The latest addition to the Vine Street family started with a phone call from a winemaker during the early part of the pandemic lockdown of 2020. Like most of our relationships throughout the portfolio, this one began with that Kevin Bacon-like six degrees of separation. In this case it was New Zealand born Nick Gee, who had worked at Two Hands in the early 2000s, but it was some more recent serious deep-diving on Instagram and the world wide web that enlightened him to our world.
Nick had gone to work a harvest in Slovenia, met a woman there and decided to call it home. He was seeking distribution for the wines being made at the estate from which he purchased fruit for his own brand. Enter Gabernik 23 from Štajerska (Styria), located in the eastern part of the country in the region that extends north into Austria.
Maribor is the largest city in Štajerska and is the cultural center of the region. The Doppler winery near the town of Gradiška boasts the oldest producing vines in the world at 400 years of age. Slovenia has a lengthy viticultural history that is evolving with the arrival of new ideas from afar and more natural winemaking techniques and farming.
We always strive to be open to new journeys. Often it results in hours of tasting wines that will never find their way into our book, but then moments like this occur and we find ourselves on an exploratory road to untraveled lands.