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.
On Friday, August 11th, internationally renowned wine critic James Suckling, considered one of the most influential wine critics in the world, visited the Brda region.
During his visit to Brda, he tasted wines from several producers from Brda. He wrote on Facebook about his experience, stating that in Brda he tasted many excellent wines that are rich, intense, and with great depth, reflecting the heroic viticulture on the steep slopes of Brda.
The famous American wine critic, James Suckling, was presented with a selection of wines from the de Baguer cellar. He recently published ratings of our wines on his website JamesSuckling.com. He was particularly impressed by rebula de Baguer single vineyard motnik 2017, which he awarded an impressive 94 out of 100 points, as well as the A plus red 2017 and de Baguer merlot-cabernet franc 2017, both receiving 93 points. In addition to these wines, he also tasted the de Baguer chardonnay-sauvignon blanc 2017 blend, which received an excellent score of 92 points.
All four highly-rated wines mature in the exclusive de Baguer cellar, where Klet Brda keeps its best wines. Wines from the de Baguer cellar are known for their maturity, structural richness, and exceptional elegance, which impress both experts at international competitions and wine connoisseurs. Production is limited to the best vintages in limited series.
The grapes for rebula de Baguer single vineyard motnik 2017, which received the highest score of 94 points, come from the Lisičk vineyard, located on a steep slope above the Brda village of Neblo. This terraced vineyard, growing on classic marlstone, has been cultivated sustainably for a decade. Single vineyard Motnik is a unique rebula with a completely different character from our other wines. Due to a ten-month maceration, the wine falls into the category of orange wines, but the production process was carefully managed to give the wine an intense golden color. The wine embodies the tradition of ancient winemaking and the modern knowledge and interpretation of one of Slovenia’s most promising winemakers, Darinko Ribolica.
James Suckling is one of the world’s leading wine critics. His ratings are read and appreciated by wine enthusiasts, serious wine collectors, and wine buyers from around the world. He is the president and editor-in-chief of the website jamessuckling.com, based in Hong Kong. Since the start of his career, he has rated over 250,000 wines. He has 339,000 followers on Instagram and organizes 20 wine events around the world each year.
During his recent visit, he suggested that we send him some additional wines for him to evaluate. The fact that our wines have sparked his interest and received impressive ratings demonstrates that they are of exceptional quality and reflect the terroir of Brda, which we proudly represent as representatives of the region.
De Baguer Single vineyard Motnik Lisićk 2017
Score: 94 Points
11 Aug, 2023 – Minerally and flinty with sliced lemon, white pepper and cloves. Medium-bodied with firm and phenolic tannins and a flavorful finish. Plenty going on here. A single vineyard wine from the cooperative of Brda that represents 50% of the production. Serious. Wow. Drink now.
De Baguer A Plus 2017
Score: 93 Points
Typical tobacco, olive and smoke characters with cassis and berries. Fine line between fineness and some fresh leafiness. Medium body with soft tannins that last and grow on the palate. Very refined and polished. A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Drink now.
De Baguer Merlot Cabernet Franc 2017
Score: 93 Points
11 Aug, 2023 – This is spiced and dark-fruited with chocolate, licorice and bark undertones. Some dried flowers, too. Full-bodied with a richness and opulence to the fruit and velvety tannins. It’s wide and generous with a persistent, lingering finish. A touch too much wood, but there is pretty fruit underneath. Drink now.
De Baguer Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Score: 92 Points
11 Aug, 2023 – Ripe golden berries, some oatmeal, fine lees and some peaches. Creamy and fresh on the palate with medium acidity and a nicely phenolic finish. A blend of 70% chardonnay and 30% sauvignon blanc. Drink now.
The grape harvest of the 2023 vintage at Klet Brda is officially starting this week.
On Friday, September 1, our wine-growing families began picking grapes for the base wines used in sparkling wines. Due to the consequences of the July hailstorm, we anticipate a smaller yield this year. Our wine-growing families are expected to deliver approximately 6,500 tons of grapes to the cellar. We anticipate a promising year for white varieties, while the quality of red varieties will be significantly influenced by the weather in the coming month. Grape prices will be higher, but the exact increase depends on the quality, which is still subject to the weather during the harvest.
For vine growers, this year’s season has been full of challenges. The cold spring delayed bud break and shoot development, and young shoots were exposed to various pests for an extended period. Summer also brought frequent rain, making protection against downy and powdery mildew demanding. This year, our early detection and infection monitoring system, which we have been developing for years, proved highly effective, enabling us to promptly inform vine growers about when and how to protect the grapevines from diseases. Vine growers who carefully followed the advice of our advisory service experienced less crop loss and significantly higher-quality yields.
In such a demanding year, differences in vineyard locations become evident, as areas with excellent vineyard sites had fewer phytopathological issues. In July, Brda was also hit by hail, resulting in a quarter of the crop being lost. Consequently, this year’s harvest will be more challenging as damaged grapes from the hail will need to be sorted, consuming a lot of time and requiring more pickers than during a typical harvest.
