Tag Archives: Natural Wine

Slovenian Wine Review | Slavček Sivi Pinot & Rojac Refošk | Outstanding Flavor & Value

 

Slovenian wines have been extraordinarily popular this year, and for good reason!

Multifactorial, responsibly made wines, bursting with unique characteristics at everyday prices from a place not everyone is familiar with are inspiring us to buy every drop available in Vermont.

 

 

Today, we highlight two Slovenian wines (which both happen to be vegan) – Rojac Refošk (red) and Slavček Sivi Pinot (white/semi-orange).

Slavček Sivi Pinot – A slightly extended skin contact white (semi-orange) wine that primarily inspired us to create our ‘Native & Natural’ wine section. Semi-dry, medium bodied white that is not too acidic or oaky – very crowd pleasing for an eclectic wine.

Rojac Refošk – A robust, very food friendly wine (think BBQ, roast beef, game, Bolognese, anything rich!) bursting with old-world rusticness, deep earthiness, tannins, and a little acidity for balance.

 

 

If you haven’t taken a journey to Slovenia, Rojac Refošk and Slavček Sivi Pinot can take your primary senses away on ‘liquid trip’.

Na zdravje! (cheers)

 

 

Winery, and varietal information below compiled from slavcek.si & indiewineries.com

 

Slavček: Sivi Pinot –

  • Winery: Slavček
  • Wine Maker: Franc Vodopivec
  • Location: Dornberk, Slovenia
  • Appellation:  Vipavska Dolina
  • Altitude: 260’–560′
  • Soil:  Lime rich marlstone
  • Winery Process: Practicing Organic
  • Grape Varietal(s): 100% Sivi Pinot (a.k.a. Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris)
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Fermentation Vessel(s): 50 % oak barrel (10 years old), 50 % stainless steel
  • Yeasts: Natural
  • Maceration: 24 hours
  • Malolactic: Spontaneously during fermentation
  • Aging: 25% in the old acacia barrels (200 L), 25% in old foudres (200 L), 50% in foudres (1000 L, 1500 L & 2000L)
  • Aged For: 3 months of lying on sediments
  • Clarification/Filtration: After a month in a stainless tank, where the wine is exposed to ambient low temperature to become stable and ready for bottling by racking
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Alcohol Content: 13.5% vol.

 

 

About Slavček –
Slavcek is a family winery with a history of over two centuries in the Vipava Valley. It’s currently helmed by Franc Vodopivec. The historic winery runs as a traditional agrotourismo and inn. The Slavcek winery and inn only serve what has been grown on the land, everything prepared with centuries-old traditions, including the wine. The oldest records of the farm, from 1769, indicate that it was called “Slavčevih” (Nightingale).

In Vipava, the reputation of Slavcek is centuries deep for high quality wine, but only under Franc’s stewardship has the winery become world renowned for traditional Slovenian wine.

 

“Today’s task is to raise the quality of growth, to better express terroir, tradition and the essence of our family cultural values through the winemaking techniques of our forefathers.”

The vineyards are planted with environmentally friendly methods and with consideration and respect of the biodynamic force. All grapes are hand-picked and carefully selected. No pesticides or herbicides of any sort are used.

 

Even the barrels are local, made from acacia and oak that grow in the nearby forests. The lands are dutifully maintained. Just as much as much as the wines are the family legacy, so are the lands that surrounds them.

 

 

 

Slavcek’s wines are produced according to ancient Slovenian traditions with exteneded maceration for many bottlings which develops a richer taste and deeper color. Natural stabilization occurs at ambient temperatures, with racking only just before bottling.

 

 

 

Winery and varietal information below compiled from: rojac.euindiewineries.com

Rojac Refošk –

  • Winery: Rojac
  • Winemaker: Uroš Rojac
  • Location: Gažon, Slovenia
  • Appellation: Slovenian Istra
  • Altitude: 650’–820′
  • Soil: Sandy Soil (Flysch)
  • Winery Process: Certified Organic
  • Grape Varietal(s): 100% Refošk
  • Vintage: 2015
  • Fermentation Vessel(s): Open Vats
  • Yeasts: Natural
  • Maceration: 10-15 Days
  • Malolactic: Spontaneously
  • Aging: 18 Months (Oak) + 6 Months (Stainless Steel)
  • Clarification/Filtration: None
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Alcohol Content: 14% vol.

