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

Age of Vines: 15 years

Yield: 40 hl/ha

Elevation: 220 meters above sea level

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Pinot Noir/Zweigelt

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The wine is fermented in 20-year-old 1500-liter open-topped oak vats for about 20 days with indigenous yeasts, with occasional remontage. It then goes into 20-year-old 1000-liter oak barrels for about 18 months, where battonage is performed. The wine is bottled without fining or filtering and gets 20mg/liter of sulfur at bottling.


Bel — Back to the top 

Bel tech sheet

Total Production: 5000 bottles

Age of Vines: 7-35 years old

Vineyard size: 1.8 hectares

Yield: 25 hl/ha

Elevation: 230 meters above sea level

Soil: Loess

Varieties: One third of each: Gruner Veltliner, Muller Thurgau, Welschriesling

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tank for about 3 months without temperature control with wild yeasts. It rests in tanks for about 6 months where occasional battonage is performed. The wine is lightly filtered and gets 30mg/liter of sulfur at bottling.


Forks and Knives White — Back to the top

Forks and Knives White tech sheet

Total Production: 4000 bottles

Age of Vines: 17 years

Yield: 40 hl/ha

Elevation: 220 meters above sea level

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Neuburger, Muller Thurgau

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The wine is fermented in 2000-liter stainless steel tanks for about 10 days with indigenous yeasts. It then rests in tanks for about 10 months with no interference with the wine until it is bottled. The wine is bottled without fining or filtering and zero sulfur is added.


Forks and Knives Red — Back to the top

Forks and Knives Red tech sheet

Total Production: 6000 bottles

Age of Vines: 15 years

Yield: 30 hl/ha

Elevation: 220 meters above sea level

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The wine is fermented in 2500-liter stainless steel tanks for about 10 days with indigenous yeasts. The skins remain in contact with the juice for about 3 days, for a light and soft extraction and occasional pigeage. Half of the wine stays in tanks and the other half goes into used 225-liter oak barrels for elevage for about 13 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


Podfuck — Back to the top

Age of Vines: 15 years

Yield: 40 hl/ha

Elevation: 220 meters above sea level

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Pinot Gris

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 4-year-old wooden barrels. The skins remain in contact with the juice for 3 weeks. The wine spends 16 months in the same barrels for 16 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.

 


TRBLMKR — Back to the top

Total Production: 3900 bottles

Age of Vines: 16 years

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Neuburger

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600 and 1000-liter 3-year-old wooden barrels. The juice ferments for about 1 month with occasional pigeage and indigenous yeast fermentation. The wine is left in the same barrels for elevage for about 19 months with occasional battonage. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


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.


Love Me Hate Me — Back to the top

Total Production: 3000 bottles

Age of Vines: 42 years

Yield: 25 hl/ha

Soil: Clay

Varieties: Gewurtztraminer

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 4-year-old wooden barrels. The skins remain in contact with the juice for 1 month. The wine spends 16 months in the same barrels for 16 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


Gin Tonic — Back to the top

Total Production: 1500 bottles

Age of Vines: 33 years

Yield: 25 hl/ha

Soil: Loess and limestone

Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 3-year-old wooden barrels. The wine ferments  for about 3 weeks, with occasional piegeage and indigenous yeast fermentation. Fermentation completes after about 3 months and the wine is left in the same barrels for elevage for about 18 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


DANGER 380 Volts — Back to the top 

Total Production: 3000 bottles

Age of Vines: 17 years

Yield: 30 hl/ha

Soil: Loess 

Varieties: Muller Thurgau 70%, Neubürger 20% Muscat 10%

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 7-year-old wooden barrels. The wine ferments  for about 2 months with indigenous yeast. Fermentation finishes in bottle over a 2 month period as a petnat. The wine is unfiltered, unfined, has zero sulfur added, and is not disgorged.


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

Total Production: 2600 bottles

Age of Vines: 30-33 years

Yield: 23 hl/ha

Soil: Loess

Varieties: Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir & blend of local varieties like Gruner Veltliner

Vinification Notes: The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 3-year-old 600-liter barrels for about 3 weeks. Half of the wine is in contact with the skins for 50% of the time, while the other half is direct-press. Elevage takes place in the same barrels for 25 months. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added.


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

Varieties: Dornfelder and a blend of secret white varieties

Vinification notes: Barvirka means Teinturier (the french term for the rare grape that has dark red juice, as Dornfelder does). 100% carbonic fermentation of Dornfelder blended with some mysterious white grapes. Zero sulfur added, unfined, unfiltered. Low Tannin, lots of dark colors, low alcohol, and very drinkable!

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

Varieties: Gewurtztraminer, Riesling, Muller Thurgau, Palava

Milan’s notes:

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, a tasty blend of grapes from our Babušák, Stará Hora, and Sahary plots.

Based on the fragrant Gewurztraminer and Pálava varietals. Electrified by Riesling and multiplied by Muller-Thurgau to serve all you thirsty people out there who share my view. Technique-wise blend as well – some skin-contact, some carb mac, some direct press. A fair share. 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.