Milan Nestarec

 

Milan Nestarec has quickly become the star winemaker of the Czech republic during the time we’ve been working with him. His wines display so much life, vitality, and originality, that they have become very sought after all over the world in a very short time. We are honored to have been working with his wines since 2014. The wines we are selling now represent the full evolution of his original vision: a full range of wines, from quaffable yet energetic and inexpensive wines like the Forks & Knives and liter bottlings of Nach and Bel to the amazingly expressive skin-fermented wines, made entirely without additions of sulfur. 

Milan’s father planted  8 hectares of vines in 2001 across two wine-growing municipalities: Moravský Žižkov and Velké Bílovice. No herbicides are used and the vines are worked organically and biodynamically. He believes that gentle methods of growing grapevines and grape processing give the best result. All wines in the cellar are fermented spontaneously and they are usually vinified in oak and acacia barrels.

http://nestarec.cz/


Nach — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “This wine embodies my unassuming Moravian roots: the light-bodied, fun juicy reds with good acidity that are truly at home here. I grew up with them, so it was sad to see that the (vain) pursuit of hefty Cabs, fake tannins and new oak became fashionable in Moravia as well. Nach is my tribute to the real Moravian reds, wines with lot of fruit and little alcohol so that you can drink heaps of them every day. 

Hence also the 1-liter bottle: I remember hearing the word “másnica” used for a bottle of wine when I was a kid. Only as an adult did I learn that it derives from the German Mass, an old volumetric unit roughly equalling 1 liter, which used to be a standard size of bottle for a guy working in the field (mixing it with water to get more quantity). I do love the term “minimagnum” too, though, courtesy of my Montréal friends.” The name Nach means purple in old formal Czech, another tribute to things past. Linocut label by Milan’s wife Mirka.

Grapes: Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, St.Laurent

Soil: Loess, clay, sand – blend of different vineyards in Bílovice and Moravský Žižkov, aged from 5 to 40 years. Estate-owned, organic.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed, gently crushed and macerated on skins for a couple of weeks. The wine is spontaneously fermented in big neutral oak barrels (3000 L) without temperature control. It rests in the same vessels for about 6 months until the following spring. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, unsulfured.

Personality: just as the winemaker wanted it – this red is so juicy and easily palatable that even a liter might not seem enough! Perfect for all kinds of occasions with all kinds of drinkers, be they natural wine fans or haters. 


Bel — Back to the top 

Milan on this wine: “This wine embodies my unassuming Moravian roots. Made with “common” local grapes that are neutral and low-alcohol and hence always used to be blended together for an everyday wine. (Gewurztraminer being the fancy Sunday-kinda-wine). An approach I like–and Běl and its plump, juice-like 1-liter bottle is my tribute to that.

I remember hearing the word “másnica” used for a bottle of wine when I was a kid. Only as an adult did I learn that it derives from the German Mass, an old volumetric unit roughly equalling 1 liter, which used to be a standard size of bottle for a guy working in the field (mixing it with water to get more quantity). I do love the term “minimagnum” too, though, courtesy of my Montréal friends.” The name Běl means white in old formal Czech, another tribute to things past. Linocut label by Milan’s wife Mirka.

Grapes: Gruner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Muller-Thurgau

Soil: Loess, clay, sand – blend of different vineyards in Bílovice and Moravský Žižkov, aged from 5 to 40 years. Estate-owned, organic.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The wine is spontaneously fermented in stainless steel and neutral oak without temperature control. It rests in the same vessels for about 6 months until the following spring. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with cca 30ppm of sulfur at bottling.

Personality: Milan says the aim with this wine was to have a bottle he can bring even to his conservative neighbors because it’s so approachable – fruity, with good acidity and pleasant citrusy aroma – that you can drink it with literally everyone, be they natural wine fans or haters. Mission accomplished!


Forks and Knives White — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “For me & my family, wine is like food, something that should be on your table every day. Our bread and butter (literally). This is the kind of wine I wanna make: affordable, everyday, friendly stuff. Not something for the upper class, not something you need to swirl your glass and head around, talking about viscosity or minerality for ages (no offense, but jeez do I hate this word). My wine is for drinking, not for flashing posh terms. And the Forks & Knives range is a perfect embodiment of this. The F&K range started with the 2014 vintage – I met Fleur Godard, my French importer, in Cologne, along with Justine Saint Lo, a wonderful illustrator who also happens to be the sister of Francois Saint Lo, a great Loire Valley winemaker. Back in my cellar, when tasting the then nearly-born wine, we had a revelation: it was fate that decided Justine should make the labels, which I’ve kept ever since – I love their power to communicate the easy yet entertaining “everyday wine for any meal & table” vibe that this wine is all about.”

