Press Release: Harvest 2023
This year has proven to be a challenging one for grape growers.
A cold spring transitioned into a rainy summer and autumn, sparing no mercy for vineyard owners, with even a July hailstorm wreaking havoc. The wet summer presented a serious challenge, even for experienced vineyard owners, as they battled downy and powdery mildew. Our this year’s yield is roughly a quarter lower than the usual expectations.
In such an extreme year, our winery, committed to sustainable winegrowing practices, demonstrated a well-structured system for predicting and promptly addressing disease outbreaks, reducing losses, and ensuring quality. Vineyard owners who diligently followed our advisory service guidelines had fewer issues protecting their vineyards. This year, significant differences in grape quality were observed depending on the vineyard’s location. Excellent vineyard sites experienced fewer phyto pathological problems, resulting in higher-quality yields.
QUANTITIES AND QUALITY
This year, our winegrowing families will collectively produce 5,900 tons of grapes, a quarter less than the average annual yield of 8,000 tons. The drop in yield can be attributed to unfavourable weather during flowering, frequent rain, and related disease occurrences. Of course, the most significant loss came from the hailstorm that hit the entire Brda region on the evening of July 24th.
The wines of the 2023 vintage will have lower alcohol content, medium body, a mineral character, and emphasized freshness. A complete assessment, however, will have to await St. Martin’s Day. Among the grape varieties, Rebula once again demonstrated its resilience even in challenging years. Producers and oenologists highlight how well Brda’s Rebula adapts to climate changes. Despite less favourable weather conditions, Rebula had a smaller yield, but the quality remained excellent. The Pinot Grigio variety also stands out, with a lower yield but preserved freshness and typical varietal aromatics.
HARVEST PROGRESS & PRICES
Our members began harvesting base wines for sparkling wines on September 1, 2023, and the official regular harvest for 2023 commenced on September 7, 2023, with completion expected in the first week of October, concluding with the harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
This year harvesting has been more demanding due to selective picking. It was necessary to remove hail-damaged grapes, which takes considerable time and requires more labour compared to a typical harvest. The quality concept deeply ingrained in the cooperative has been embraced by vineyard owners, who dedicated a significant amount of time to grape selection in the vineyards.
Compared to last year, this year’s purchase prices for grapes will be higher, with a greater distinction between standard and premium quality. The average purchase price for a kilogram of grapes in the standard program will be around €0.75, while for premium programs and selections, the average price will be at least €1. The price range for a kilogram of grapes will vary between €0.42 and €1.65. Grapes from the best vineyard sites, showcasing special vineyard characteristics, may reach €2 or more per kilogram.
THIS YEAR’S AWARDS REAFFIRM CONSISTENT QUALITY
At Klet Brda we offer a diverse range of wines designed with the end consumer in mind – top-quality yet accessible wines for various tastes and occasions, all characterized by unwavering excellence, from the vineyard to the customer. Our commitment is further validated by this year’s numerous medals and exceptional achievements at international competitions. We have received a total of 62 gold, silver, and bronze awards at international competitions. Particularly noteworthy are the 95 points and gold medals awarded at the 20th anniversary Decanter World Wine Awards in the UK, which are the highest accolades received by Slovenian winemakers. At the Chardonnay du Monde competition in France, the Quercus 2022 Chardonnay received a gold medal and ranked among the top 10 Chardonnays in the world. In the domestic Vino Slovenija competition in Gornja Radgona, the Bagueri brut classic sparkling wine was awarded a great gold medal. We were also delighted with excellent ratings bestowed by one of the world’s most respected wine critics, James Suckling, who awarded 94 points to the Rebula de Baguer single vineyard Motnik 2017, while the A plus red 2017 and de Baguer Merlot-Cabernet Franc 2017 received 93 points each, and the de Baguer Chardonnay-Sauvignon Blanc 2017 received 92 points.
ANA BUCIK – AMBASSADOR FOR RESPONSIBLE WINE ENJOYMENT
We are pleased to announce our collaboration with Slovenian alpine skier Ana Bucik, as we share common values of hard work, perseverance, dedication, and a commitment to our territory. Ana Bucik, an accomplished athlete who also prioritizes moderation in her private life, has become an ambassador for Klet Brda. Our shared motto is to work hard and enjoy in moderation. Klet Brda aims to promote this message as a socially responsible company, spreading it among the public. This collaboration represents a mutual opportunity, emphasizing an active lifestyle and responsible wine enjoyment, especially among young people, for whom Ana serves as a role model and inspiration.