 

 

Rojac Wine –

Uroš is the vivacious heir to one of the pioneering families in traditional honest winemaking on the Slovenian coast. Rojac has been making wine in Slokenska Istria since the 19th century. Uroš is considered the wild child of famed wine maker, Bruno Rojac. He’s known for playful antics and a free spirit, and has made a proud and enthusiastic protégée for his father. He rode (and sometimes crashed) motorcycles to school at the Bio-technical Faculty at the University of Ljubljana where he stirred controversy with his thesis about his native grape Refošk.

 

 

“There was a time when there was no wine industry. People just grew grapes and made wine…. We do all we can to make drinkable and ultimately healthy wine.”

What promised to be a dynamic father son team came to an unfortunate halt in 2005 with the untimely passing of Bruno at the peak of his career. Reeling from the heard news and pain, many assumed that Uroš would abandon his dreams of running the ancestral winery. Instead Uroš came back stronger than ever running the vineyard, making the wine and becoming one of the youngest and most notable winemakers in the region.

 

 

Channeling his energy and passion, he perfected the craft of his forefathers, and started a family of his own. Rather than capitalizing on his success through globalizing his wines, Uroš remained true to his fathers traditional wine methods and continued his approach in the vineyards and the cellar. His is the greatest comeback story in the region, and he’s earned himself the title: King of Refošk.

 

 

The Refošk Grape –

Indigenous grape varietal to the region.

Historical records show that the Roman Empress Livija Drussila who lived to the enviable age of 86 years (at that time) presumably by many references to her enjoyment of this “black grape” from river Timavo (Triest river from sea).

This came from a “rocky hill” which produced very little yields to fill only a few amphorae. These vineyard positions can be none other than the great refošk vineyards of the current Rojac Family Estate.

The grape was frequently referenced in Roman times for its health qualities.

The hills of Gažon give the great acidity and elegance for growing refošk, due to the poor soil, altitude, and positioning to
the sea.

 

 

 

La Garagista | ReMix & House Music Wine | Homefarm Field Blend & Petillant Naturel White Sparkling VT Wine

We most delighted to announce TWO La gargagista wine releases today!  Get yours while you can because in addition to being uber scrumptious… they are of limited supply and high demand.

~  ReMix | Petillant Naturel – White Sparkling Wine | 12.5% alc./vol. | $33.99/750ml

~  House Music | Homefarm Field Blend – Petillant Naturel Sparkling Wine | 11.5% alc./vol. | $33.99/750ml

 

From the gorgeous bottles our friends sent over…

ReMix | Petillant Naturel – White Sparkling Wine

B-SIDE | ft. m.guillot & d.heekin

ReMix is a sparkling tine born of a deep friendship between two families from two countries.  For a long time now Domaine Guillot~Broux and La garagista at Domaine de la Forêt have been looking for ways to collaborate, ever since a French vigneron and his family came to Vermont for a summer holiday for the trout fishing and the fresh green countryside and met a burgeoning American vigneron{ne} and her chef husband, and that vigneron{ne} and chef traveled to southern Burgundy to learn the mysteries and art of pruning.  Finally, through happy accidents and the threads of the Fates, this bottle was born, a conversation in amity and landscape; an ongoing dialogue in wine.  – Deirde Heekin & Caleb Barber

~  ~  ~

House Music | Homefarm Field Blend Petillant Naturel

vin de jardin

“This is a journey into sounds, a journey that along the way will bring you new color, new dimensions, new values.”
Eric B. + Rakim, Paid in Full

House Music is a slightly sparkling wine for the wild alpine terrain that defines our homefarm and vineyard landscape, and speaks to the flora and fauna that we grow here, a love letter to our untamed country.   Made in the ancestral method with a first fermentation in bottles, hand-harvested and unfiltered, this vin de jardin is grown in our garden, surrounded by roses and apple trees, parsnips and wile chicory.  – Deirde Heekin & Caleb Barber

 

Meinklang Konkret Weiss | Meinklang Konkret Rot

We are most delighted to introduce Meinklang Konkret Weiss (White) & Meinklang Konkret Rot (Red) to our ever growing natural/native wine section.

