Gandalf of the Motovun Forest – Tomaz Winery in Motovun

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Motovun is a fairy tale town that always takes me back to my childhood; I don’t know if I have ever thought of Motovun, without thinking of Veli Jože – unbreakable bonds. The Motovun forest itself, providing us with the best and most valued truffles in the world… Is this not a fairy tale of sorts?

Walking through Motovun in the evening, while unreal shadows appear… In those moments you cannot avoid feeling magical. And if you’re lucky to come across the Motovun a capella group practicing in the local church, then either you’re a lucky man or you keep the company of wizards, and we combined the two this time.

The story can begin just like any other…

Fine, maybe a little different.

Not so long ago, next to the walls of Motovun, there was a butchery and a young butcher inside. At the time, he did not know fate would take him in another direction. Our young butcher was called Klaudio. He toiled and did his job well, but was not quite happy.

One morning, at the crack of dawn coming over Motovun, a ray of sun awoke Klaudio and he realised: “Vines! Yes, this is my life!”

Later… Well, later is a dream Klaudio Tomaz and his family are still dreaming.

Why Gandalf?

Well, because his wines are truly magical!

Naturally, Malvasia has a special place in his cellar. The “ordinary” or as we like to say “basic”, named Avangarde, is anything but ordinary. It is an exceptionally harmonious and balanced wine. Fine, green aroma takes your thoughts to green pastures and into vineyards, while the soft and delicate taste has numerous associations; this does not surprise me, as Klaudio always vinifies several tanks, each a little different. The time before last I visited, the night magic of wine tasting began from the tanks, in an attempt to a final coupage. We finished around 4 in the morning. Personally, I was not any smarter; I know we searched for a tank with more salts in a Malvasia and naturally we concluded something in the end – me, however, I don’t know what, but what Klaudio poured into a bottle and we drank in a few months, was more than excellent (I think he enchanted me in the end so I wouldn’t discover his secret).

His macerated Malvasia, Sesto Senso – this wine belongs in the top of Croatian winemaking; maybe one of the most harmonious wines I know. This wine, as you drink it, takes you to another dimension… Simply, marvellous! If you are a fan of serious wines, then this one you will keep coming back to. I won’t discuss the tastes and experience of the wine, it is all very subjective; I will say just this: if you truly care for a lady, then Sesto Senso will be the best choice, as the wine is pure magic.

If this doesn’t succeed, then you have an ace up your sleeve, called Dolce Anima and belongs among the best Muscats I have tasted, and I truly have tasted many.

Merlot Silente… This wine I am bonded to, as I was its godfather (I named it), and why Silente – because it is so good it will leave you speechless. This was the basic idea, and you can check if it’s true.

In any folk story or almost any there is a pirate, so we have our Barbarossa; a truly pirate name for a Terrano. In fact this is what they called Klaudio’s ancestor; naturally due to his red beard. This Terrano is a special story… I am not a huge fan of Terrano, but this one was fine, smooth; full, mighty but not robust… Yes, an excellent wine. In Barbarossa you will find all a Terrano needs to have and it will all be more pronounced; it has a special savour. I only regret Klaudio did not send it to Decanter; I believe it would have gained a 69 (sorry, flip the numbers, I saw some weird films yesterday so I think my computer is still in shock) points. Why is his Terrano like this? There is a certain magic, a special scissors cut… No! I will not tell you what magic this is. This can only be told by Klaudio Tomaz, but I must warn you it usually happens in his cellar, when the night is anything but young.

Usually, outside the cellar, Klaudio is just an ordinary man who loves his family, not surprising, as the wife Danijela is such a good being that she always makes you feel better and cheerful. The two daughters are warm and lovely, wonderful young persons, who are already contributing to the joint magic. And the son… He is somehow ordained to take ove rhte family business some day and it seems he is aware of his direction. The Tomaz family is harmonious and ruled by love, or better said, love magic.

In business, the goal is to reach around 20 hectares or around 100-120 thousand bottles and this would be a rounded business, and how it will go, we will see; so far, so good. A new winery is also planned, but on that when the time comes. I am on top of the situation and believe me, you will know.

And… A small secret… At dinner, in the excellent Mondo konoba, where I have to point out the red chicory and Terrano risotto, I discovered a secret – Klaudio is probably the only Istrian I know that doesn’t eat truffles. He has dogs, goes truffle hunting, but doesn’t eat them.

If you thought they are a family only looking forward… Not! The first to fill your glass when you arrive at the Tomaz’s, is a glass of sparkling wine form Terrano. Excellent, exceptionally fresh sparkling wine named Pier. In memory of Klaudio’s grandfather.

Yes, I will tell, however, the magical formula of this wonderful and hardworking family.

Look to the future, respect the past and give the best you can with a heap of love. And that’s it! Simple, isn’t it?

For the original and more from the G.E.T. team, click here.


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