Limited amount of mags available too.

Soil: Loess, sand, clay

Grapes: the 2019 is a blend of Gruner Veltliner, Neuburger, Sauvignon, Pálava and Riesling

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested, selected on sorting table and destemmed. Most of the grapes are then pressed directly, about 10% undergo a short skin contact. Alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts in tanks. Aged in stainless steel and big neutral barrels of 600 and 3000 liters for about 17 months in order to naturally settle. Bottled under crown caps to keep the wine’s energy. No sulfur added, no fining, no filtration.

Personality: “One of our most beloved and popular wines has gotten even tastier with the current 2019 vintage, as the blend now includes some grapes normally used for WTF and TRBLMKR (the higher end White label wines). It’s just as fun as always, but with extra energy and depth. Keeps you coming back for more of that citrus hard-candy vibe, like being lured in by a bright halogen light,” the winemaker says.


Forks and Knives Red — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “For me & my family, wine is like food, something that should be on your table every day. Our bread and butter (literally). This is the kind of wine I wanna make: affordable, everyday, friendly stuff. Not something for the upper class, not something you need to swirl your glass and head around, talking about viscosity or minerality for ages (no offense, but jeez do I hate this word). My wine is for drinking, not for flashing posh terms. And the Forks & Knives range is a perfect embodiment of this. The F&K range started with the 2014 vintage – I met Fleur Godard, my French importer, in Cologne, along with Justine Saint Lo, a wonderful illustrator who also happens to be the sister of Francois Saint Lo, a great Loire Valley winemaker. Back in my cellar, when tasting the then nearly-born wine, we had a revelation: it was fate that decided Justine should make the labels, which I’ve kept ever since – I love their power to communicate the easy yet entertaining “everyday wine for any meal & table” vibe that this wine is all about.”

Vineyard: Loess, sand

Grapes: Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested, selected on sorting table and destemmed, then undergo carbonic maceration and alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts in tanks. Aged in stainless steel and big neutral barrels of 600 and 3000 liters for about 17 months in order to naturally settle. Bottled under crown caps to keep the wine’s energy. No sulfur added, no fining, no filtration.

Personality: as Milan puts it himself, “an addictive mix of the pinotish je-ne-sais-quoi and cheeky Moravian spice. Wine to be smashed thoroughly chilled, along with some food – nothing more, nothing less. 10% ABV only so that you can drink it all night long…” (Speaking of which, we imported a limited amount of 2019 magnums too.)


Forks and Knives Rosé — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “For me & my family, wine is like food, something that should be on your table every day. Our bread and butter (literally). This is the kind of wine I wanna make: affordable, everyday, friendly stuff. Not something for the upper class, not something you need to swirl your glass and head around, talking about viscosity or minerality for ages (no offense, but jeez do I hate this word). My wine is for drinking, not for flashing posh terms. And the Forks & Knives range is a perfect embodiment of this. The F&K range started with the 2014 vintage – I met Fleur Godard, my French importer, in Cologne, along with Justine Saint Lo, a wonderful illustrator who also happens to be the sister of Francois Saint Lo, a great Loire Valley winemaker. Back in my cellar, when tasting the then nearly-born wine, we had a revelation: it was fate that decided Justine should make the labels, which I’ve kept ever since – I love their power to communicate the easy yet entertaining “everyday wine for any meal & table” vibe that this wine is all about.” Limited amount of mags available.

Vineyard: Loess, sand, clay

Grapes: the 2019 is Cabernet Franc and Zweigelt

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed, selected on sorting table. Gently crushed and shortly macerated on skins, then pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in tanks. Aged in stainless steel and big neutral barrels of 600 and 3000 liters for about 17 months in order to naturally settle. Bottled under crown caps to keep the wine’s energy. No sulfur added, no fining, no filtration.

