A family with humble beginnings in the Goriska Brda zone of Slovenia, the Štekar family settled in 1985. As farmers of just a few hectares of vines, they worked for a nearby cooperative until they began to save up to start their own winery. Now, they are still small and dedicated to the best fruit they can grow on their 10 hectares of vines. In total, they make 35,000 bottles annually. Along with 22 hectares of cherry orchards, as well as an agriturismo, Roman Stekar and his son Jure run this lovely natural winery in the stunning hills of western Slovenia. In 2006, the winery received its organic certification, a reflection of their commitment to low-impact start-to-finish winemaking since the beginning. Neutral oak barrels, tiny amounts of SO2, and pure expressions of the locally used varietals proves to be working for them in their beautiful winery in one of the most famous 'natural' wine regions of the world!
The Malvasija is a uniquely beautiful wine from this estate, full of character and style from the diverse Malvasia (locally Malvazija) grape. After a hand-harvesting from the young Pročno vineyard, and 14 days with skin contact, the must goes through fermentation and 9 months of aging in used 400L acacia barrels in order to give extra structure and to aid in bringing out the floral components of the grape. The finished wine is intense on the nose, with beautiful fruit tones, robust herbal quality, and even hints of acacia flower. It is fresh and vibrant while still being very full-bodied, harmonious in alcohol and acidity, and overall very balanced and wonderful for drinking solo, or around a feast of charcuterie and cheeses.
100% sauvignonasse (tocai)
Emilio is the premier white for the Štekar family, and takes its name from Jure’s great grandfather. Coming from a range of vineyards, this wine is a pure version of hand-harvested Sauvignonasse (used to be called Tocai) where it begins its natural fermentation in used barrels with 14 days of skin-contact. The wine continued through its fermentations and rested in the same barrels for 9 months before bottling with zero added sulfites for the entire process. Full and deep on the pallet with ripe fruit, herbs, and dynamic minerality, and the finish goes on for several minutes. Pair this wine on the dinner table with a plethora of cuisines, from brothy Asian-inspired dishes, to steak and potatoes.
The Merlot comes from a 20-year-old hillside vineyard on the property, which produces one of the most special wines at the estate, because the oak that the wine ferments and ages in for 13 months, is entirely Slovenian oak from the oak trees on the property. The wood is cut, dried, and turned into barrels so that the reds of the estate can soften in them, but what makes the Merlot extra special, is it is the only wine that is solely aged in the estate’s own wood. The fruit was brought in for native fermentations in these barrels, and was not filtered before bottling, which is also the only instance when the wine sees any sulfur additions. The fresh quality of fruit, with ample acidity, and lovely supple tannins, make for a remarkable Merlot to drink around the dinner table with many different cuisines. Red cherries, plums, and spices come through on the nose and on the palate, bringing an overall balance to this age worthy red that is truly spectacular.
The Rebula comes is planted on the famous local Opoka (marl) soils of the area, and was hand-harvested in late September. As the natural fermentation began, the skins remained with the must for 14 days in a large bin before pressed. The pressed must is placed into 225L Slovenian Acacia barrels to help accentuate the aromatics of the grape, and finishes the alcoholic fermentation after about 30 days. 11 months later the wine was bottled unfiltered, and the result is expressive and spectacular. Aromatic and inviting on the nose, the Rebula showcases great fruit and soft flowers, with an underlining minerality that foreshadows a crisp refreshing quality on the palate. A complex depth of fruit and mineral sit on the tongue with a particular weighted freshness.
stekar cabernet sauvignon
100% cabernet sauvignon
The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a couple small 20-year-old average vineyards called Podčetrka, with beautifully sloped land and fruit that ripens perfectly. The grapes are hand-harvested in the morning time, and brought in for natural whole-cluster fermentation in 500L used oak barrels, and the wine then rests there for 2 years before bottling. A combination of French and American barrels is used, as well as Slovenian oak that actually comes from the estate’s own forests. They cut the wood, age it outside for 6 years, and send it to be made into barrels for their wine, adding a truly unique and special characteristic to their finished wine. The color is a deep purple with hints of ruby, and brings on aromas of forest fruits, ripe plums, and spices. The palate is very balanced, with enticing tannins and ample acidity, and loaded with dark red and black fruit, pepper spice, vanilla and clove, and finishes with a gorgeous structure.
stekar 'filip' blanc
The Filip Blanc comes from only the Rebula grape, which is native to this small little wine region of the world. It is planted on the famous local Opoka (marl) soils of the area, and was pulled from the vines by hand, and brought immediately into the cellar. A natural fermentation in old French oak barrique took place with the skins still in contact with the must for 6-months time, before pressing and continuing its aging process in the same wood barrels for an additional 16 months. Without filtering or fining, the resulting wine is remarkably complex and full of texture, weight, and balance. From the time the Rebula spent with the skins, the aromatics are loaded with ripe fruits, white floral notes, and an enticing natural earthy nuance that ‘orange’ wines can often boast. The palate is extremely long, balancing its undeniable weight with a lifted fresh tone of bright acidity from the grape, with earth, flowers, and fruit to accompany it all along the way. This top white from Stekar is enjoyable now, but will only continue to develop in nuance and grace as the next few years pass.
