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Farming : Sustainable
Winemaking : Hand-Picked Grapes | Native Yeast Fermentation | Unfined | Unfiltered | Vegan
Region : Maribor, Stajerska, Slovenia
Grape : Laski Rizling (Welschriesling) | Sauvignon Blanc | Rizvanec (Muller-Thurgau)
Alcohol by Volume : 11.6%
Silvo Črnko beams with happiness and so do his wines. They are universally forward and fragrant but with an elusive mineral underpinning that demands serious attention. Črnko wines are an absolute joy to drink and as appropriate for the inexperienced and curious, as the serious enthusiast.
The Črnko farm is located on the eastern side of Slovenia, north of Maribor and just south of the Austrian border. It is a breath taking environment of endless rolling green hills lined with vineyards that stretch the length of the horizon. Until 1918, this area was known as Lower Styria (formally Austria) and had been for many centuries. Grapes have also been cultivated here for over 2,000 years in addition to famed aromatic hop fields and ethereal pumpkin seed oil; a real treat with the local wines. The rich agricultural diversity of these Slovenian Hills owes itself to fertile soils and the unique convergence of Continental, Alpine and Mediterranean climates. In large part it is the balance between these climates that make the wines of Slovenia so regional and so interesting.
Growing grapes and making wine is the main business of Silvo Črnko and his wife, Alenka but not the extent of what they do. Both are university trained agronomists who would doubtfully be content farming only one thing. So in addition to the wines, they also raise a variety of livestock for milk, meat, cheese and eggs, preserve a wide range of fruits and vegetables from their own garden and orchards and bake bread daily, from wheat they grew and milled themselves.
These humble 1 Liter bottle represents half of Črnko’s total production and until the 2009 vintage had only been sold locally in the nearby village of Jarenina from where the wine takes its name. All fruit is estate grown and comes from the family’s 6 hectares of mixed white varietals planted to the regions unique marl soils and sustainably farmed. High toned Laski Riesling and Ravenec, aromatic Muscats, and a silty minerality characteristic of the estate define this vintage. Thirst quenching and light on its feet with healthy acidity also make it difficult to set down. During the summers in the village of Jarenina, locals mix it with sparkling water and then proceed to consume well into the next day.