Devín is the child of communist times – somebody in Slovakia once had the idea that we need our own type of Traminer, one that can survive our crazy winters. Thus, this grape was born: son of Traminer, daughter of Rotweisser Veltliner, aromatic yet resilient. Tbh, I never liked the wines it produced, but fate brought me a vineyard with some of it. I thought I’d pull it out as soon as possible, yet time went by and the vines still stood there, intact and proud. So, I dropped the attitude and took up the challenge. Using lower yields, a slightly oxidative elevage and multi-vintage blending, I turned my once-Nemesis into a new friend
The Čajkov winery (‘Pivnica Čajkov’) is a family-owned winery with rich history dating back to XVII century. The winery combines unique terroir on volcanic soils and re-discovery of traditional winemaking techniques with emphasis on as little intervention in the cellar as possible. The only experimentation is with the length of skin or lees contact, time of harvest and possible blending.
The winery’s main variety Pesecká leánka (Fetească regală) has a distinctive, slightly floral aroma with subtle notes of muscat. It is abundant with juicy ripe grapefruit flavors, sometimes with a delicate hint of dried apricots, and always accompanied with great acidity. As with all Čajkov winery wines, Pesecká was fermented spontaneously on its own yeast and matured on fine lees in inert vessels. There are many styles of Pesecká, from light, refreshingly flowery and dry, to rich, full and sweet, including of course special pet nat, and skin contact leánka. The grape enjoys its unique soil composition and is gaining a lot of attention and popularity in recent years.
The wines made from Pesecká are wild yeast fermented and there is no added yeast. Yet, the essential feature remains the same – it is the coexistence with the tuff soil in Čajkov. Pesecká leánka easily penetrates the deeper parts of the underlying rock, draws on its distinctive minerals and blends them into wine. It greatly benefits from the ability of tuff to accumulate heat and use it to ripen.
The winemaker Marek Uhnák developed a special bond with Pesecká leánka. He experimented with combinations of production procedures from strictly reductive to oxidative, coupled with a number of preparations, blending grapes from various vineyards, wine cuvées, and complicated cultivation of botrytis-affected grapes. Marek totally attuned to Pesecká leánka and her terroir. The basis of his winemaking is organic farming, resulting in unfiltered and completely natural wines.
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