Matija Zerjav’s winery is based in Štajerska, a region well known for its white wines in the extreme northeast of Slovenia near the borders of Austria and Hungary. Known to friends and family as Matic (Ma-teets), he is a passionate winemaker and visionary who learned much of his foundation in winemaking from his grandfather. Growing up, he learned to appreciate what the land provides, never taking too much from it and always tending to it in a way that would allow it to thrive. So Matic cultivates his 8 hectares of land exclusively using organic and biodynamic methods, he prefers these methods not because of the fashion of natural and organic viticulture, but rather because he firmly believes in working with nature and what it has to offer. The soils are rich in marl, causing the vine’s roots to dig deeply searching for water and nutrients. As a result, there are many mineral aspects to the wines, making them steely and salty with great acidity and fruit concentration. Being dry farmed, there is no use of irrigation systems, Matic doesn’t add any fertilizers either, so what you ultimately get are vines that fight in the best possible way to survive in harmony with nature. He wants to grow healthy grapes that create wines full of personality, soul, and vibrancy. And even more so, he wants his future children to be able to play on this land and one day, should they choose, he would be honoured if they followed in his footsteps and worked the same land, hills and valleys that he worked.
Over the years, Matic has built upon his education and understanding of farming and wine, allowing him to craft artisanal wines that are reflective of his land and terroir through wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation, low-to-no sulfur additions (<30mg/l), as well as unconventional ageing and maceration in vessels such as clay amphora and concrete eggs. From dry farming to biodynamics, solar power energy to goals of becoming carbon neutral, and lastly, from ancient winemaking techniques to fresh, thought-provoking wines in your glass, Matic is one to watch! He takes sustainability to a whole other level and I couldn’t be more excited to work with him and see where our partnership takes us. We hope you enjoy his and help us in sharing more of Slovenia with British Columbia.