Aleš Movia: an artist of organic wine on the Slovenian Collio

A family tradition that began in 1820…

Meeting Aleš Kristančič Movia was almost overwhelming, and I’d define him a proper artist rather than a wine producer, a man with large hands and with a captivating personality. Here is his interview, quite difficult to obtain!

What does the word tradition mean to you?
“I believe wine is a great gift, and if you want to produce it you need to respect nature without interfering too much with it. Many producers use grapevines as if they were machines, but the vine needs to be itself and therefore respected by men.”

When you say respect for nature, do you mean organic farming?

Yes, I believe that implementing organic procedures on the vineyard is both possible and necessary because plants mostly need energy. Our family-run company has antique origins, going back as far back as 1820, and currently owns 22 hectares in Slovenia and Italy. We strongly believe in Nature and Tradition, as our most important features.

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What type of vine variety do you grow?

“If we’re talking about red wine, we have merlot, cabernet, savignon and pinot nero, while there are more white berry vines. The most common is ribolla gialla, then friulano, pinot grigio, chardonnay and savignon.”

Do you apply the same process to all different grapes?

All wines are made with a maceration process, but the time for this process is different, for example pinot grigio is kept in contact with the peel of the grapes for very little time: if the maceration is too long the wine would turn a darker colour and look more like a young oxidised wine or a very mature wine. Both are wrong and misleading presumptions but very important for the consumers: we appreciate wine with our sight as well.

All Movia wines are made without any filtration and without oenological interference, so you mostly work in the vineyard rather than in the cellar, and everything depends on the year’s production.

“The production of the year is definitely crucial, also because you harvest the grapes just once and you can’t go wrong, you have just one chance. You always need to work your best, and figure out your moves. At the end of every year you have a different wine with characteristics that make it unique and unrepeatable.”

Ph. Terra Magica
Ph. Terra Magica

Over the last years the wine industry has grown a lot, there’s constant competition and there are always more producers. How much does marketing count in this area?

“I believe that the best thing to do is to not be one amongst the mass, for example the bottle’s label is like the wine’s clothes, and I’ve been thinking for some time that I’d like to become the “tailor” and design them myself. They might not be perfect but I’d like to give them a unique voice.”

It seems like a lovely and original idea“Yes, I like it too, I’d like the wine to speak to people, to be able to describe itself: just a few ideas but very important and captivating”

Ph. Terra Magica
Ph. Terra Magica

After this last scoop, the interview comes to an end and we start the wine tasting!

Pinot Grigio 2013 (13%alc.vol), a nice shade of pale yellow, with scents of yellow flowers, accompanied by sweet fruit, like baked apple, all enveloped in a slight mineral taste.
Ribolla (or Rebula) 2012 (12% alcohol), a pale yellow colour, intense citrus fruit scents, a slight smell of jasmine, with a vibrant taste, fresh and balanced, ending with a pinch of mineral taste.

The Chardonnay Lunar 2008 (14% alcol), is a wine that needs an introduction to appreciate it completely, in fact on the label there is a number 9 and a picture of the moon. This particular wine is matured for 9 months and its bottled during the full moon, without being filtered and is kept in the bottle for 6 months before being sold. The bottle needs to be kept standing in the fridge for at least a week so that the residues (quite considerable) can deposit on the bottom. The wine also needs to be decanted before being served as to separate it from the deposits.

The bottle is a nice tone of golden yellow and it looks young and captivating, with intense scents of fresh and dried fruit, its mineral feature is dominant both as scent and as taste, the sip is at first strong and hard but softens and ends with a slight smoky feeling.

We end with two specialties of Movia: two blends, Veliko bianco (2008) and Veliko rosso (2005). The first is mostly Ribolla 70%, savignon 20% and pinot grigio 10%, a wine that is striking for the complexity of scents, very structured and balanced between soft and hard tastes and very persistent.

The Veliko rosso: merlot (70%), pinot nero (20%), cabernet savignon (10%), has an intense colour, almost impenetrable, and the scents unite harmoniously, firstly fruits like red currents and then you smell leather and tobacco. The sip is elegant and strong, with an enveloping tannic flavour balanced during its maturation.

Mademoiselle du vin

Ph. TripleA
Ph. TripleA

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