Aleš Kristančič – The artist of Goriška Brda

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The man behind Movia

The man behind Movia, Aleš Kristančič, has been described as ‘the wine genius of Slovenia, ‘star of the Slovenian wine scene’, ‘a visionary’, ‘a genuine and complete showman’, ‘intensely focused, passionate and unpredictable at once’ and ‘oddly loveable’ – and that was only in a single article from Food & Wine magazine. After interviewing him for this book, we wholeheartedly agree with all of these descriptions, and would add that he is a true original, who has dedicated his life to producing wine on his own terms.

What makes wine from Brda unique?
I believe it’s all the components of the terroir, and especially the soil. We have a very long history of wine cultivation, and our roots are thoroughly connected to agriculture. But today it’s very difficult to speak generally about winemaking, because we are also different. Nowadays individual winemakers can make many different decisions about how they cultivate their vineyards.

How did Movia become such a renowned brand?
Movia was always private, that’s very important. Historically speaking, when you became part of a cooperative, which was normal here, your end product was a kilo of grapes, not a bottle of wine. That’s a very big difference. Our vineyards also have old vines, and the soil has always been treated in the same way – no herbicides or pesticides were ever used. When you plant a new vineyard, it’s mostly not for you, it’s for the next generation. Because if you’re a really serious wine producer, we know that the plant needs a long time to really give you its best.

You’ve said that the best school you went to was the school of your father. What were the most important lessons you learned?
Ah, haha! The most important lessons? The most important lesson is that if your job is making wine, then you can’t be sensitive to other people’s opinions. Of course you’re happier if you hear that they like the wine, but you just do your job. You can’t do any more than that. And you really have to dedicate your life to it. You have to give it more than you give your family. And maybe that’s not right, but that was the rule of my father.

How much of your personality goes into Movia wines?
You know I heard some stories about that. Some people say too much. Haha! But I never think about that. I’m doing the wine in my own way. I’m trying to do everything that’s possible.

Is it true that Hemingway was particularly fond of Movia wine?
You know, this is kind of bullshit. Hemingway was driving an ambulance here, and he had the idea for his book A Farewell to Arms. During that time you didn’t have a lot of wine. But Movia was always making wine, even during the war. So there is a big probability that Hemingway was drinking our wine.

More about Aleš Kristančič – The artist of Goriška Brda in THE Slovenia WINE