Rebels of Wine : Mateja Gravner
In our blog series; ‘Rebels of Wine’, We get personal with some of our wine makers who showcase their talents through minimal intervention methods of wine making and their passion for terroir (amongst other things that excite them). It is with their commitment to creating honest and true wines that we are able to build the foundations of our offerings. Let's get crackin!
This month we were honored to sit down with one of our personal favorites, Mateja Gravner from Gravner winery. The winery produces some of the worlds most sought after orange wines that are made with no intervention. They truly are role models in terms of terroir dirven approach. If you haven't tried their wines, click here to check out the range, truly magical!
Tell us about your journey :
I am the 1st of four kids. I have studied viticulture and enology but my first steps in the wine buz have been in the communication and promotion field - a passion that I have supported with an MBA in wine business. I have worked for many years far from my family's winery, where I come back in 2004 to assist my father Josko for marketing, sales and hospitality.
Where do you see the wine industry in the future?
There will be a greater and greater gap between big brands and small family-run estates which are in charge of all production process, from grapes to sales. I believe there is enough space for both, since there are consumers who are more focused on price (with logics based either on competitive prices or on investments) and consumers who want to understand wine philosophy and production techniques, with a lot of attention given to sustainability (environmental, ethical and market sustainability). We need to be honest with the consumer - nowadays info can be easily found and lies can destroy reputation very easily. We must communicate who we are, and be what we communicate.
What is the most memorable dish you have had and where ?
It’s hard to choose only one - maybe at Helena Rizzo’s Sao Paulo temporary restaurant in 2016. It was an amazing experience deeply connected with the different Brazilian ‘terroirs’. In Bangkok I like the Haoma precision but even Supanniga by Khunyai.
Helena Rizzo ( Credit : Worlds 50 Best )
What steps would you like to see being implemented within the natural wine movement, on the winemaking and retail aspect?
First of all, many natural wine producers are really very small and don't have the chance to expand because of high costs of land, huge investments, high amount of attention and care needed to grant quality which makes it impossible to increase production over certain amounts. Given that many natural wine producers make good wine (over the years, the average quality of these wines has increased noticeably), sales are the weak point, since it frequently strangles the production making it impossible to work. Even when the market works, Countries apply rules and laws that if on one side are necessary to guarantee safety for the consumer, on the other are a huge bureaucratic burden without any positive implication on real quality. The main difficulty to manage for small wineries will be the complexity of sales and distribution.
Name your favorite band/musician and why.
Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd who have moved the ball forward, making it impossible to ignore them for both those who love / loved them and those who don't / didn't understand them.
Which 3 wines would you reccomend our clients to try!
Arianna Occhipinti: a brave woman in a very difficult region such as Sicily.