Personality: “As you can probably tell from the color, it lives somewhere around that sweet spot where soulful rosé becomes light red. But who cares about the category when all you can think of is “fuckyeah! is there more? is there enough??” Extremely drinkable and fun wine, while still at ease in all kinds of situations, be it poolside or at a fancy table laden with all sorts of treats; I see an Ottolenghi Mediterranean-style feast when I close my eyes,” Milan says and we can’t but agree.


Podfuck

This wine has undergone an interesting journey – originally a heavy-macerated Pinot Gris, Milan started to shorten the skin-contact time and add some red grapes to the blend, until, in 2018, the wine “switched sides” completely and became red, with only ~20% of PG in the blend. “The full cheating circle, you might say; but I actually see it as a continuity of this wine’s story, a story of searching for elegance despite all my imperfections. Nestarec wabi-sabi. And I can’t be happier with it – not another macerated PG that the world already has a lot of, but a unique red-white blend that wonderfully mirrors our Bílovice loess,” as Milan says.

Vineyards: the BF comes from rich clay/loess plot called Otáhal, PG & PN from Zadní Hora which is pure loess.

Varieties: 2018 is a field blend of Blaufrankisch, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested together, destemmed and gently stomped. Spontaneous co-fermentation with indigenous yeast in open-top vats, then press and aging in bigger old barrels from local oak or acacia wood, where it then lays undisturbed for ~2 years on its fine lees. No fining or filtration, no sulfur addition. 

Personality: the fiery spice of Blaufrankisch with a fine lift and noble touch of the Pinots – a red that’s highly drinkable all while offering serious layers for thought thay you’ll love to browse through for hours. Milan says that this was the first red he felt happy enough with to bottle it as a “White Label”, ie. his top-shelf wines, and we wholeheartedly agree. 


TRBLMKR — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “This is basically me, bottled. A wine so important and characteristical of who I am that I use it instead of business cards. Not love at first sight, but if you’re on the same wavelength, you might become friends for life. Not a big talker, more of a thinker. But opens up and even cracks jokes when surrounded by like-minded people.”

“This wine is always based on Neuburger (Neuburské), the once-popular local variety that’s IMHO perfectly adapted to our soil. During the communist era, it was a popular piquette ingredient (pejoratively called “seconds” in Czech), as its fleshy berries are difficult to press and hence are prone to leave a lot of raw material in the pomace for a second serve. Nowadays, the grape is sadly disappearing, mostly due to its lower yields and compact grape, which makes it prone to rot. Case in point: when my father was looking for rootstock in 2001, there was a feeding frenzy for vines, but nobody wanted Neuburger, so we kind of went for what was left– and I couldn’t be happier now.”

“Flavour-wise, it’s rather neutral, but give it a bit of time to rest in the bottle and the reward and tertiary aromatics are just mind-blowing. As I said, if you want an instant crowd-pleaser, you’ll have to look elsewhere; if you like wines that encourage some exploration and reflection, this is probably right up your alley.”

Vineyard: Slovenské, one of the first vineyards that Milan’s parents planted themselves, in 2001. Loess, clay, chernozem. 

Grapes: 2018 is a single vineyard field-blend, based on Neuburger, supported by Malvasia, red and even some table grapes like Chasselas

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast in bigger old barrels from local oak or acacia wood, where it then lays undisturbed for ~2 years on its fine lees. No fining or filtration, no sulfur addition. 

Personality: iodine, almost “licking batteries” salty, pears, meadow flowers, kind of Tang-like citrusy notes. Opens up into layers and layers of compelling spiciness. Supported by distinct juicy acidity, this one is beautiful to drink now and will age beautifully – if you have the patience to wait, that is.


WTF (What the Flor)— Back to the top

Total Production: 2600 bottles

Age of Vines: 35 years

Yield: 25 hl/ha

Elevation: 220 meters above sea level

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Gruner Veltliner

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 5-year-old acacia barrels. 30% of the skins are in contact with the juice for about 14 days, with occasional pigeage and indigenous yeast fermentation. The wine spends 7 months under flor in the same barrels. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


Gin Tonic

Milan on this wine: “When the 2015 juice (our first edition of this wine) was fermenting, its aroma was super reminiscent of juniper berries and its slightly bitter aftertaste of tonic water. As a result, 1) everybody in the winery was constantly tasting it on barrel (I was afraid if there would even be some wine left for the outside world) 2) it earned “GT” as a working title scribbled on the barrel–a name that has stuck with it ever since.”

