Wine Without Borders


The Keber family makes provocative white blends in Italy’s Collio region and a stone’s throw away in Slovenia

The hills of Collio in northeastern Italy are an awe-inspiring patchwork of steep, terraced vineyards, forests and fruit orchards that wind through 25 ancient towns along the Slovenian border.

The area is a dizzying blend of microclimates, grape varieties and culture at the dividing line between Italy’s Friuli region and central Europe.

Mediterranean and continental climates collide with warm southern gusts from the Adriatic Sea and the chilly Bora wind from the north. Hillsides of marl soils, known as “ponca,” are planted with international white varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, along with local grapes including aromatic Friulano, fresh Ribolla Gialla and rich Malvasia Istriana.

For centuries, the border between countries has moved one way or another. Among families, many here speak Slovenian, others Italian and still others regional dialects.

But when you ask someone how they identify, the answer is invariably, “I am from here.”

The Keber family, which long ago migrated from Austria and has farmed and made wine in Collio for 350 years, is all about “here.”

Edi Keber, 56, took over winemaking on the family farm north of Cormòns 29 years ago. Within a the full blog at