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|Grapes||Rebula, Friulano, Pinot Blanc|
|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine, Skin-Fermented, Vegan|
Across the northeastern border of Italy, at the foothills of the Alps and 15 miles from the Adriatic, sits the Goriška Brda region of Slovenia (‘Collio’ in Italian). When Slovenia became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the late 1940s, wine production suffered from the state-run “quantity over quality” approach. After independence in 1991, private production resumed, indigenous grapes were replanted, and focus on terroir has intensified. In the late 1980s, Katja Kabaj married former French Legionnaire and Bordeaux-trained enologist Jean Michel Morel, and they settled in Katja’s family village of Šlovrenc. After they were married, they made the decision to bottle their own wines from their 15 ha of vines rather than sell their grapes - a great choice given that they are now regularly hailed as one of Wine & Spirits top 100 wineries of the year. Their ‘Luisa’ honors Katja’s great-grandmother. Each year it comprises a different mix of grape varieties; the 2012 version includes rebula, friulano, and pinot blanc. After blending, it aged for a year in French oak and three years in the bottle. After a decade, it now exhibits a deep complexity and nuttiness lifted by floral aromas and mellowed with candied fruit and a very smooth texture. Peach and pear flavors are backed by a spicy ginger finish. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine, vegan.