Soil: two tiny plots on loess/chernozem that Milan owns in the Stará Hora vineyard,  one with Sauvignon Blanc & Riesling, planted in the 1980s, the other one with a 45-year-old Pinot Blanc.

Grapes: 2018 is a field blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast in bigger old barrels from local oak or acacia wood, where it then lays undisturbed for ~2 years on its fine lees. No fining or filtration, no sulfur addition. 

Personality: flamboyant! There truly is a bit of the juniper character the name suggests, mixed with lush exotics and a fruity lift. Your new favorite cocktail, probably?


DANGER 380 Volts — Back to the top 

Milan on this wine: “One of our most beloved wines, a salty-citrus-exotic undisgorged sparkler born in 2017. With wonderful energy, as the name suggests. Btw the current 2020 edition could easily be called 400V (the voltage currently running through the grid, my friend electrician told me), given the zippy acidity brought by the vintage.”

Grapes: Muller Thurgau, Neuburger, Moravian Muscat 

Vineyard: Sahary – sandy plot with mixed plantation from 2003. Estate-owned, organic.

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and gently pressed together. The juice ferments in old wooden barrels with indigenous yeast and is bottled under crown cap in the winter, to let the fermentation finish in bottles and give natural fizz to the wine. Unfiltered, unfined, zero sulfur added, undisgorged.

Personality: The label doesn’t lie, this is truly electric and dangerously drinkable. Perfect marriage of Neuburger’s depth, Muscat’s aromatics and Muller’s lemony acidity and chuggability. Addictive sparkler that’s great on its own, or works beautifully with Asian dishes.


Youngsters — Back to the top

Total Production: 6000 bottles

Age of Vines: 19 years

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Soil: Loess, clay, loam

Varieties: field blends. White – Riesling, Neuberger, Pinot Gris; Rose (direct press)- Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt; Red – Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dornfelder

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 2000-liter stainless steel tanks. The wine ferments for about 2 months, with occasional pigeage and indigenous yeast fermentation. Elevage takes place in the same tanks for about 2 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


Juicy Fruit — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “Remember that chewing gum that tasted great for 3 seconds and then turned to bland plastic? Not the case here. Still, it inspired the name for this wine – as kids of the ex-East Bloc, we were mindblown when the Western treats, including these gums, made it to our country in the nineties. The experience totally resurfaced when I tasted this juicy, zesty wine for the first time, and that’s how the name was born.” 

“Mostly based on Pinots as our vineyards sport a lot of them, but always complanted with local varieties, because that’s how fate and necessity wanted it back then. It’s really fun to watch in the vineyard: the dainty, neat French bunches ooze elegance already at this stage, right next to the Moravian hulk Gruner that’s four times as big. I love to make worlds collide, so we simply harvest & process everything together, et voilá, the bilateral treaty of the year is born.”

Vineyard: Oplocenka (clay and chernozem, planted in 2003) and Achtele (well-drained loess and sand)

Varieties: 2018 is field blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Gruner Veltliner, Welschriesling

Making of: the grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. Most of them are direct-pressed, a small portion (less than 10%) gets a couple of days of skin contact. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast in bigger old barrels from local oak or acacia wood, where it then lays undisturbed for ~2 years on its fine lees. No fining or filtration, no sulfur addition. 

Personality: this surely does speak about its burgundy grapes, although with a different foreign accent that’s easy to fall for. Elegance, balance, savory spicy undertones: definitely one to cellar and watch if you’re patient. (If not, like us, just open it a couple of hours ahead and enjoy it with some nice white fish or noble poultry.)


Transcendent — Back to the top

Total production: Only 3 barrels made!

Varieties: Regent, Neuberger, Riesling

Vinification notes: Direct press regent juice is added to an open vat with Neuberger and Riesling fermenting on the skins. The wine was not topped up and a flor (veil of yeast) developed, giving the wine a nutty note. Zero sulfur added, unfined and unfiltered. Each bottle is painted by hand. 

