The afternoon we spent walking around Marko Fon’s remote, beautiful vineyards is Slovenia’s Kras this spring was one of the highlights of our year and the wines we tasted with Marko at his home afterwards were some of the most beautiful expressions of place we had tried in quite some time. We were sad to hear that he did not have enough wine available at the time, but were very happy to receive an email a month or so ago from Marko offering us a little of his wonderful Vitovska and Malvazija.
Marko displays as much respect, love and dedication to the land he farms as any grower we have met. He tends around four hectares of vines dotted around the Slovenian Carso, farming 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 the course of a month. 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 wonderful potential to age. We have just received the following wines. If you are interested in trying them, please just send us an email
Marko Fon, Malvazija 2013
This is an absolute benchmark for the varietal, combining the grape’s detailed aromatics and cleansing acidity with a savoury, herbal note we have not found elsewhere. We tried vintages of this wine going back over a decade that were absolutely singing, showing no signs of their age.
Marko Fon, Vitovska 2012
A unique expression of one of our favourite grapes, one of the more delicate we have found. This shows a clear interpretation of the kras; the limestone, wild herbs and that feeling that the sea and mountains are not so far away.