Franco Cattunas

The Cattunar family wine production dates back to ancestors who used oxen to plough the vineyards with wooden ploughs. His great-grandfather started producing wine in the 1930s at Nova Vas and Franco and Vesna Cattunar still cultivate these same vineyards with others they planted in 1985.

Franco started working in the vineyards at 12 years old, upon the death of his father when his job was to carry the spray pump on his shoulders – a pump that was bigger and heavier than he was. The land has now increased from this original vineyard of 3 hectares to 46 hectares with 200,000 vines planted on red soil, white soil, white clay soil and black soil all in different areas around Nova Vas. From the main winery one looks across hills towards the Adriatic in one direction and towards Slovenia the other.

Malvasija Istarska and Teran are the Cattunar family’s favourites, representing their roots, their ancestors, their history and their land, and they have a clear reverence for these indigenous grapes of Istria.

Their medal winning, which started in 1989 with the first Malvasija that they bottled with a label designed by Vesna, has increased every year since, and along with an IQ mark of excellence for their malvasija, they also produce award-winning chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, aromatic Momjan muškat and muškat ruža, using modern and traditional methods of production with barrels sourced from Italy, America and France for their barrique wines.

The area of Nova Vas and Brtonigla is famous in Istria for having superb gastronomy as well as being surrounded by vines, and it is home to several top restaurants, making it a very exciting place to visit. Just try to make sure you have the best part of a week free!