• Free delivery in Amsterdam
  • Free shipping NL €99 (EU €299)
  • Direct import

4.8Out of 132 Reviews

€0,00

Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

The story behind Clai wines

How I met Giorgio Clai and how I fell in love with his wines. Natural complex yet elegant wines certainly worth all the praise.

The story behind Clai wines
Blog

Past spring I had a chance to meet Giorgio Clai and his team. What I’ve expected to be a quick meet up, ended up as 2,5 hour long conversation filled with interesting anecdotes, good wines, homemade prosciutto, cheese, olive oil & lots of laughter. Very soon it was clear to me, this is the winemaker I’d should work with.

 


In 90’s Giorgio Clai started growing and making his own wines in a small village Krasica, south of the town of Buje in northern part of Istrian peninsula, close to Slovenian and Italian border. His vineyards are located at about 200m above sea level, where the vines enjoy plenty of sunshine but also cool and salty sea breezes coming from the Adriatic some 10 km to the west. The soil there is limestone flysch, known for its low fertility and good drainage. Since the beginning, Giorgio was making wines naturally with some principles of biodynamics. Very brave at that time, against all odds and judgments of the massa.

 

People were saying I am crazy. That my wines are terrible and nobody wanted to drink them. In the ’90s I was curious to mix the grapes of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay - everything was done exclusively by hand and by my family. Harvesting, de-stemming, even the wine crushing was done by my wife and daughter with their feet. What a batch that turned out to be!!!! - Giorgio Clai"

 

His grapes are hand picked, de-stemmed and gravity fed into the open large wooden casks for fermentation on skins and only with natural yeast. Clai doesn’t use any herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides in the vineyard. Doesn’t add any enzymes, sugar or other additives to the wine and certainly doesn’t filter wines. After fermentation, the wines are aged in big wooden barrels for years before released to the market.

 

Are you insane?!- my impatient brother would yell at me at some point being annoyed that every part of the process in making of our wines was done by hand. It took a long time, but that was how I believed I should be making them. No one is producing wine by hand like that since Ottocento - he would repeatedly say using the popular term in Italian language for 1800s, referring to manual labour. And there it was - the perfect name for our wine! Ever since, Ottocento is the name of our most famous label for white and red blends– explains Giorgio through laughter.

 

His wines are natural, powerful yet elegant with all necessary complex aromas that make for the excellent wine. The wine industry has changed since a decade ago and so have the opinions of many. Today, Giorgio Clai’s wines are one of the most respected and praised wines on the Croatian, but also international markets. In Decanter’s 2018’s December edition, Margaret Rand, added his Sv. Jakov Malvazija 2015 onto a shortlist of 10 wines you should try in 2019, as well as she listed it in her book “101 wines you should try before you die”. In October 2019, his three labels available on the Dutch market reached the finals at the Proefschrift Wijnconcours and the biggest Dutch wine magazine Perswijn selected the red cuveé Ottocento Crni 2015 as one of the 100 best wines of 2019. Knowing all this, wouldn’t you also want to drink these wines yourself?!

Recent articles

The latest news from our blog

  • The story behind Clai wines
    22 / Oct / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    The story behind Clai wines

  • Get to know Plešivica & it's winemakers
    23 / Sep / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Get to know Plešivica & it's winemakers

  • Winners NYIOOC 2019
    20 / May / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Winners NYIOOC 2019

  • What's all the fuss about good olive oil?
    20 / May / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    What's all the fuss about good olive oil?

  • Recipe: Salty cookies with rosemary &  olives
    08 / May / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Recipe: Salty cookies with rosemary & olives

  • Recipe: Chocolate ice cream with olive oil
    07 / May / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Recipe: Chocolate ice cream with olive oil

  • Extra virgin olive oil may extend your life
    01 / May / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Extra virgin olive oil may extend your life

  • Big spring wine tasting @ Inat kantine
    18 / Apr / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Big spring wine tasting @ Inat kantine

  • Vincekovo  2019
    23 / Jan / 2019

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    Vincekovo 2019

  • How to host a wine tasting
    17 / Aug / 2018

    Tea - 22 / Oct / 2019

    How to host a wine tasting

Login

Forgot your password?

  • All your orders and returns in one place
  • The ordering process is even faster
  • Your shopping cart stored, always and everywhere
Please accept cookies to help us improve this website Is this OK? YesNoMore on cookies »