A Corner of France in the Heart of Istrian Wine Country: Domaine Koquelicot

Total Croatia News

Domaine Koquelicot, for all its French name and French connections is 100% Istrian !

Olivier Ertzbischoff participated in harvests and cellar work in Burgundy, in his native France , as well as training in biodynamic winemaking, prior to moving to Gracisce and establishing his winery there. This was a dramatic career change from his previous twenty five years as a cardiologist in the international pharmaceutical industry. Jacqueline, who was born in Rijeka, was in the same industry as a drug researcher. Their adoption of a bucolic lifestyle in the slower world of Gracisce has brought new talents to the village.

They are producing Chardonnays and Malvazijas using a Burgundy type of vinification, which was in the nature of being an experiment, particularly for the Chardonnays, which they felt could be improved by it. Their use of French methods has introduced a range of wines that offer a change from the traditional Istrian wines.

Because of time constraints, They have been buying in Chardonnay grapes from Ivica Bencic at Motovun, where they are grown on white soil and from Marijo Banko at Kosinozici on red soil. The Malvasija grapes also come from Mario.  This gives them unusual flexibility. 

They rent space at Ranko Andelini’s cellar in Pazin where they have their own imported French Burgundian oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. 

The Chardonnay grapes from the red and white soils are carefully blended. 

The wine is then kept in oak barrels (en barrique) for 10 months to produce their Belaigra Chardonnay, which ages well.

Their second Chardonnay, Epicuria, additionally has a two day maceration, prior to being aged 10 months  in oak giving a special wine that again keeps well and benefits from further aging.

Their cuvee, Santa Chiara, is made from separately vinified 85% Malvazija and 15% Chardonnay, each aged in oak for 10 months before blending and then kept in stainless steel tanks for 2 months prior to bottling.

They do produce a straight Malvazija, Fugaz, again aged in oak for 10 months prior to bottling, which proved popular, with the first production selling out completely, although their real love has been with their experimental Chardonnays.

In 2014, they bottled 3000 bottles of Chardonnay for secondary fermentation and subsequent disgorging a la methode champagnoise and this is their Kontempo Blanc de Blancs pjenusac, which is now available. It, too, was en barrique for 10 months prior to initial bottling. If you prefer something drier, their Extra Brut Luna Blanc de Blancs is also available.

Innovation never stops at Domaine Koquelicot. Their latest endeavour is a red cuvee, Nomad. This is a 20% Teran, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot blend which is now out of barrique.. 

There is always something new happening in the Istrian Podrums !

Learn more about Domain Koquelicot on the official website.




Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment