All about making whisky
Located in Komen, a small village on the high plateaus of Slovenia (in the Karst region) facing the Adriatic sea, this vineyard, owned by Branko Čotar and his son Vasja, is certainly one of the most unusual in existence. In 1993, two years after Slovenia won independence, the father and son decided to create their seven hectare vineyard on this limestone rock plateau. In order to accomplish this they had lorries bring red earth from the Dolines, and planted three indigenous grape varieties – Malvasia Istriana, Vitovska and Terrano – to complement the Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. From the vine to the wine, everything is 100% natural.
Having developed in the boom years after the Second World War, conventional agriculture is based on notions of yield. Largely applied in the world of wine-growing, this approach began to be challenged in the early 1990s. Leading the revolt were a handful of grape growers and wine producers who denounced the over-use of pesticides, fungicides and yeasts that have been cultured in laboratories. This trend of moving towards natural methods, that the main wine producers are now also trying to develop, has resulted in the creation of many types of certification; among the strictest is Demeter; there are also various groups and associations in France and across the Alps such as Renaissance AOC and Triple A.