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A family winery based in Istria. Their wine-growing approach respects nature to its fullest, and it’s all about quality, not quantity.
Clai winery is a family business encompassing 8 ha of vineyards and 3 ha of olive trees. Fully biodynamic and organic, in the vineyard they only use minimal and occasional natural, organic manures, and no chemical treatments. After coming to the cellar, the grapes are vinified in a natural way, with spontaneous fermentation on the skins and without the addition of enzymes, added yeasts or malolactic bacteria. The wines are mellowed in wooden barrels of various sizes, with a long stay on the lees. After nearly a year the wines are bottled without micro- or sterile filtering.
Clai’s principal goal is to enhance their terroir. Their 6 labels of wines are all made of native grapes - Malvasia, Refosco and Muscat - or their blend with international varietals. Clai believes there’s no "good" or “bad" year if you work in a natural way - the vintages are just different. They depend on seasonal climatic factors that determine the absolute value of the wine: its quality. Clai biodynamic, orange and red wines enjoy international reputation. Their Sv Jakov Malvazija has been listed in the book 101 wines to try before you die, by author Margaret Rand who also put it to Decanter's short list of 10 wines to try in 2019!
If you'd like to read more about Giorgio Clai and his winery, check out this blog I wrote after meeting him & his right hand Dimitri Brečević in person: The Story Behind Clai Wines.