Sebastijan Štemberger was born into a winemaking family in the Vipava valley. They moved to Karst in 2011 and took over the management of the property, renowned for the oldest Teran grapevine on Karst, a 250-year-old grapevine named Teranovka. It is said that the first grapevines of the whole of Kras were planted at this estate.
Certified organic since 2010 and biodynamic for the last 5 years Sebastijan has a very studious and analytical approach to winemaking that does not allow mistakes. He has studied biodynamic principals in Italy and Switzerland. With all of his studious work, he has managed to transform the yield of the Vitovska winegrape to make them smaller and get a better ratio of pulp to skin. Sebastijan operates with about 20 acres of vineyards, the majority of which is situated in the Karst plateau and the rest in the Vipava Valley. In a good year he makes 24.000 bottles, which may seem like a lot, but in comparison with other winemakers in the world is very little.
His roots are in the area but he has always had an eye open to practices abroad and since first coming across concrete eggs in Piedmont in 2005 he has been experimenting with them ever since. They are the perfect vessel for maceration as it acts as a closed space which minimises oxidation and keeps the fruitiness and varietal differences of each type of grape.
This bundle includes 4 different wines, some can be called white some amber:
Istrian Malvasia which is a variety of a very large Mediterranean family of Malvazija grape varieties, originating in Greece. Amongst all of the malvasias in the family, this variety from Istria in the northern part of the Adriatic is the most world-renowned. In Karst, this and Vitovska are the dominant white grape variety. The grapes were macerated for 7 days and then aged for 12 months in Acacia wood barrels.
Robinia which is the white cuvée of Sebastijan and is a mix of wines from the Karst Plateau as well as the Vipava Valley. It contains 40% of Rebula or Ribolla, 40% of Laški Rizling or Welshriesling, and 20% of Malvazija. The Riesling and Malvazija were macerated for 7-10 days in open vats and then decanted for 12 months in conical wooden vats called Tino. Ribolla was added afterwards and then everything was aged for 36 months in oak barrels.
Vitovska or Vitovska Grganja is an indigenous white grape variety from the Karst Plateau. Brought back from the verge of extinction in recent decades there are only 70 hectares of vineyards in existence overlapping the Slovenian- Italian border. It is the pride of Karst winemakers and it is considered a status symbol to have Vitovska Grganja in your wine cellar. Sebastijan managed to change the grape size leveraging different natural techniques to create a smaller ratio between the skins and flesh for optimal maceration. The wine was macerated (left in contact with the skin and pits) for 7-10 days and then matured for 18 months in oak barrels.
Zelen an indigenous grape variety from the Vipava Valley. It was written about as far back as early 1800. Zelen means "green" in Slovenian and is the most popular of the white wine varieties in the Vipava Valley together with Pinela. The wine was macerated for 4 days and then aged for 5 months in acacia barrels and concrete eggs.