When Federico Rossi decided to buy a piece of fertile land on the hill above the Mirna river back in 1885 to plant first teran and malvasia vines, he could not have known that his fifth generation descendants would still be engaged in winemaking, moreover, that they would transform indigenous Istrian wine varieties and brandies into professional enological perfection. This wine producing estate with a view of emerald green Istria, sparkling Adriatic and snowy Alps is still the home of his hardworking great-grandchildren Luka, Marko and Filip who, led by their father Marino and mother Ines, work dilligently on the land. No wonder they have created a range of numerously awarded products: in addition to widely known premium quality wines and traditional Istrian rakija, they have just created their own gin and brandy.
The diligent and hospitable Rossi family of eight consists of father Marino, a keen farmer who has enjoyed fields and vineyards since he was a little boy, mother Ines, a viticulture engineer, and their three sons – Luka who graduated in winemaking, Marko who is studying mechanical engineering and Filip who is a high school student of economics. Grandpa Federico, a picture of inspiration and experience, still nurtures his vines with love at the age of 87, while grandma Giovanna and aunt Antonia take care of the house and family members.
In the deepest, third part of the winery is a distillery with a professional pot still which size suits careful work and excellent control of the process. Distilled four times only once, a light, mild but deeply aromatic product is obtained, perfectly pure without any additives and essential oils. After distillation, the spent grape pomace is used for soil fertilization, which rounds up the waste-free production process in an environmentally friendly manner.
The majority of rakija producers today uses industrially manufactured ethyl alcohol for the base of their rakija as its significantly cheaper price results in lower production costs as well as a lower selling price at much higher earnings. Such robbing of the main ingredient quality has often been covered by the use of lively and attractive aroma. Nowadays, when the price is a major market factor, such rakija often sells well. However, connoisseurs will easily spot the difference. Besides, a product made from the above ingredient is not organic.
As opposed to the above, the base used by the Rossi family for producing rakija is fully organic and based solely on the grape pomace as a side product in their own wine production. This is why the wine pomace is not pressed hard but moderately to retain sufficient must which gives rakija its fullness of taste. Pomace is then fermented for a month to a month and a half, and distilled. The product is called komovica and used as a base for all other Rossi rakija, four times re-distilled to round up the body and the elegance of taste. The same process is used for making pure varietal grape rakija from yellow muscat.
The Rossi family rakija is rakija for connoisseurs, for those who can feel a difference between the quality of artificially flavoured rakija and traditional, mature and natural rakija, deeply infused with the aroma.
These are uncompromising rakijas of the highest quality, recipients of multiple gold medals awarded at the Vinistra wine exhibition in Poreč and of a platinum medal for best biska (made from mistletoe).
The Rossi family produces about 15,000 litres of rakija bottles a year.
The Rossis wish to create the product, both wines and distillates, which in addition to its unquestionable quality can also aesthetically be equal to best world producers. Bottle suppliers and models are carefully selected as well as cork styles and materials, printing companies and designers. Often are elements for one product procured from a couple of specialized top producers from several different countries in the world. The goal is to make a perfect product, a product with dignity, worthy of connoisseurs, and appropriate as a valuable gift for every occasion. The product which will proudly represent Vižinada, Istria and Croatia.
Often are elements for one product procured from a couple of specialized top producers from several different countries in the world to combine them in a perfect product with dignity, worthy of most demanding users and appropriate as a perfect gift for any occasion – the product which quality will proudly represent Vižinada, Istria and Croatia.
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During the 1980s, winemaking became the Rossis' main commercial activity. Larger quantities of wine were sold in Slovenia, where the demand for quality Istrian wines increased.
During the 1990s, large quantities of bulk wine were purchased by a wholeseller from Trieste. At the same time, the Rossis increased the production of homemade rakija including Biska (from mistletoe), Medenica (from honey), Eukaliptus (eucalyptus) and Orahovac (walnut).
At the turn of the millenium and the beginning of the new century, the Rossis started with strategic investments in innovative technologies and the branding of their products under the motto 'It's not the quantity, but the quality that matters'.
They aim at producing premium wines and distillates, at their positioning in the top premium segment of domestic and foreign markets, and at making the Rossi family brand the synonym for wine and distillate quality.
The Rossi family offer of Istrian rakija includes Biska (made from mistletoe), Erba luigia (traditional komovica with citrus), Medenica (honey), Travarica (herb), Loza Muškat žuti (yellow muscat grape), Komovica Malvazija istarska (Istrian Malvasia grape pomace), and Teranetto liqueur made from teran wine.
Traditional Istrian grape pomace rakija, aromatized by maceration of 15 different herbs and aged for 6 months in barrique barrels. Its nice colour of caramel has a golden reflection and fine density. Its pleasant aroma is reminiscent of walnut, almond, hazelnut and sage. Its taste is dry, warm and even tart, yet pleasant with intense long and bitter finish.
Best served at 10-12°C with ratatouille and other boiled and roasted vegetable dishes.
Nostromo Wine Gin is homage to Istrian seamen who set off into the world in the late 19th and early 20th century. Loyal to its bosun title, Nostromo is not only a globetrotter but also a returnee. Its acquired experience and spices from five continents now enrich the most precious it has at home – premium Istrian wine. This is how Nostromo Wine Gin is made, a unique combination of the best that the world and Istria can offer.
The Istrian terroir of this distrinctive beverage is primarily visible in the eight times distilled Malvasia Istriana. If you choose to set off on a journey of taste, you will discover the layers of carefully chosen notes. You will first be greeted by the scent of juniper, coriander and orange peel followed by notes of dried flowers and liquorice as well as traces of anise. The warmth and fullness of taste immediately reflects the top-varietal character of gin, while the pleasant bitterness with a hint of star anise aftertaste is an adventure which continues to linger and is remembered.
This is our Nostromo. Premium gin made from premium Istrian wine.
The Rossis offer their visitors and guests accommodation in two four-star apartments. Each apartment is suitable for four to six persons. They are a part of the picturesque family estate providing a clear view of small jewel towns surrounded by Istrian greenery: Oprtalj, Kostanjica, Grožnjan, Buje, Nova Vas, BrtoniglaandUmag, as well as of the Alps, the blue Adriatic Sea, and when the air is clear even of the buildings along the Italian coast. Guests may enjoy additional offer as well: the tour of vineyards, the winery and distillery, guided wine tastings, and tastings of native Istrian dishes.