Istrian Kabola Winery Sees Inheritance Turn into 130 Years of Tradition

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes,reliability, tradition and consumer confidence are the key to the success of any wine heritage story, and those points are all more than well known and applied by the popular Istrian Kabola winery, which is set to celebrate its 130th anniversary at the end of this month.

As many as three generations of the Markezic family have been making wine there, and they have been writing their own very long wine story since way back in 1891, when ”nono Ivan” filled up the very first bottles of Muscat of Momjan, a variety that still intrigues those familiar with the wine world today.

Respecting tradition and nature, the current owner of the Istrian Kabola winery, Marino Markezic, with his innovative approach to winemaking, has positioned the family winery at the very top of the Croatian wine scene, which is no easy task. He was the one to open the Istrian Kabola winery officially in Kanedol near Momjan back on May the 29th, 2005, and this date is symbolically celebrated as a birthday.

The very first Istrian winery in terms of eco production

The Istrian Kabola winery is the very first Istrian winery that maintains its vineyards according to the stringent principles of eco production. With twenty hectares of vineyards to think about and take proper care of, Kabola produces about 100,000 bottles of wine a year, as well as another much loved Croatian product – olive oil, which also carries a bio-certificate. Although Croatia is their most important market, their exports to various countries have been growing more and more over recent years.

They mainly export to EU and non-EU European countries – Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and some of their wine travels over the Atlantic and finds its place on dinner tables in the United States. These are typically the Kabola-made wines that are chosen by more demanding consumers, both in retail and restaurants, hotels, and 25 percent of the quantities produced are exported.

Prolonged macerations such as those aged in amphorae or wooden barrels are especially sought after. The Istrian Kabola winery isn’t only a synonym for top quality wines, as guests from all over the world, as well as various celebrities, come to this Istrian estate in person.

It was on this very estate that a 2Cellos video and scenes for The Hitman’s Wife Bodyguard, among other things, were filmed.

“We’re really looking forward to the summer tourist season and we hope that it will be better than last year when, due to very well known circumstances, we had a drop in visits when compared to 2019. Although results like those from two years ago aren’t expected yet, our regular guests who spend their summers in Istria never miss out on a visit to our estate for wine tasting and they’ve already announced their arrival. Since the opening of the Istrian Kabola winery this spring, we’ve been mostly visited by local guests, but with the easing the anti-epidemic measures, we expect guests from our traditional foreign markets,” said Marino Markezic, Kabola’s owner.

”We’re constantly investing”

It’s worth noting that the Istrian Kabola winery is mostly visited by guests from Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, and a large number of guests come from the Asian market.

“Despite the great challenges for winemakers, the last wine year was great and provided wines of excellent quality. However, the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic were too great, we had to adapt quickly to the new situation and immediately switched to online sales and increased our social media presence and marketing to ensure our customers could easily reach our wines in spite of the lockdowns.

We’re constantly investing in equipping the winery and cellar in order to achieve the best possible quality of wine and olive oil in our production process,” concluded Markezic.

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