Slovenia. Yes, they do produce wine in Slovenia. You might think it is not a good wine, as nobody knows about wine being produced in Slovenia, yet they do produce high quality wine here. There are a few DOs in this small country and you can find really important wineries and winemakers doing very interesting things. Of course you need to investigate, but hey, ain’t what being a winelover is all about?
Slovenia is divided into three main wine regions, which are as well subdivided: Prodavje, with two areas: Ŝtajerska Slovenija and Prekmurje; Posavje, with three areas: Bizeljsko Sremič, Bela Kajina and Dolenjska; Finally, Primorska, subdivided into Goriška Brda, Vipavska Dolina, Slovenska Istra and Kras. We will go over them sometime soon in the future, as the producers we will find here are really worthy of detailed conversations.
Today, we will go to Goriška Brda, an area that is located so close to our beloved Friuli, right in front of Gorizia. In fact, this area, both the one belonging to Italy and the one belonging to Slovenia, has been shifting in the hands of different countries depending on the outcome of several wars. This area was part of the Austrian empire and then Slovenia and then Italy until the way borders are defined today. For example, the winery we will talk about today is located in Slovenia but some of its vineyards are right across the border in Italy.
Why do we visit Goriška Brda? Well, aren’t we in love with Orange wines? Slovenia is one of countries where you can find great producers of this style of wine. They use all the classical methods developed centuries ago in Georgia: amphora, long periods of maceration of the must with the skins, long ageing periods, etc.
We were intrigued about this region for a while and we were paying attention to their wines, but they were a bit difficult to find in your local wine shop unless you go to online shops. Or, you have a friend like Richard who knows and owns wines from here. So, one day, one bottle came into play. It was a very special sparkling wine. Last produced in 2006. Pure Rosé by Movia. An incredible sparkling wine made with Pinot Noir 100%. The must remain macerating with the skins for one day, thus the wonderful rosé color it shows. Primary fermentation in large tanks on natural yeasts, Secondary fermentation completed in barriques on the lees, four years of maturing in barriques. What also makes this wine so special? Well, contrary to common practice, it is not disgorged. Once you get a bottle, which we strongly recommend you to do, you have to lay it vertically on its cork. This way the sediment goes down and before you enjoy it, you have to open the bottle upside down so all the sediments and natural yeasts pop out when you disgorge it yourself. Once you do it, it is time to enjoy this wonderful sparkling wine like nothing you have tasted before.
Movia is a family estate based in Ceglo, with 22 hectares of vineyards in the border regions of Slovenia (Goriška Brda) and Italy (DOC Collio). The head of the family is Aleš Kristančič, also the wine creator, being the 8th generation winemaking of the family after its history began back in 1820. They produce a wide array of wines, from red to whites to grappa and from local varieties (Sivi Pinot, Rebula…) to international ones (Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Picolit, Sauvignon, Pinot Gris…).
We will focus on two styles, the Puro and Puro Rosé sparkling wines and the Orange wines, whose best example is Movia Lunar.
After Puro Rosé, Puro is the other sparkling wine Aleš produces. Last produced in 2009, its blend is Chardonnay 60% and Ribolla 40%. The elaboration method is the same one as the Puro Rosé we saw before. Wine based on the method can be ageing forever, according to Aleš. It can reach 100 years of age and more and still maturing. It is beautiful clear wine without any use of sulphur.
Lunar is an incredible wine. A true Orange wine. Its aromas and palate captivates you from the very first time. Late harvest, it macerates eight months of skin contact in oak barrels, bottled under a full moon, no added sulphur, no filtration, no pressing and then it ages for 6 months in the bottle. Pure nature in your wineglass. Amber color of medium intensity. Plenty of character and a fine, long aftertaste. An extraordinary wine. Recommendation: leave the bottle standing up for one day before opening it and then decant it, serving the last part of the bottle in another glass. You will be thrilled to check the difference in aspect and taste between the decanted wine and the last serving of the bottle. Totally worth a try.
And you might think: Okay, just another Orange wine. But no, this is not your regular Orange wine for wine freaks like us. Every year, Aleš changes its blend. Sometimes is single varietal as in 2008, when it was 100% Chardonnay. Some other times it is a blend, like in 2013: Chardonnay 50% and Rebula 50%. If you like this style of wines, we are sure you will love Movia’s Lunar.
Soon we will talk to Aleš Kristančič about his passion for wines and his winemaking philosophy.
Photos © by Movia