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The winemaking tradition in the Frelih family goes back almost 120 years. Foto: Frelih

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A new milestone in the craft of winery: Decanter awards Cviček!

A winning combination: the Frelih winery and enologist Uroš Bolčina
19. May 2017 ob 11:08
Šentrupert/London - MMC RTV SLO

There are many jokes about Cviček. They say that it is not even a wine, that only the people of Dolenjska like it, that it’s tinted water… But the story of the Frelih House of Wine in Šentrupert proves that Cviček is also a wine. A wine with a capital W.

In Decanter’s last wine awards Frelih’s Cviček wine received a high accolade.

The above mentioned wine, vintage 2016, received 83 out of the 85 possible points (the commended prize) in London. This is the first time for a Cviček to be sent to a larger international competition. Jože Rozman, a renowned sommelier and wine journalist said: “There isn’t a hero who would dare do this!”

The Frelih winery also took two bronze medals (for the Kappelman 2008 sparkling wine and the Frelih brut rosé sparkling wine), but they are most proud of their success with the Cviček. Veronika Frelih said they sent in their Cviček, for the first time ever, in order to get opinions and receive an assessment of their long-year work. “This is an outstanding achievement for us and for the Cviček wine in general. This is actually sensational. We don’t recall when Cviček, being a local specialty of the Dolenjska region, was ever given such a recognition,” says Veronika Frelih.

The Frelih family – 120 years of tradition
The winemaking tradition in the Frelih family goes back almost 120 years. Josip Frelih, Veronika’s father in law, was the one who did the most in the field of quality and recognition. By perfecting the wine 30 years ago and bottling it, he was the first to raise Cviček’s level, from being a country table wine to a wine liked by the masses. Veronika Frelih adds that he marketed it successfully and later even became the ambassador of Cviček.

What is more, Josip Frelih was the first in the Dolenjska region to produce sparkling wine according to traditional methods. Following the early death of Frelih’s son Peter, the family business is now run by the late Peter’s wife, Veronika, and their four children, while Josip Frelih helps them with advice.

The true person for awards – enologist Uroš Bolčina
Prior to last year’s harvest the Frelih family took on a challenge to go one more step forward with their wines - to refresh and stylistically modernize them. They therefore decided to bring in some new wind and knowledge and invited Uroš Bolčina to collaborate with them. Bolčina accepted the challenge.

We already wrote about Bolčina last year, when the young but experienced enologist left his mark in wine cellars from South America to Portugal, and also helped Croatia’s Veraldi winery win the highest possible Decanter prize for red wine in the category for wines priced at above 15 pounds. An interesting fact – the wine in question was a Teran i.e Istrian, which is Veraldi’s name for the variety, which is the subject of a neighborly dispute.

Bolčina is now, so to speak, somewhat of an expert in raising a wine’s quality. With the Frelih family he wanted to prove that it is possible to make a Cviček which would be liked by even those who do not drink it, and often stereotypically categorize it in other groups of drink. Their goal is to bring Cviček closer to other Slovenians and to experts at a world level. They do that by using biodynamic and organic principles.

Kaja Sajovic, MMC; translated by K. J.