Rebula – wine of many faces. Modern for its directness, simplicity, and purity. Popular for carrying a cultural tradition established through centuries of taste history. Internationally appreciated because the best Rebula comes from Brda region.
Author: The Adriatic Journal in cooperation with Klet Brda
Photo: Marijan Močivnik
Several historical sources state that Rebula or Ribolla Gialla has been present in the Brda region for many centuries. It was brought here by the Romans, who called it Helvola. The first mention of Ribolla Gialla dates back to the Middle Ages, when the name was used in a purchase and sale agreement concluded in 1336 in the village of Višnjevik. Back then, the term referred to the method used to produce the best white wines.
The Brda region always straddled the country borders. Despite the changes that this land underwent with the pass of centuries, despite the clashes and alliances of different nations and the rises and falls of different rulers, Ribolla Gialla was always a constant and reliable companion of people from Brda. Since it thrives in hilly and marly areas, it remains the main variety of vineyards in Brda. It is grown in 22% of all Brda’s vineyards, which amounts to approximately 400 hectares. Klet Brda is the world’s largest producer of Ribolla Gialla, which represents 28% of the winery’s white wines. Every year, 1 to 1.5 million litres of Ribolla Gialla are produced at Klet Brda.
Wine of many faces
Ribolla Gialla is a mineral and distinctly varietal wine. It is characterised by its fresh and fruity aromatic profile, which includes citrus fruits, apple, linden flowers, and cedar. As the wine matures in the barrels, it develops more complex and fuller notes. Ribolla Gialla is the perfect base for sparkling wines, but is also excellent as a still wine according to several oenological interpretations.
Klet Brda vinifies Ribolla Gialla in various ways – as a sparkling wine, a fresh distinctly varietal Ribolla Gialla, but also as more mature and complex wine, and even as wine produced from dried grapes and with the use of ancient methods.
Ribolla Gialla can therefore become a refreshing sparkling wine – Peneča Rebula, a fresh and fruity still wine – Rebula Quercus, or a rich and complex barrel-matured wine – Rebula Bagueri. Furthermore, due to its sociable nature, this variety is perfect in various blends (Krasno White, A plus – White).
And then there is Motnik, a very particular Rebula, produced according to a medieval method, which involves smoking barrels with local herbs. Our winemaker Darinko Ribolica and cellarman Igor Skubin have perfected this procedure especially for Rebula.
Sommeliers agree that Ribolla Gialla pairs well with various dishes. It is great in combination with white meat, mild cheeses, and summer salads. Furthermore, it is a good aperitif with cold snacks and it goes well with asparagus, herbal omelets, and several fish and seafood dishes.
The best rebula comes from brda
The marly terrain, the sunny steep slopes, almost exclusive manual labour, although contributing to less produce, provides the best results for this variety. These conditions make for the world’s best Ribolla Gialla. Bearing witness to that are several international recognitions and awards presented to Ribolla Gialla wines of wine producers from Brda (on both sides of the border). In fact, Klet Brda annually receives several recognitions for its Ribolla Gialla wines. In 2008, our Rebula Bagueri 2013 received the highest platinum trophy at the international competition Decanter World Wine Awards, scoring 97 points out of 100.