dried ham they produce is the ultimate compliment to their wines. In fact, the vineyards are fertilized only with cow manure and their housemade legs of pršut (Slovenian Prosciutto) hang in the caves among the wine barrels.
Prepare to get totally Stoka’ed on this wine. The aromatics are plentiful, the fruit is incredibly deep, and the acid is like a bounce house for your tongue. Tart under ripe blackberries right off the vine squeeze a ton of acid onto a bunch of briney blood orange and brilliant beetroot. It even hints at amaro, but also with a pucker of fresh serrano, this is a wild ride through layers of Teranical deliciousness.
Teran has a medicinal history dating back to Roman Times. Livia Drusilla, wife of Roman Emperor Augustus, was said to drink it for health (salud!), and she lived to the then incredibly old age of 82. Na zdravje! To your health!