In 1881 Anton Jermann, came to Farra d’Isonzo from the Austrian winemaking region of Burgenland, where he had also grown grapes. Anton settled in the tiny Friulian village of Villanova di Farra, and founded the family winery.
Silvio Jermann, Anton’s great-grandson, does not look like a revolutionary. Yet here is the man who changed Italian wine history and created a new era in white wine vinification. Heir to a traditional Friulian winery dating back 130 years to 1881, Silvio graduated from two renowned wine academies, Conegliano and Istituto di San Michele. His first professional decision was taking an in-depth sabbatical overseas: this voluntary exile to Canada broadened his scope, allowing him a freedom of research that would have been unthinkable at home.
Less than a century later, in the 1970s, Silvio Jermann revolutionized his forebear’s winery and the entire world of Italian whites when he created Vintage Tunina. First released in 1975, this blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit launched Silvio’s fame as a varietal genius with the magician’s touch in orchestrating diverse white grapes, both native and international, and getting them to perform together as they had never performed before. Silvio personally monitors each of the numerous tiny vineyards, styling an ample range that now includes four delightful reds - an original interplay of Friulian and international varieties, where the region’s ancient native grapes express the character and originality of Silvio’s terroir and vision. The estate has seen impressive development starting with its 110th anniversary, 1991, when Silvio purchased vineyards in Ruttaris, the heart of Collio (next to Capo Martino). Total acreage is now 272, 198 acres of which is under vine.
On July 7th 2007, Silvio inaugurated a second Jermann winery, eight miles from Villanova and very close to the Slovenian border. This second location, Ruttars, is every bit as spectacular as the first. Both wineries are fully active and the newer site is exclusively devoted to such iconic Jermann items as Vintage Tunina and Dreams.
“The new winery and cellars,” Silvio explained when he laid the foundation stone for the Ruttars winery, “are built like a rural village from the 1700s or 1800s, entirely in natural, local material such as stone and solid wood. They reflect a 19th-century respect for the terrain’s natural slopes and cultivation levels.” Today, the range is comprised of three delightful reds and eight spectacular white wines. The vineyard surface is 370 acres, 321 of which are under vine while around 44 acres are organically cultivated and devoted to cereals (e.g. beans, corn) and the production of organic flour. This exciting new project is called BJO (bio is “organic” in Italian; the J is for Jermann) and is the logical consequence of Silvio’s philosophy of authenticity and respect for the soil.
Silvio Jermann is now flanked by son Michele, General Manager Edi Clementin and agronomist Stefano Amadeo. Total production is 900,000 bottles per year.