Read Milan’s notes on this wine on Instagram here!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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<hand-labelled> On your marks: my dear wife & team helped me to “label” all the Transcendent bottles last week. Therefore, following the recent preview for all audiences, I declare it’s finally officially available now. It’s a rosé, but, knowing me, you rightly suspect there’s a twist: direct press Regent, added to an open vat with Neuburger and Riesling fermenting on skins. Neuburger brings richness, Riesling the zing and Regent the right savage touch. All grapes from the Slovenské vineyard, so a true field blend. Each vintage, I only made one barrel like this: first time in 2017, then in 2018 and 2019. No sulfur of c. Also no topping up, so the 17 and 18 developed some flor which gives the wine a slight nutty note; together with the long, bright acidity, it tastes almost like an untamed, layered white, despite its vivid cherry-like colour. (Check the last slide / my stories) 3 barrels made – minus the cases already traveling to Canada, Switzerland and some local friends. Each bottle a hand-painted original, as you can see 😄🙈 #outnow #nestarec #rosewine #naturalwine #zerosulfur #flor #newrelease #czechwine #fieldblend

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Barvirka — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “Back in the 90s, my dad used to work in a German vine nursery. One of the consequences of this experience was his decision to plant a whole lot of Dornfelder in 2001 – a bold red German-born hybrid, fashionable back then. Tbh, I don’t love it and it took me quite some time to come to terms with it. Influenced by great wines from areas like Jura, Mosel or Burgundy, I wanted to get rid of it and replant it with something else. But – the vineyards are in great shape and it felt so wrong to uproot them. And then, something happened in my head. I lost any ambition to mimic wines made elsewhere and realized that there are other grapes than Pinot Noir and Riesling in the world. What a relief!”

The name means “color-enhancer” in Czech (teinturier in French), as Dornfelder is one of the red grapes that also has red pulp and hence gives wines of intense ruby-violet hue, used sometimes in blends to deepen the color.

Grapes: Dornfelder, Zweigelt and a blend of secret white varieties

Soil: loess and clay

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested and gently destemmed. 100% carbonic maceration of Dornfelder, the wine than spontaneously ferments and matures in tanks and old barrels for about 10 months. At bottling, the juice is blended with a little bit of white wine (undisclosed varieties) to get acid/energy lift. Zero sulfur added, unfined, unfiltered.

Personality: ink-black, with low tannins, low alcohol, and high drinkability. Best served chilled, with just about any easy meal.

Read the backstory of this wine here on Milan’s instagram!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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<on grapes and humility> Last week, I was on vacation (a real one, even without Instagram posts ha). Which I used to consider an inadequate luxury, thinking I should work all the time. Luckily, I changed my mind and understood how essential taking a break is – relax, invigorate, read books I don’t have time for during the year, clean up my mind. Also a perfect opportunity to taste one’s own wine – like this Barvířka, a new wine born because of a change of mind, too. Back in the 90s, my dad used to work in a German vine nursery. One of the consequences was his decision to plant a whole lot of Dornfelder in 2001 – a bold red German-born hybrid, fashionable back then. Tbh, I don’t love it and it took me quite some time to come to terms with it. Influenced by great wines from areas like Jura, Mosel or Burgundy, I wanted to get rid of it and replant it with something else – bigger, longer, better and more en vogue nowadays. But – the vineyards are in great shape and it felt so wrong to just uproot them. And then, something happened in my head. I lost any ambition to mimic wines made elsewhere and realised that there are other grapes than Pinot Noir and Riesling. My life became sooo much easier. Barvířka is not just Dornfelder though – I love to see diversity in my wines so it also sports some Zweigelt and a secret mix of white varieties (I can be Colonel Sanders too!). And a cute lino-cut label by my fab wife @karfecka . It has low tannins, high colour, low alcohol and high drinkability; I drunk a bottle in an hour all by myself so you can take my word for it. Serve hell-chilled with an open mind. The name means “colour-enhancer” in Czech (teinturier in French) and it comes from the people of @nase_maso – a great butcher shop in Prague that used it to call it Barvířka, as my distributor @dlou_han of @veltlin told me. Any name better than “Dornfelder”, I thought, so there goes “Barvířka” on the label. I did it with only the domestic market in mind bcs the name is f* tongue twister unless you’re a Czech native. But, without even flashing it anywhere, my distributors have already asked for it. Hopefully, it will keep for a while but can’t promise anything. Out now

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Umami — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “Some things are born in perfect circumstances, some by accident, some out of necessity. UMAMI is the latter: I love food. Anything connected to food. Talking about food. I might actually talk more about food than I do about wine. But wine is actually food so all good I guess. Anyway, I adore Asian fare. Especially paired with a distinctly aromatic wine. One of those food-wine pairings that blow your mind and make you understand that sometimes 1+1 equals 3 and that wine and food go together like love and marriage (ugh.. whatever). So I had to create my own umami…”

Grapes: 2018 is a field blend of Traminer and Riesling

Vineyard: Slovenské, one of the first vineyards that Milan’s parents planted themselves. (Actually, the grape combination happened by accident as Milan’s tipsy father once mistakenly planted Riesling right next to older Traminer vines. Loess, clay, chernozem. 