We began harvesting grapes for the base wines used in sparkling wines, produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, on Friday, September 1, 2023, and continued with Rebula for sparkling wines during the weekend. The regular harvest is expected to start this Thursday. The majority of the harvest will be completed by the end of September, while Cabernets and some special varieties will remain in the vineyards until mid-October.
Visits from business partners represent one of the most important marketing tools for Klet Brda, which is export-oriented. The reality experienced by Brda vine growers, who work on steep slopes, is often hard for foreigners to imagine. Only when they experience the harvest firsthand and feel the pulse of the local people can they truly understand the wines. We are currently hosting distributors from the USA, and this visit will be followed by visits from importers from Italy, China, Brazil, and Serbia.
During the harvest, we hope for dry and moderately warm weather. We wish you a pleasant September!
At this year’s jubilee 20th Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), two of the red wines from the de Baguer wine cellar, known for producing the best wines of the Klet Brda winery, received a score of 95 points and a GOLD MEDAL. Klet Brda was awarded gold for two of our red blends – A Plus Red 2017 and de Baguer Merlot-Cabernet Franc 2017, obtaining the best result among Slovenian winemakers and reaffirming the consistent quality of our wines.
For this year’s assessment, Klet Brda entered 16 wines, of which 2 received a gold medal, 7 were awarded a silver medal, and 7 a bronze medal – an impressive feat, which we were delighted to achieve.
Thanks to its strict rules, highly professional committee, and the renowned magazine of the same name, dedicated to organizing, and promoting the competition, Decanter World Wine Awards is considered as the world’s most prestigious and greatest wine competition. This year, wines were assessed in London by 236 international wine experts from all over the world, of which 53 were Masters of Wine and 16 Masters Sommeliers. This year’s assessment featured 18,250 wines from 57 countries.
The gold medals received for the A plus and de Baguer red wines from the de Baguer wine cellar are an extraordinary achievement, which tops this year’s impressive number of medals awarded to our wines. These medals reaffirm the consistent quality of Klet Brda wines, not only those in the highest class but also those in the middle and higher class, such as Quercus, Krasno, and Bagueri Superior, of which several received excellent scores and either a silver or a bronze medal. This is an important recognition at a prestigious competition, where samples are assessed according to region and price category, making the prizes even more significant as they efficiently support sales on a global wine market, where consistency in quality is of key importance.
The A Plus and de Baguer wines are the best that Brda soil has to offer to an experienced wine lover. Both are made of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with Cabernet Sauvignon added to A Plus Red. The grapes for these wines are grown in selected vineyards, cultivated with utmost care and according to the principles of sustainable production. In the vineyard and in the cellar, nothing is left to chance. The result of that is wine of the greatest quality, which reflects the style and personal touch of the Winery’s great oenologist, Darinko Ribolica, who strives to achieve fullness and assertive character in the A Plus blend and finesse and elegance in the de Baguer blend. The wines from the selected vineyards, situated at the best sites, are matured in the de Baguer wine cellar at the Dobrovo castle and are only produced in the best vintages and in limited quantities.
The A Plus Red 2017 wine can only be described with superlatives. This is an extraordinary 2017 vintage, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc from the best sites. It was carefully aged in the best barriques under the watchful eye of the legendary oenologist Darinko Ribolica, who is known for creating winning combinations over and over again.
The main oenologist Darinko Ribolica describes this award-winning wine as follows: “This is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc from the best sites, in which we strive to find the extract, fullness, and structure to best express the Brda soil. The fact that A Plus Red received 95 points and a gold medal at Decanter proves that the region of Goriška Brda is great for producing dry red wines. However, this result would not have been possible without the expertise of our team and the years of experience in aging the best Brda wines.”
The gold medal for the de Baguer Merlot-Cabernet Franc 2017 was another recognition of their efforts and years of commitment to determine the sites through which Brda terroir could be best expressed. By choosing older vineyards of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from selected sites, we were able to strive for a sophisticated fruity character, elegance, and mineral character typical of Brda.
International evaluators agree on which characteristics are shared by the winning wines at Decanter and have emphasised three key qualities. The first is communication; the winning wine must clearly communicate its origin and character. The second is ultimate enjoyment, which only the best wines can offer. And the third is excellence, which stems from terroir and high quality in all phases of production and is reflected in the wine’s complexity, full taste, and the length of its finish. The received awards give us the assurance that all three of these characteristics are represented in our wines.
Every year in April or May in the picturesque 19th century Sierakow Manor near the beautiful medieval city of Kraków in the south of Poland, the renowned International Rosé Championship takes place. This year, the evaluation took place between May 9 and 10. Klet Brda registered 3 wines: the classic sparkling wine rosé Bagueri superior, sparkling rosé Quercus and rosé Quercus.