Our natural/native wine section is an abundant playground of unique and delicious wine, consisting of:

>  Natural Wine – Any wine (red, white, rosé, orange, sparkling, etc.) made with minimal human and mechanical intervention, native yeast, hand harvested, and as un-fooled around with as possible.

>  Orange Wine – Extended skin contact white wine resulting in a more complex, fuller bodied, increasingly interesting white wine with a darker hue (almost orange).

>  Pétillant Naturel / Pét-Nat Wine – Natural sparkling wine made without adding sugar or yeast to achieve bubbles, often using méthode ancestrale.

The winemakers at Meinklang have mastered the art of gently guiding their grapes and terroir into making incredible wine.  Instead of the winemakers muffling the voice of grapes and terroir, they naturally coax the wine into producing a symphony for all your senses.

Meinklang wines grace many of the finest Vermont wine lists for good reason – they are craveable and responsibly crafted.  Vermont definitely has an affinity for our European alpine cousins and these wines will only become more popular as more people drink Meinklang, expand their palate, and enjoy natural expressions of wine.

  • Meinklang Konkret Rot | Natural red wine | $31.99
  • Meinklang Konkret Weiss | Natural red wine | $31.99

Konkret Rot / Red

  • Region:  Austria>Burgenland>Neusiedlersee
  • Soil profile:  Sandy loam soils.  This site’s soils are locally also described as cool soils.
  • Character:  deep, elegant, subtle
  • Grape varieties:  90% Sankt Laurent, 10% Blaufränkisch
  • Food pairings:  Roasted beetroot with walnut sour
    cream and chard salad
  • Alcohol:  13.5%vol
  • Filtration:  unfiltered
  • Additives:  none (vegan)
  • Certified:  Demeter & Austria Bio Garantie

Konkret Weiss / White

  • Region:  Austria>Burgenland>Neusiedlersee
  • Soil profile:  Sandy loam soils.  This site’s soils are locally also
    described as cool soils.
  • Character:  deep, elegant, subtle
  • Grape varieties:  Field blend of Red, Yellow, & Gewürztraminer
  • Skin contact: 21 days
  • Food pairings:  Confit monkfish in orange oil served with chorizo sauce, sweet peppers and a lemon and black pepper risotto
  • Alcohol:  12.5%vol
  • Filtration:  unfiltered
  • Additives:  none (vegan)
  • Certified:  Demeter & Austria Bio Garantie

We could say so much about Meinklang, we suggest you grab a bottle, pour yourself a glass, and spend some time exploring their website to learn about their concrete shaped eggs, family and farm, biodynamic and vegan friendly practices, Demeter certification, and so much more!

Below is a sample of what you’ll find on their site:

Q:  Why do some of your wines and juices contain small crystals at the bottom of the bottles?
A:  These are tartrate crystals which form from the wine’s acid and settle in the bottom of the bottle. They can be small individual crystals or larger clusters. Tartrate crystals are a sign of natural maturation, since the grape juice is not stabilised chemically with metatartaric acid or physically by being cooled down to a very low temperature. That is why we actually consider these completely harmless tartrate crystals a sign of quality.

Q:  Are your wines vegan-friendly?
A:  Absolutely! Insofar as possible, we make our wines without using additives and we also completely avoid fining agents derived from animal products such as egg white, fish bladder or gelatine. Firstly, that is because we value the wine’s natural character and believe that animal products have no place in wine. Secondly, these substances often stem from the waste of intensive animal farming, which we do not wish to support at all.

Q:  Why are some of your wines orange in color?
A:  This is because we leave our white wines to macerate on the skins during fermentation, i.e. the wine is fermented together with the grape skins, just like a red wine would be. This is the most traditional method of white wine making, which helps the wine to remain stable without additives. Since we also add very little sulphur, if any at all, the wine takes on a slightly deeper colour. These traditional and natural wines offer a completely new spectrum of aromas and therefore make wonderfully complex food wines.

More online at:   meinklang.at