Kras, Slovenia

Marko displays as much respect, love and dedication to the land he farmsĀ as any grower we have met. He tends around four hectares of vines dotted around the Slovenian Carso, or Kras as they call it here. He farms a handful of remote parcels with a focus on old vineyards, some of which are 100 years of age. Marko speaks with intensity and conviction about this beautiful, yet harsh landscape, where just a few centimetres of red dirt sit between the plants and the ancient plateau of fossilised limestone below.

The Kras is a place of contradictions and while his vines sit just a few miles from the Adriatic, it is also not far to the high mountains. They benefit from a seabreeze from the former and the local wind, the bora, which comes from the latter. It is a windy, wild place that provides a daunting landscape for all but the bravest of farmers, but reward comes in the form of the wonderfully distinctive local grapes Malvazija, Vitovska and Terran, which Marko believes are the only varieties that truly thrive here.

The use of herbicides and pesticides is left behind in favour of organic remedies and techniques and for Marko this responsibility to the land is most important. How he treats the land and what he feels when he stands in his vineyard matter to him. The various plots are harvested individually, often over several months. They are wild fermented with a brief period of skin contact and rest in old casks until ready to be bottled. They are pure, vibrant wines with a great potential to age.