With its antique pink color enriched by warm golden undertones, the classic sparkling wine rosé Bagueri superior represents timeless elegance. Its subtle aroma of red fruits and citrus fruits provides lasting freshness, making this sparkling wine an excellent aperitif. It goes wonderfully with sushi and salmon, but it can also be served with desserts with forest fruits.
Sparkling rosé Quercus is characterized by full structure and charming elegance. It has a delicate pink color with purple reflections and an aroma of wild strawberries, cherries and raspberries. An excellent refreshing aperitif that goes well with fish dishes and cold meats. Perfect for summer get-togethers.
Rosé Quercus is an elegant and seductively fragrant rosé with a distinctly fruity aromatic profile that ranges from raspberries and currants to cherries. With its freshness, it comes to the fore in cheese plates, oriental food and delicate risottos.
The three juries at the mentioned evaluation are made up of internationally recognized oenologists, sommeliers and journalists from as many as nine countries. Among the many submitted wines from all over the world, all three of our wines achieved excellent marks and won the silver medal, which is one more confirmation for us that we create high-quality wines for all tastes and occasions.
92 out of 100 points for Pinot Grigio Ramato Bagueri superior 2021 at 5StarWines wine selection at Vinitaly, Verona!
As part of the side-fair activities of the largest wine fair in Italy, Vinitaly in Verona, the Veronafiere fairground, in cooperation with the Assoenologi association, once again held an international three-day blind wine evaluation of 5StarWines at the end of March this year. Wines that received more than 90 out of 100 points were included in the 5StarWines – the Book guide.
This year, the evaluation took place for the seventh time, and the international commission evaluated as many as 2,200 wines, of which 733 were included in the guide.
We are pleased that our wine Pinot Grigio Ramato Bagueri superior 2021 received 92 points out of 100 and was thus included in the international wine guide.
Vinitaly Verona 2023
This year, Klet Brda will once again present itself to the general public at one of the largest wine fairs in Europe. Vinitaly will take place from April 2-5, 2023.
Come to Verona and visit us in hall 6, stand C5.
We will present you our excellent wines and this year’s award winners.
We will be happy to have you!
Between March 8th and 10th, 2023, the 30th International competition Chardonnay du Monde took place at the Château des Ravatys in Saint-Lager, Burgundy. The jury consists of 200 recognized international wine judges, among whom has been our chief oenologist Darinko Ribolica for many years.
Chardonnay found its second homeland in Brda. The Mediterranean climate, mineral soil called “opoka”, sunny locations and careful work in the vineyard allow Chardonnay to express itself in all its beauty. With a distinct aroma of elderberry, kiwi, gooseberry and passion fruit and a fresh taste, it goes perfectly with fish dishes, vegetable risottos and light cheeses.
We were very happy with the news that our wine, Chardonnay Quercus 2022, convinced the demanding committee and received the gold medal. The fact that Chardonnay Quercus 2022 was included in the Top 10 Best Chardonnay du Monde 2023 ensured that the joy was even greater!
Join us at the International Wine Fair in Düsseldorf from 19th to 21st March 2023.
You will find us in hall 12/ A38.
In addition, we invite you to the Pinot Gris Masterclass workshop with Caroline Gilby, which will take place on March 19, 2023 between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. in hall 13/ F76 (FORUM 13.1).
Don’t forget to visit us also at the Vinitaly fair in Verona.
We look forward to seeing you!
Klet Brda, Slovenia’s largest winery at the largest charity event of the Dallas Maverics basketball club
Held for the eighth year in a row, The Mavs Ball is a charity ball organised by the Dallas Mavericks basketball club to raise funds for the club’s foundation. With the gathered resources, the club, supported by non-profit organisations, helps women, young people, and families in need and establishes reading centres and playgrounds for youth in Texas.
Every year, around 800 guests attend the ball, including sponsors, players, and other supporters of the club. This year, the prestigious event took place on Friday, 3rd March, 2023, in Dallas. Klet Brda has used this event as an opportunity to meet with its business partners from the US, where it holds a subsidiary company Laureate Imports and to where it yearly exports nearly a million bottles of wine.
Bagueri superior wines
At the event, which was also attended by Slovenia’s basketball superstar Luka Dončić, player for the Dallas Mavericks, the Klet Brda’s Bagueri Superior wines played a special role. While enjoying the excellent cuisine, the attendees were able to discover four wines from the internationally awarded Bagueri Superior premium line, namely Pinot Grigio Ramatto, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon Bagueri Superior.
Boasting with an over 30-year-old tradition, Bagueri Superior is Klet Brda’s top wine brand. The line was named after Silverio de Baguer and includes rich wines matured in oak barrels.
Today, the Bagueri Superior line consists of structurally rich, but elegant wines, appreciated by recognized experts at international competitions as well as by wine lovers all around the world. The cosmopolitan Bagueri Superior wines receive numerous international awards every year and are served in the best restaurants around the world. It is no surprise that they were successful at the Mavs Ball in Dallas as well.