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.
After macerating for thirty days in an open topped oak vat without any additives, the Cabernet Franc was barreled down into Slovenian oak barrels where the wine slowly finished malolactic fermentation. Apart from topping barrels, nothing else was done until bottling. Phenomenal acid, a fine-grained texture, and a balance of fruity and savory flavors make this is varietally spot on Cabernet Franc with an elegant Slovenian twist. Traditionally paired with white polenta and foal, gamey meats, sweet herbs and hearty earthy flavors.
PRODUCER: Batič (Baht-itch)
APPELLATION: Vipava Valley (Vipava Valley)
GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Cabernet Franc
CLIMATE: Mediterranean and Alpine
MACERATION & AGING: 30 days skin contact, 24 Months in Slovenian Oak Barrel
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 2.6 g/l
ACIDITY: 5.82 g/l