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Lis Neris

The estate of Lis Neris is situated in the town of San Lorenzo—part of the Isonzo subregion of Friuli—which lies within close proximity of the Slovenian border. Currently in its fourth generation, Lis Neris entered its modern period in the 1990s, when current proprietor Alvaro Pecorari assumed direction, effectually instituting a whole new regime comprising not only technical and operational improvements, but modern viticultural techniques and approaches as well. Lis Neris possesses nearly 100 acres of vines spread across four discrete vineyard sites—Gris, Picol, Jurosa, and Neris—which demonstrate a distinct preference for the international members of Friuli’s extensive white varietal canon—Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc (frequently referred to simply as Sauvignon), Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling; Tocai Friulano represents the native contingent. Pecorari declines to emulate familiar international expressions, following a stylistic orientation that is decidedly Friulian. In fact, his three-tier portfolio essentially captures in microcosm Friuli’s stylistic evolution and breadth.

In general, each level reflects a specific approach and character, with all three collectively reflecting a dramatic increase in complexity. The first tier—traditional—honors the Friulian standard bearer, a crisp, clean white that has enjoyed not only regional supremacy but recognition as the nation’s foremost expression of a white varietal. The late Mario Schiopetto championed this naked form, which essentially came to constitute the paradigm for the quintessential Italian white. Thus, all of the whites in the traditional group are fermented and refined exclusively in stainless steel, ensuring their privileging of the grapes’ intrinsic characters, intensified by aging on the lees.

In the second bracket, Pecorari maintains his focus on the distinct properties of individual varietals, yet trades in stainless steel for 500-liter French oak barrels, fashioning particularly rich and concentrated expressions. Each member of the trio is also sourced from a single site, thereby providing an incisive translation of terroir. Of particular interest here is the Gris Pinot Grigio, a bottling that doesn’t merely redefine, but actually reimagines a much maligned and misunderstood varietal, allowing it to show a side of itself that is not only rare, but unprecedented for most. As with its fellow cru bottlings, Picol Sauvignon and Jurosa Chardonnay, the Gris Pinot Grigio undergoes fermentation in French oak, followed by maturation on the lees in the same vessel. The appreciable contact with the lees provides for a particularly rich and unique character. Intense Pinot Grigio may seem an oxymoron, but Gris makes a demonstrative statement about what Lis Neris considers Pinot Grigio to be.

The Riserva level is primarily dedicated to white blends aged in French oak, with the one exception being the estate’s eponymous Lis Neris bottling, a Merlot-based effort featuring a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Its white counterpart, Lis, is generally considered to be the most intense of the white blends. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon, it is barrel-fermented in French oak, followed by ten months’ maturation on the lees in the barrels employed for fermentation. The other white blends are Confini and Fatto in Paradiso, both of which are late-harvest wines, and Tal Lùc, a passito bottling.  

Gris Pinot Grigio
Fiore di Campo Tocai Friulano
Fatto in Paradiso
Jurosa Chardonnay
Lis Neris
Pinot Grigio
Picol Sauvignon
Tal Lùc
Region: Friuli


Friuli Isonzo
Venezia Giulia (IGT)