Making of: The grapes are hand-harvested together and destemmed. Most of them are pressed directly, about 10% get a few days of skin contact. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast in bigger old barrels from local oak or acacia wood, where it then lays undisturbed for ~2 years on its fine lees. No fining or filtration, no sulfur addition. 

Personality: wonderfully complementing all Asian dishes, exactly as planned. As Milan says, “UMAMI loosely translates from Japanese as tasty, delicate. I can’t utter a word of that language, but after tasting this wine I feel like I’ve translated it pretty well.”


Miky-Maus — Back to the top

Varieties: Welschriesling, Muller Thurgau, Gruner

Milan’s notes:

I love me a good challenge: Miky-maus is the result of my grape swap with the Moravian natural wine OG Petr Nejedlík of Dobrá Vinice. Petr gives me Welschriesling, Muller and Gruner from his beautiful, approximately 40-yo National Park vineyard near Popice, I give him my Pinot and Blaufrankisch. It’s a win-win, ’cause we both like the extra fun & adrenaline of working with some “stranger” grapes that behave differently from our own. (If I didn’t publicly hate this word I’d call his grapes’ character “distinctly mineral”.)

I turn this unfamiliar matter into a macerated white – on skins until the fermentation starts, say 3-4 days, then pressed and left alone in big old barrels. Quite rich and herbal, but thank g-d (or rather the perfect grapes and Mother Nature) there’s still heaps of acidity that make you reach for another glass. And another. And another.

The name is a tribute to my childhood hero, the one and only Mickey, as well as a gentle poke to a winemaking neighbor of mine – when we tasted the first edition together a couple of years ago, he thought there was some mouse in it. There wasn’t (and hasn’t been since), but the name was born nonetheless. Thx for the name, man! (I let the cats out.)


MOJE — Back to the top

MOJE all bottlesMilan’s notes: “Moje” means My or Mine in Czech, and I stand behind it 300%. Pronounced [mō-yeh] although I like the idea of hearing it sound like “mojo” because this wine surely has one. Arguably one of the best wines I’ve ever put out to the world.” To emphasize how special this wine is, Milan dotted it with 6 different labels using vintage NASA photographs, with dates from the wine’s life, from the plantation of the vines to its release on the day of the 2020 winter solstice. Six different versions of both front and back labels; each case contains them all to tell you the whole story. More on it here.

Grape: Riesling

Vineyard: Babušák, young plantation on loess. Milan Nestarec married his wife Mirka in this very vineyard. 

1500 bts made

Cellar: The wine is a secondary-bottle-fermented sparkling. The still wine was made in 2018, aged for about a year in a local acacia wood barrel. In 2019, the freshly fermenting must from the same plot was added to it as liqueur de tirage, to avoid using any artificial sugars. Bottled in October 2019, laying on its fine lees since. No fining, no filtration, no sulfur added. Undisgorged to give the wine enough aging potential. 

Personality: truly unique. Copper-golden color (not from skin-contact, the wine was deliberately exposed to air in its youth), citrus-honey-wild herb notes, light persistent fizz, fine salinity, and a long, bright, zippy acid backbone. Definitely good aging potential as the winemaker suggests if you’re disciplined enough. If you let the bottle stand upright for 24h prior to its consumption, the lees will sediment at the bottom and let the wine show more of its elegant side; if shaken, you get more roundness.


Veltlin NV — Back to the top

veltlin_back_TtbMilan’s first non-vintage wine and a tribute to the Gruner Veltliner grape that thrives on their loess soils. A 2018 and 2019 “solera” from Velke Bilovice in Moravia, a concept made to last into the future, as its subtitle “Moebius Strip of Wine” suggests. The label is a linocut by the winemaker’s wife Mirka, symbolizing Midsummer’s night herbs.

