In 1988, Marjan Simčič took over from his father Salko growing wine grapes on the family’s property in Ceglo, in Brda, the Slovenian Collio. He would be the 5th generation of vigneron. A fierce idealist, Marjan eventually built a new, modern cellar but embraces the ancient, traditional methodology as a guiding light and inspiration to make wine as naturally as possible.
The winery was originally founded in 1860 by Jožef Simčič and now, having survived partial nationalization by the fascist government after WWII, the vineyards cover about 18 hectares of vines, many 60 years and older. The Simčič property, like the Collio itself, understands no national boundaries and include lands both on the Slovenian and Italian sides of the border.
Marjan is devoted to his land. And he is devoted to the idea that his wines should be a reflection of this amazing terroir. The Slovenian word for the particular, stony, calcareous marl, that is unique to this zone is opoka, and he has given the top range of his wines that name. It is this terroir (ponca in Italian) that gives the wines their unique minerality, their acid backbone, their verve. The rolling hills are pastoral and idyllic, offering a multitude of exposures for the ripening fruit. The nearby Adriatic brings a warming southern sea-breeze, frequently countered by winds blowing from the Alps to the north.
Farming methods are totally organic, and the vineyards are densely planted, encouraging competition for minerals and water. Marjan’s work in the cellar draws heavily on the traditions of the past, which he respects passionately. For example, all the white wines see at least some skin contact, and why not, when so much of the goodness of the grapes is contained in the skins? On the other hand, Marjan’s primary goal is to produce great wine, and will readily adopt technology that improves his wines without detracting from their naturalness. Marjan’s philosophy can be summarized as holistic, and open.