General description of the vintage
According to the winegrowers and oenologists of Klet Brda, the 2017 harvest at the largest Slovenian wine producer promises a very interesting vintage in terms of quality, comparable to that of 2009. The harvesting of the first grapes began in late August. Four hundred families, members of the cooperative, harvested the vineyards for little more than a month in accordance with the technical and organoleptic ripeness of single varieties and the weather conditions.
“Such an early harvest is due to the growth beginning ahead of time this spring. Precipitations were not plentiful, although sufficient for the grapevines, and were regularly distributed throughout the year. The temperatures were somewhat higher than average in Brda, this is why we expect wines with a rich structure, similar to the 2006 and 2009 vintages, which are deemed to be among the best in this region,” explained Goran Jakin, head of the advisory service of Klet Brda,
adding that despite the spring frost and the hail in August, which reduced the yield by about one fifth, the conditions for growing grapes were good. The last phase of ripening benefited from the warm days and fresh nights in August, which will intensify the aromas, especially in white wine varieties. The rain in September has been a challenge for the harvesters, but it has not influenced the quality of the grapes so far.
This year, members of Klet Brda cultivated 1,000 hectares of vineyards and grew more than 6,200 tonnes of grapes, which is 20% more than in 2016. Last year, the prices per kilogram of grapes ranged from €0.38 to €1.20. This year, the average price of grapes for quality wines will be €0.65 per kilogram, while the grapes for premium wines will be purchased at an average price of €0.85 per kilogram. The prices will start at €0.40 and go up to €1.20. The dynamics of payments have also been improving thanks to the higher exports.
The harvest has always been an excellent opportunity to consolidate international business partnerships. Business partners from the US, China, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy helped with harvesting activities this year. “A comprehensive experience for our foreign guests – including everything from the vineyard and the cellar to cuisine and culture – has repeatedly proved itself as the most effective way to promote wine, the region of Brda and Slovenia as a whole,” emphasised Silvan Peršolja, director of Klet Brda.
Course of the harvest
Klet Brda began harvesting the early varieties used for sparkling wines on 23 August 2017 and continued uninterruptedly with white varieties through the first half of September. The harvesting of red varieties was scheduled for the second half of the month, when they reached their phenolic ripeness. The majority of harvesting activities ended by 22 September 2017. There are just some Cabernets and Ribolla Gialla left in the vineyards for specific purposes.
Klet Brda has been a cooperative since its foundation. Today it has a membership of 400 wine-growing families and employs 100 people. It is the driving force behind the development of wine-growing and wine-making in Brda. It is also a company that maintains and creates jobs in the countryside, giving young families in Brda a future. Due to the nature of the work in the vineyards, it further encourages and depends on intergenerational cooperation.
The vineyards cultivated by Klet Brda cooperative members are included in an integrated farming system. By applying sustainable farming principles, educating its members and supporting secondary activities, such as fruit and olive growing, Klet Brda contributes significantly towards preserving the cultural landscape and biodiversity in Brda.
With its 16% share of the regulated wine market, Klet Brda is the leading Slovenian wine cellar.
The company is about to deliver its strategic objective of generating 50% of income from selling wine on foreign markets. Klet Brda recognised the need to base its growth on exports back in the 1990s. In 2001, it acquired the Laureate Imports Company, a United States wine importer based in Atlanta. Today, the United States is Klet Brda’s largest export market with a million bottles sold each year, predominantly dry white wines. The most important export market for premium red wines is China, where sales are also on the rise. Other important markets for Klet Brda include Great Britain, Italy, Poland, the Benelux, Germany, Japan and the western Balkans.
Klet Brda is a key player on the Slovenian wine market and paves the way for Slovenia to become a well-known wine destination. It strives for integration within the wine sector as well as within the broader food sector. The cooperative has always been actively engaged in the society and everyday life of Brda, which represents an important aspect of its activities.
Published on 27. 9. 2017 categorised in: News, Press