Vineyard: Zadní Hora, 0.5 ha pure loess plot planted in 1988

Winemaking: Grapes are hand-picked and pressed the day after the harvest, so the enzymes from the pulp can start working the skin. According to the Moravian winemaking tradition, the Veltlin would always go to the same cask that housed it for decades. Nestarec went back to this custom, taking out half of the 2018 barrel during the harvest in 2019 and filled it in with the fresh must of 2019, and so on ad infinitum, like a Solera system. The must is aged in an acacia vat and bottled without any filtering, fining, or sulfur addition.

Personality: only 10 % ABV and heaps of fun! Razor-sharp, bright, with wonderful spiciness and light fruit for days – a must for all you hi-acid lovers.


Bum Bum Cha — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “Danger’s little sister. An unplanned child, though: one day during the 2019 harvest, we finished pressing our Riesling, and one barrel still needed to be topped up with about a third of its volume. We didn’t have time to think about it, but had some direct-press Blaufränkisch at hand. Boom, let’s put them together, fingers crossed. Tasting it before the end of fermentation, boom, we were stunned: hello little beauty, under the crown cap you go, our first rosé pet-nat you shall become. We’d probably never think of putting these two varieties together. Sometimes the best things aren’t born of deliberation but of accidents and necessity. Due to its immediate success (sizzled out of my warehouse in a few days), the 2020 BumCha was a planned parenthood affair. I love the magic that happens when mixing white and red grapes together…”

“The label for both editions was designed by young Brazilian artist Ciro Bicudo – Ciro reached out to me via Messenger after drinking one of my bottles, saying that he liked it and felt like doing something together. I loved his proactivity and his colorful work mixing the street art, carnival, traditional fabrics and craft beer influences; in the meantime, Bum Bum Cha was born and needed a label. Jigsaw falling into place, just as I like it!”

Soil: Loess, clay, sand. Blend of different vineyards in Bílovice and Moravský Žižkov, all estate-owned and organic.

Grapes: the 2020 is a blend of Riesling, Blaufrankisch, Sauvignon Blanc and Zweigelt

Making of: The grapes were hand-harvested, sorted on sorting table and gently destemmed and pressed. Spontaneous co-fermentation finished under crown cap over winter. Unfined, unfiltered, undisgorged, unsulfured. 

Personality: juicy juicy juicy lemonade with bright acidity that wakes up all the senses. The kind of bottle you open while swimming, cooking, chatting (you name it) and boom, it’s gone, without you even realizing…


Senza — Back to the top

Milan on this wine: “Our 2020 vintage spontaneous idea. I was tasting the grapes freshly harvested from our Sahary plot, then my imagination struck, and voilá, an impromptu red sparkler was born.

To be honest, it was probably secretly hatching somewhere in my mind for some time, fuelled by my penchant, or rather obsession to buy Lambrusco each and every time I spot it in Italy. Not that I’ve always loved their taste – I had some incredible ones and a fair bit of bad bottles too – but I really enjoy the idea of a wine that’s at the same time sparkling, aromatic, and red.

The name Senza is a nod to the Italian inspiration and the joyful Italodisco vibe I get when I drink the wine. It’s also a multi-lingual pun: it means “lit” in colloquial Czech, and “without” in Italian, referring to both this wine’s no-additives pedigree and its no-worries merry character. To capture all these references, our graphic designer came up with an amazing flashy-trashy label that’s part Malibu (when I first saw it, it immediately threw me back to my 90s childhood, afternoons spent watching Lorenzo Lamas in Renegade – very fond memories!), part Bibione (we lovingly call it “the beach towel a weird guy next to you would have in a cheap holiday resort “).

To enjoy this whole so-bad-it’s-good Italo vibe even more, we made a special 6-hour Senza playlist, an eclectic selection of vintage bangers and modern disco versions alike. Senza worries, senza make-up, senza solfiti agguinti.”

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pálava, Moravian Muscat

Vineyard: Sahary – sandy plot with mixed plantation from 2003. Estate-owned, organic.

Making of: The grapes were hand-harvested, sorted on sorting table and gently destemmed. The Cabernets underwent short carbonic maceration; while still fermenting, the direct-press Pálava and Muscat must was added. The wine was then bottled under crown cap to finish the fermentation as sparkling wine over winter. Unfined, unfiltered, undisgorged, unsulfured. 

Personality: oh this is really, really fun. Lush and intense dark cherry & raspberry flavors with distinct tannins and very zingy acidity. The kind of wine that will wake you up from basically any state.