stekar sivi pinot
100% sivi pinot
The Sivi Pinot is the family’s remarkable Pinot Gris, coming from a varying age of vines, within their Pročno and Španc vineyards. The famous Opoka soils (or marl) gives Sivi Pinot its extra personality with mineral and aromatics, and after a hand harvesting the fruit spent 25 days in contact with the skins to give extra texture and depth during natural fermentation. The wine is fermented and aged for 11 months in used French barrels (225L) before it enters bottles before release. Intense on the palate with dried and ripe fruits, spicy tones, and an undertone of fresh minerality, this wine has gorgeous depth, slight grip, and well-rounded acidity. A chef’s dream for pairing, as the Sivi Pinot accompanies so many foods well.
stekar cabernet franc
100% cabernet franc
The Cabernet Franc comes from a small plot of fruit grown on the hillside very close to the winery and agriturismo. A hand harvest of this organically farmed Cabernet Franc takes place typically around early October each year, and comes into the cellar for a natural fermentation in stainless steel. Once complete, the wine is placed into very neutral French Tonneau for nearly 16 months to go through malolactic fermentation, and to rest as well before being bottled. The final wine is not fined or filtered and is full of life and energy. This Cabernet Franc is not as typical ‘lean and green’ as some of the French examples, as the fruit and earthiness are a bit rounder and fuller. However, the character of the grape really shines through with an herbal and savory quality that is laced around dark berried fruit, plum, and soft wood spices, and finishes very long and pleasant.
stekar 'filip' red
50% cabernet franc, 50% merlot
The Filip Redcomes from a 50/50 blend of the estates top Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The grapes are planted on the famous local Opoka (marl) soils of the area, and was pulled from the vines by hand, and brought immediately into the cellar. A natural fermentation in old French oak barrique took place with the skins still in contact with the must for 6-months time, before pressing and continuing its aging process in the same wood barrels for an additional 26 months with occasional racking. Without filtering or fining, the finished wine is remarkably complex and full of texture, weight, and balance. The driven fruit and spice from the Cabernet Franc shines through with brightness and acidity to complement the dynamic and a bit lusher texture of the Merlot. Loads of brambly fruit, soft earth, and some pyrazinal character show through on the nose and pallet, and build up to a long and satisfying finish. This top red from Stekar is enjoyable now, but will only continue to develop in nuance and grace as the next few years pass.
100% sivi pinot
The Morus ‘Alba’ comes from a gorgeous old plot of Sivi Pinot (Pinot Grigio) that averages about 55 years in age. The earth is Opoka, which is a lime-rich soil like marl, which gives a sense of class and minerality to the grapes, especially as the vines get older and search deeper into the ground. The fruit was all hand-harvested and brought immediately to the Vina Stekar cellar for natural fermentation in 225L French barrique where it stayed with its skins for 30 days before being pressed. Another 18 months of aging in these neutral barrels gave the wine ample time to mature and create an incredibly deep texture and palate for the unfined and unfiltered finished wine. A gorgeous salmon orange hue pours from the bottle to the glass and shows aromas of peach and nectarine skin, crushed rocks, and distant wild flowers. In the mouth, there are ample tannins to give grip to the focused fruit and fresh minerality that is persistent all the way through until the finish.
100% sauvignonasse (tokai friulano)
The Morus ‘Virido’ comes from a gorgeous small vineyard in Goriska Brda where only a few grapes are grown next to each other, and includes a plot of Sauvignonasse, which was formally Tokai Friulano before the laws changed. After harvest, the grapes remained with their skins for seven days in very old 500L French Tonneau before pressing and another 20 months in those same barrels. Only natural yeasts are relied upon for the fermentations, and only small bits of sulfur were added after malolactic finished, and just before bottling. The resulting wine has a lovely golden tone to its color, and smells of fresh apples, pears, almonds, and herbs. In the mouth, the texture is deep with fruit and hints of flowers, with balanced alcohol, ample acidity, and a long finish of toffee, Anjou pear, and persimmon.
merlot & cabernet sauvignon
The Morus ‘Nigra’ comes from the small plot of vines that have started Morus side project of Jure Stekar. The equal split of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot comes into the cellar and naturally ferments together in old French barrique. After pressing, the wine continues through malolactic and stays in wood for 20 months, giving complexity and a smooth developed character to the wine. Only a small dose of sulfur was used before bottling, retaining as much natural life in the finished juice as possible. In the glass, there is an incredible aromatic character that combines the freshness of fruit, with dark brooding earthy qualities as well. On the palate, bright brambly fruit is lifted with lovely fresh acidity, and accompanies an array of herbs, floral tones, and subtle spices. The Nigra is a beautiful red that is easy to drink now, but also has the building blocks to last for many years to come.