Once billed to us as ‘The Croatian with the X Factor’ Dimitri Brečević has an extremely interesting wine history under his belt already, still at only 34. Born in Jurançon in the Pyrenees to a Croatian father and a French mother, Dimitri started his wine training initially in Bordeaux. He moved then to start his practice in vineyards in Spain, Australia, New Zealand, returning to learn still more in France yet again, this time in Burgundy. Just a few years ago he arrived in his father’s homeland of Istria and made the decision to plant his own winemaking roots firmly in the ground. And so Piquentum was born.
Dimitri’s wines have an extraordinary story and an extraordinary pedigree and Dimitri himself has an extraordinary story and pedigree too!
50 kilometres inland from the Adriatic near the Slovene border lies the small hilltop town of Buzet – Latin name Piquentum, hence the wine’s name – with land dominated by white soil, forests and hills with mosses and ferns; this is hunting territory for wild boar and deer, and more importantly it’s white truffle paradise.
Expressive and passionate about local grape varieties and with a great sense of and respect for terroir, Dimitri produces just three varietals for now – Istrian malvazija, teran and refošk. Not only that, but he produces them with minimum intervention and they are classed as natural. Not only that, but he produces them in a hidden away winery carved into the rock face!
The winery started life in the 1930s when it was built as a water reservoir by the Italian army. And that same winery was to become an atomic bomb shelter for local residents, should everything have gone slightly awry in former Yugoslavia in the ‘50s.
We assure you that you won’t glow in the dark when you drink these wines despite their heritage, but you will glow with the satisfaction that you’ve drunk them, and you’ve found a very rare breed – everyday drinkable, quaffable, natural wines.