While it is very probable to find Leonardo Palčić’s wines in many wine bars and taverns of Trieste where they embarked already in 1999, long before Croatia entered EU, and where they now enjoy respectable popularity. On the other hand, in Croatia these hidden gems are almost unknown and appear only on wine lists of few wine bars in Zagreb and of restaurant Marina in Novigrad, famous for its creative seafood cuisine. Nevertheless, his wines already achieved cult status in Croatian vinosphere.
Leonardo with a smile remembers of the childhood days when his grandfather Giovanni was waking him up at 4 am. It was time to go to the old family vineyard in nearby village of Fiorini and help him with pruning and leaf stripping. In 1996 the winemaking goes serious when father Sergio leases 15 hectares of vineyards in Dajla, on the red soil that often gets sprinkled by sea waves. Premature loss of his father in 1999 completely reshuffles Leonardo’s ambitions and he, at an age of only 24, decides not to betray the family tradition.
Despite family tragedies that hit him hard in the last 15 years, the quantity and especially quality of Palčić wines is rising steadily year-by-year. Today he releases about 45,000 bottles per year. Every spring he replants vines in the leased vineyards where many plants are older than 65 years. He replaces only the very exhausted ones as old vines in general give grapes of excellent quality. Leonardo considers Malvazija as red variety dressed in white and thus this grape likes aging. He frankly says he doesn’t like winemaking approach used in continental Croatia, used in over 80% of all Malvazijas in Istria, that yields fresh and fruity summer quaffable wines. Nor he likes the extreme orange wine approach with long skin macerations. Leonardo’s ideal is a Mediterranean style Malvazija that has stronger body, lower acidity while the balance is achieved through ample minerality.
As homage to Giovanni, an indigenous Istrian man, his name was given to a frizzante wine made of indigenous Istrian grapes Malvazija and Teran. In the near future Leonardo plans to move the cellar to grandfather’s house in Fiorini, right at the place where the winemaking story of Palčić family has begun.
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Phone: +385 98 421 901
- Region: istra-i-kvarner
- Ambience: Bohemian, Wine geek, Beach
- Services: Multilingual
- Basic tasting price: Free/free with purchase
- Drop in tastings: No
- Onsite shop: Yes
- Hectares: 14
- Bottles: 50000