Vineyards in the spring in Medana, a village in Slovenia's Goriska brda wine-growing region
Vineyards in the spring in Medana, a village in Slovenia's Goriska brda wine-growing region

Slovenia Wine Notes – RIP Stanko Radikon

There are lots of wine events coming up in Ljubljana and other parts of the Slovenia over the next two months (I’ll share a list of major events soon), and I’ve been preparing. This brief post is about sharing some of that preparation with those of you who might find the topic of Slovenian wines of interest and will either be passing through at some point, or are already here. Or nearby.

I spent the past hour compiling a list of Facebook pages that relate to Slovenian wines, wineries, regions, shops and events, which I’ve cleverly entitled Slovenia Wines, Wineries, Regions, Shops and Events. Since those thick dark lines that divide countries on maps are more or less meaningless in wine country, I’ll also be adding an occasional link to wine-related pages in northeast Italy and some from Slovenia’s southern neighbors. Feel free to subscribe or share the link with others.

From one of those pages I read of the passing of Stanko Radikon in this piece by Eric Asimov in The New York Times, a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to both a master winemaker and to the corner of the planet he called home.

Mr. Radikon, known as Stanko, worked primarily with his son, Sasa, growing grapes and making wine around the town of Oslavia, almost as far north and east as you can go in Italy, where the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region touches Slovenia. The political border is almost meaningless.

In the low rolling hills of the Collio, as the region just north of the city of Gorizia is known, stewardship of the land has changed dozens of times over the centuries as one conquerer or another took control. Whether the local people were ruled by the Hapsburgs or by Napoleon or whomever, they took their identity from the soil.

and

Stanko Radikon told me of a great lesson he had learned: “I know not to know anything.” His goal, he told me, was not solely commercial success. That, he said, he had achieved with the sort of wines he no longer made. Instead, he sought “a maximum expression of nature.”

To me, his wines were more than that. They were maximum expressions of culture, too. They were not made to be admired, or to be dissected intellectually. They were emotional wines, made to delight and to be shared among family and friends.

And they expressed the independence and joy of the people of this region, the profoundly human element that is sometimes forgotten in discussions of terroir.

“It’s not enough to be biodynamic or organic,” Mr. Radikon said back in 2005. “Wine has to be a pleasure to drink.”

Read the rest.

I met Stanko only once and very briefly at a trade event in the mid 1990s, but still recall his understated but infectious enthusiasm and passion. He will be missed.

~~

Today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 1,007th (!) straight, was snapped on 17 April 2010 in the village of Medana, in Slovenia’s Goriska brda wine-growing district, a few hundred meters from the border with northeast Italy’s Collio.

 

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