ABOUT THE WINERY
In the commune of Capriva del Friuli, in the heart of the Collio Goriziano wine area on the border of Slovenia, is the estate of Russiz Superiore. Russiz as a place-name is traced back at least as far as 1273, when a certain Raimondo della Torre became the patriarch of Aquileia (basically, prince-bishop of Friuli). He named his estate Russiz Superiore due to its high (superior) location above the hamlet of Russiz. The estate passed through innumerable hands over the next several centuries, but was apparently known for most of that time as a source of fine winegrapes. In 1967, the property became available for sale. Marco Felluga—owner of a self-named winery in the nearby town of Gradisca d’Isonzo—recognized the superb potential of the vineyard land and bought it. He knew the estate, already famed for its Cabernet Franc, could become the jewel of the family holdings. So, rather than folding Russiz Superiore into the family’s existing vineyards, he decided to maintain it as a separate working estate, vinified and bottled as a distinct brand.
Marco Felluga represented the fourth generation of a wine merchant family that had begun plying its trade in Istria (part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) in the late 1800s. His grandfather had begun selling wine in Friuli after World War I, and the family ended up relocating permanently to Italian Friuli after World War II and the loss of Istria to the Soviet Bloc under Yugoslavia. Marco Felluga had founded his winery in Gradisca d’Isonzo in 1956 and was ready to expand with the purchase of Russiz Superiore a decade later.
Roberto Felluga, son of Marco, has now taken over the family wine business and continues the practice of treating Russiz Superiore as a unique estate within the portfolio. Russiz Superiore wines use only estate-grown fruit—with several native and international grape varieties, mainly white but also red. To further distinguish the Russiz Superiore line, the white wines generally have about 15–20% of the juice fermented in new oak barrels. Like the Marco Felluga line, they are designed to improve with age for several years. The well-respected Cabernet Franc vines also produce an excellent red wine for the portfolio.