Thirty minutes drive south from Goče in the Valle di Vipava to Kreplje – Sloveno for ‘Pietra’! – which lies in the (larger) Slovenian part of the Kras/Carso region some 8 kms just behind Trieste, on 80 million yo ancient (older than Burgundy, Langhe, & Vipava!) leached terra rossa clay/marne/fossilised soils over cretaceous limestone – think Puglia or Coonawarra even! – that’s influenced by the golfo di Trieste, but also refreshed/battered by the NE Bora wind…is found the tiny 3.5ha cantina of Marko Tavčar (pronounced Taucher) at Az. Agr. Pietra!
The boutique domaine features an historical, 18th century cortile, constructed to shield the occupants from the Bora wine, which is where Marko, a former cuoco/chef until 2008, now ‘cooks up’ three grape expressions of his Kras/Carso region: Malvazija/Malvasia Istriana, Vitovska, & Teran/Terrano (a relative of Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso)
Bianchi are vinified in mastelli/tubs for 3 days on the skins (with light extraction), & then kept on their (reductive) lees in cement so as to minmise the amount of sulphur needed (c. 30 totale), with both wines undergoing MLF, while the Rosso sees some botte grande, & bottled unfiltered.
Vitovska is most famous, for its pale colour, gemtle lemon pith, sea-salt breeziness & freshness, although the gentle skin maceration gives it body too, & all at 12.5% abv!
Malvazija Istriana is his strongest ‘suit’, giving intense, purposeful wines of fior d’arancia fragrance, kumquat/mandarin skin fruit character, allied to sapidity & tannicita, complete wines at 13.5%…indeed he’s in the process of buying another 0.5ha to plant to his variety.
Teran/Terrano is a fresh, cool leafy graphite Cab. Franc meets Crozes Hermitage! Very stylish & individual at the same time, great with the local tuna (steaks)!