-Are you nuts? -No, but as a sherry lover, I might go bananas.
What The Flor or What the Fuck, as I affectionately call it.
Gruner Veltliner from one of our oldest (40+ years) vineyards called Otáhal. Plus a bit of Riesling. Half is skin-macerated, half is direct-press. Blended and nested in a local acacia barrel.
The first time we made it, in 2015, was at a time when our winery was actually a patchwork of 8 different places; every bit of space we could find and fill with wine was used. This guy was living in my folks' garage (all good things come from the garage, right, Sergei & Larry?). Obviously, the place got fucking hot in the summer. So the wine started to evaporate and get the yeasty veil called flor on the exposed surface. What could be more bizarre than a Veltliner under flor? But we stopped to top it up - it was what the wine wanted and we let it have its way.
Nowadays, even though we’re not making wine in a garage anymore, we're still after this slight nutty funk. So, when new wine is ready to go into the barrel, we take out the previous vintage, keeping just a bit there. We fill it with the fresh vintage, letting the old and new mingle. We have more barrels in the making but only taste from one of them so as not to disturb the diligently working veil in the others. Tasting the barrels after a year always feels super adventurous: is it a great wine, or has it gone astray?? Just like in the old days, there’s still a bit of adventure and surprise there.
Veltliner is second only to Neuburg when it comes to mirroring our local loess terroir. It's so wonderfully heady that it shines through even conventionally made wines: even with commercial yeast and other bollocks added, I can still tell it comes from Bilovice, our village. It's pretty incredible. That's the character I'm talking about, present in this wine as well.
This is probably also due to the fact that most of our oldest vines were planted during the communist era, using old Moravian clones adapted to our conditions and yielding great results. Nowadays, you mostly see clones from abroad, and they just don't taste right to me, so I’m quite happy to have such wonderful old-school material at hand.
The story behind the White Label I'm 200% positive that the most important thing is the person who makes the wine. It’s not about a varietal, or a famous village in a famous region - because even those wines can get the bad karma of being massacred in the cellar. It's all about the name on the bottle. A name you can trust, because you know how the winemaker works and that it's a style you enjoy. Hence the Nestarec white label, with my signature on it. (A tad prettier than IRL because my usual scribble is unreadable.) Together with Tereza, my graphic designer, we started taking out elements that weren’t essential - until only “Nestarec” and the name of the wine remained. A purist approach to both what's in the bottle and on it. Because, as they say, perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
I don't wanna look like a natural born sage - it took me some time to get there. My journey, like many others, has been paved with gold engravings and curlicues, like on a fancy tombstone. “Nestarec, a wine for funerals”, as a friend of mine dubbed it back then. Oops. But I remember that period fondly - it's a part of my evolution. No regrets, like in that famous Edith Piaf song.
All the wines are made without any added sulfur (with the exception of Běl). Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast, mostly a year or two in bigger old barrels from local oak or acacia wood. No fining or filtration. The normal way, simply put.
Wanna drink this? These are the guys to ask where to get my wine in your country.
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