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Rebula – a natural answer to climate change

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Brda and Collio’s resilient and resourceful grape offers impressive sustainability, versatility and vibrancy.

Weather extremes are on every winemaker’s mind and Slovenia is no exception. 2022 was the hottest and driest year on record, then 2023 was the wettest in 40 years. Rebula/Ribolla Gialla, the flagship grape of the beautiful, hilly, cross-border regions of Brda and Collio, has sailed through both seasons with grace.

Deep resilience

Due to its ability to root down 12 metres in search of scarce water in hot years, Rebula is a resilient and resourceful grape. Under conditions of water stress, it produces secondary metabolites giving more complex flavours and higher quality wines. In wetter years, on the other hand, the region’s special opoka bedrock becomes the hero. Its page-like layers of marl, calcite and sandstone fracture easily so water drains away quickly, and grapes keep their quality and concentration.

Brda and Collio’s Alpine-meets-Mediterranean climate also offers sunshine to ripen grapes but constant mountain breezes keep the bunches healthy. Rebula is late ripening, so misses the hot summer season nights and always retains vibrant acidity, along with moderate alcohol.

Sustainable by nature

This set of natural conditions, along with the determination of local growers, means that the region is sustainable by nature, with 99% of the grapes grown on short terraces that hug the steep hillsides. This is good for sun exposure but also helps to retain enough moisture (there’s no need for artificial irrigation), while at the same time allowing heavy downpours to drain away without erosion damage. Wildflowers fill the spaces between vine rows and the 20 plant species and five bird nests that researchers seek as a measure of sustainability in vineyards, are easily found here.

Something for everyone

Wine is a drink that truly interprets what the vine does with the land and climate, though Rebula’s versatility allows winemakers to stamp their own stories on the wines too. Whether it’s fine sparkling, fresh mineral whites, layered age-worthy classic examples, skin contact wines or even rare, sweet passito styles, this heroic combination of grape, landscape and people can offer something for everyone. And with Trieste just an hour away and Venice a straightforward 90 minutes’ drive, it’s easy to start your wine journey in this stunning wine region. Welcome to the Brda/Collio hills.


Rebula – twelve wines to try:

Marjan Simcic Domaine, Rebula Opoka Medana Jama Cru, Goriška Brda Slovenia 2020

Marjan Simcic Domaine, Rebula Opoka Medana Jama Cru, Goriška Brda Slovenia 2020
Available from Orbit Wines (UK), Banville & Jones Wine Merchants (USA)
A complex, expressive wine with aromas and flavours of tropical fruit, mango, sweet spice and dried peach. Hints of tangerine add a zesty edge. It’s intense and generously juicy, with a firm structure of fine-grained tannins and a sapid mineral finish.
Drink 2023-2033 Alc 13%
96 points

Scurek, Rebula Up, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2020

Scurek, Rebula Up, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2020
Available from Cask Cartel (USA)
Glorious aromas of sun-ripened peach, mock orange and dried apricot lead to a rich, velvety palate with juicy flavours of dried peach, apricot and mandarin, completed by a fine, mineral aftertaste with hints of salted lemon.
Drink 2023-2027 Alc 13%
96 points

Erzetič, Orbis Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2019

Erzetič, Orbis Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2019
Available from XtraWine (UK)
A bright golden wine with endless layers of bouquet – meadow herbs, toasted nuts and fruity notes of quince, pineapple, bergamot zest and candied peel. The fruit is generously ripe, mouth-filling, and silky with gentle acidity and lovely length.
Drink 2023-2028 Alc 13.5%
95 points

Gradis’ciutta, Sveti Nikolaj Rebula, Slovenia 2021

Gradis’ciutta, Sveti Nikolaj Rebula, Slovenia 2021
Available from www.gradisciutta.eu
Beautifully expressive with scents of vine peach, Mirabelle and lemon zest. It’s a sleek, graceful wine, expressing generous yellow plum fruit, juicy acidity and harmonious creamy oak, then a lingering finish.
Drink 2023-2027 Alc 13%
94 points

Edi Simčič, Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2021

Edi Simčič, Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2021
Available from Bancroft Wines (UK), August Imports (USA)
Refined and elegant with a bouquet of ripe pear, camomile, iris and wild thyme. To taste, flavours of juicy Asian pear, ripe apple and Acacia blossom are enhanced by subtle vanilla, with a persistent, saline finish.
Drink 2023-2030 Alc 13%
94 points

Ferdinand, Rebula Brutus, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2019

Ferdinand, Rebula Brutus, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2019
Available from MacArthur Beverages (USA)
Destemmed berries spend 12 months in barrel, giving amazing aromatic complexity with dried apricots, bitter orange zest and wild thyme. It’s surprisingly fruity to taste, with melon, mango and zesty notes, and a robust backbone of savoury umami tannins.
Drink 2023-2030 Alc 12.5%
94 points

Sturm, Ribolla Gialla BIO, Collio Italy 2022

Sturm, Ribolla Gialla BIO, Collio Italy 2022
Available from Ester Wines (UK), Sturnik Wines & Spirits (USA)
This organic wine has a delicate bouquet of pear, green melon, honeysuckle and mint. It’s mouth-watering, with pear and melon notes, a touch of mandarin zest, underscored by a vibrant core of bright acidity.
Drink 2023-2025 Alc 13%
93 points

Klet Brda, Bagueri Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2020

Klet Brda, Bagueri Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2020
Available from Berkmann Wine Cellars (UK) and The Thief Fine Wine and Beer (USA)
There’s an inviting nose of white peach, toasted pine nut, meadowsweet and a touch of fresh quince. It’s refined and supple to taste, with lemon oil, nectarine, candied pineapple and lingering citrussy freshness.
Drink 2023-2030 Alc 13.5%
93 points

Medot, Rebula Journey, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2022

Medot, Rebula Journey, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2022
Available from www.medot-wines.com
A light golden wine with aromas of meadowsweet and fresh quince, leading to a generously fruity palate with hints of nectarine, melon and hedgerow blossom with a lasting, mineral finish.
Drink 2023-2028 Alc 13%
91 points

Dolfo, Dolfo Rumena Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2022

Dolfo, Dolfo Rumena Rebula, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2022
Available from XtraWine
Crisp, vibrant and linear in style, with inviting aromas of yellow plum, camomile and lemon flower, then gentle ripe apple and golden melon fruit in the mouth, with an appetising saline finish.
Drink 2023-2026 Alc 12.5%
90 points

Jermann, Vinnae Ribolla Gialla, Venezia Giulia, Italy 2022

Jermann, Vinnae Ribolla Gialla, Venezia Giulia, Italy 2022
Available from Berkmann Wine Cellars (UK) and Maze Row Wine Merchant (USA)
A whistle-clean, bright version of Ribolla Gialla, first produced in 1983. It’s light straw gold with subtle notes of green apple, peaches and cream, and a twist of meadow herbs, backed by crisp lively freshness.
Drink 2023-2027 Alc 12.5%
90 points

Klet Brda, Quercus, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2022

Klet Brda, Quercus, Goriška Brda, Slovenia 2022
A benchmark example of classic, fresh Rebula. White peach, green apple and touches of meadow herbs on the nose lead onto flavours of peaches, lemon oil and green almond on the finish with a refreshing touch of zesty acidity.
Drink 2023-2027 Alc 13%
89 points


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