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Kozlović Winery
by
Terry Sullivan

Kozlovic WinerySummary: Traveling a winding road through rolling hills the town of Momjan appears on the higher hill to our right while vineyards cascade up a hill to our left. Kozlović Winery is located past the vineyards. A modern building has bridged the gap between old and new. Although modern, the winery building blends in with the surrounding environment.

The drive up to the winery parking area passes through vineyards and olive trees. It is an easy walk from the parking area to the main entrance of the winery. The modern architecture of the building blends in with the environment. Look for the wood bottles protruding from the corner wall of the building near the entrance doors. Design is an important part of Kozlović Winery. Take a moment to sign the large guest book after entering the tasting room area.

Black walls contrast with the light tones of wood in the tasting room. Lighting showcases Kozlović wines in the display area. The tasting counter can accommodate a few tasters at a time providing a more intimate tasting experience.

Kozlovic Winery

Vineyards

From the winery building you can observe the flow of the vineyards down to the road. There are two locations of vineyards. One at the winery site and the other about six kilometers away. Together the vineyards consist of about 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) of vines. Five hectares of vines are on the winery site. The majority of planting is Malvazija Istarska; there are also Muškat Momjanski and Teran grape vines representing the indigenous varieties. International varieties planted include Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The Muškat Momjanski is a white Muscat unique to the Momjan area.

Kozlović WineryWinery

Gianfranco Kozlović walked us through the winery. We began, outside near the top of the winery. The winery is built into the hillside. To give it a more natural appearance, Kozlović has a living roof. Small shrubs, grass and ornamentals are planted on a layer of soil covering the roof. The appearance blends the roof into the surroundings. According to Gianfranco, the living roof is “a lot of work,” also notinng that they “have to irrigate every summer.”

Kozlović uses a gravity flow system. Grapes arrive from the vineyards on the upper level. They are then sent to the middle and lower levels. As we traversed the winery, my immediate observation was the cleanliness of the winery. As winemakers we know the challenges to keep a winery spotless. Kozlović has mastered the challenges.

Design is always kept in mind. Art adorns a wall in the stairwell. One piece shows a silhouette of Gianfranco's
grandfather spraying the vines. Another work shows the more recent vintage dates of the winery’s wines. Large photographs hang on a wall in the barrel room, a constant reminder of the importance of the vineyard in the production of wine. The barrel room has an assortment of barriques and large oak tanks.

Kozlovic Winery     Kozlovic Winery

The winery has grown over the last century. The oldest section was the original winery and tasting room. Now a modern design displays Kozlović’s wines. Modern aspects mix with the old as the stone walls, furniture and artifacts whisper of a world past. New sections of the winery have been added as Kozlović’s production increases.

Kozlovic WineryWines

Kozlovic WineryEighty percent of the Kozlović wines are sold in Croatia. In the tasting room, wine stemware is adorned with a silhouette image of his father and Gianfranco. Valle 2012 is a light and refreshing blend of Malvazija Istarska, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muškat Momjanski. The pale yellow wine had citrus, lemon grass and tropical fruits on the aroma and taste. The crispy citrusy finish yielded to tropical fruits. The 2012 Malvazija Istarska was a dark yellow color. The juice had 12 to 24 hours of skin contact prior to pressing. The wine had a floral aroma. There were floral notes on the taste and tropical fruits. The wine offered a crisp fruity finish. The 2009 Santa Lucia was a Malvazija Istarska from a single vineyard, Santa Lucia. The ultra-premium wine is meant for aging. The dark yellow wine offered floral and layers of fruit on the aroma and taste. It was very smooth and reminiscent of a tropical fruit salad. The finish was crisp and had a minerality that yielded to tropical fruits.

Kozlović Winery is a must visit winery when touring the Istria region of Croatia.

Kozlović Winery
Vale 78,
52462, Momjan, Croatia

GPS: N45º 26.595’ E13º 42.557’

Article written March 2013


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