With an immense respect for nature, viewing themselves more as expert gatherers rather than heavy-handed winemakers, and paying special attention to local varieties, the Batič family has been making wines that reflect land and vintage since 1592. Given such history, their approach to wine growing goes beyond organic and biodynamic. Wedged between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, the Vipavska Dolina (Vipava Valley) lies within the Primorje wine growing region of Western Slovenia right along the Italian border. The land enjoys both a Mediterranean and Alpine microclimate coupled with marl, clay, flysch and sandstone rich soil. Warm nurturing air flows in from the Adriatic and over the Friuli-Venezia Giulia plains while cool air rushes down from the Alps helping retain acidity and aromatics. Overall the region is characterized by powerful mineral driven reds like Refošk, Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (as is also common in neighboring Fruili), and a host of fascinating white varieties like Pinela, Pinot Gris, Zelen, Klarnica, Vitovska and Rebula.
The Batič family owns 19 hectares of vineyards in three villages (Šempas, Vogrsko, and Vitovlje) ranging from 60 meters up to 1495 meters above sea level. Incredible high vine density forces roots to dig up to 15 meters straight down in order to reach nutrients and water. The Vipavska Dolina also has a famed reputation for creating powerful thermal conditions due to the convergence of Alpine and Adriatic influences. Winds up to 10 meters/second keep rot and a host of other vine diseases at bay. In the higher altitude vineyards (1,300+ feet) no chemicals of any kind have ever been sprayed. In other locations where conditions would otherwise demand chemical application, Batič is instead the first winery in Europe to harness the power of fire and air with PCS (Physics-based Cropping System). Rather than attacking vine disease and pests with pesticides and herbicides, PCS blows air at 150 km/ h and at a temperature of 75 degrees among the vines. Pollination, natural funghi and a resilient canopy result leaving the vines with a strengthened natural immunity. Rather than fighting nature, they are mimicking what they already know nature does best.
According to Miha, “You have to think and work like the nature. If you look at the forest for example, the forest is never just acacia or oak - always a symbiosis of thousands of different plants and animals.” Establishing this symbiotic relationship in the vineyards and in the cellar is the signature of the Batič estate - emulating and getting closer to nature. Highly selective hand harvesting, extended maceration (particularly native white grape varieties), fermenting in open topped Slovenian wooden vats without temperature control, and only using indigenous yeast are the major means to this end.
All wines are bottled un-fined, often unfiltered, and in some cases bottled without additional sulfur (SO2). Lunar cycles and seasons are strictly observed and determine releases and bottling dates.
Zaria translates to ‘dawn,’ and in this case, represents the new dawn of an ancient wine culture. The whole process from grape to bottle is also strongly connected to the phases of the moon. Each barrel is bottled unfiltered separately and without any added sulfur. This is a true orange wine with all of the varietals growing side by side in the same vineyard, picked together, spending close to a month of the skins in large open topped oak vats, and co-fermented until dry. This is a wine devoted to harmony.
PRODUCER: Batič (Baht-itch)
APPELLATION: Vipava Valley (Vipava Valley)
GRAPE COMPOSITION: 50% Pinela, 25% Zelen, 25% Rebula
CLIMATE: Mediterranean and Alpine
MACERATION & AGING: 30+ days skin contact, large oak vats. Every barrel bottled separately according to lunar cycles.
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 2.6 g/l
ACIDITY: 5.22 g/l