Aleš Kristančič while decanting Lunar Chardonnay – the wine which is, after 9 months of maturing at full moon poured into bottles, with no added sulphur, no filtration, and no pressing. Foto: MMC RTV SLO
Aleš Kristančič while decanting Lunar Chardonnay – the wine which is, after 9 months of maturing at full moon poured into bottles, with no added sulphur, no filtration, and no pressing. Foto: MMC RTV SLO
Movia, the only Slovenian wine cellar to place eight times among the top 100 of the world. Foto: MMC RTV SLO/Kaja Sajovic

The title of the article was "Wine genius from Slovenia". Nobody from the isle of Fogo had heard about Slovenia, but they read the article on the Eastern-European eccentric of Roman temperament. But he hasn't appeared in the reference American publication by chance; the reason were two attention-grabbing placings among the 100 best wine cellars in the world, selected by the Wine & Spirits magazines, and among the 12 "most influential wine creators of the world " selected by the reputable wine critics and oenologists, led by the renowned Jancis Robinson. Yet the journalist Ray Isle was more impressed by Aleš's character, his conduct, and last but not least his wine, and not so much by the awards.

Kristančič knows how to sell himself; even those who don't like him have to admit that. Yet the number of those who praise him as an incarnation of a wine deity, and wide-eyed absorb his passionate, felt litanies on sediments and moon phases, is probably much bigger. The same holds for his Movia – for a lot of people a lot of red (Merlot, Blue Pinot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in oak casks for 6 years), at the price of around fifty, is still a sign of ultimate prestige, while the others in wine business will try to convince you that Movia has sold itself a long time ago, while the third praise him as an artist, and a wizard. Personalities as Kristančič's tend to provoke different reactions.

Lunar and Puro – living wines
For some people his Lunar, the wine he pours without the aid of a human hand into bottles at full moon after eight months of maturing (nine in case of Chardonnay), without the addition of sulphur, without filtration and including wine lees, and puro, the sparkling equivalent of Lunar – both excellent examples how to make natural, biodynamic, wines which continue to live in a bottle, and for other people those are wines allowing the »great wine showman« to excel in his show.

Pops of corks on bottles with sparkling wine have always been reserved for festive and solemn moments, but nobody can make the opening of a bottle with "happy bubbles", as his wife has named Puro, such a show as Kristančič.

Perhaps in the end of the evening visitors of wine festivals can't remember whether they liked the taste, but certainly they don’t forget the show of opening a bottle with Puro within a container filled with water, when the audience is holding its breath for the pink cloud of sediment from the bottle of sparkling wine kept upside down for a few days, so that the sediment can accumulate on the cork. That's another of his inventions – along with a long bottle opener resembling the tool for changing car tyres. "He is a person disregarding rules, a real philosopher," Vesna Kristančič describes her husband. With her help Movia has become a well oiled machine with nothing left to coincidence.


- In 1999 the great white placed him among the Decanter's "50 rising stars of the future".

- In 2008 he was chosen by Master of wine as one of the 12 winemakers of the world.

- He placed eight times among the top 100 wine cellars of the world, chosen by Wine & Spirits, including last year.

- Wine critic James Suckling graded three of his wines (great red 2004, great red2003, great white 2006) with more than 90 points, which placed him among the 50 best winemakers in 2014.

- His great red (96/100) and great white (98/100) are the best graded Slovenian wines so far

- In 2007 he was chosen as one of the 12 most influential personalities in the world of wines (the selection was made by wine critics with Robert Parker as the chairman).

- In 2011 Movia was chosen for the international winery of the world by Wine & Spirits (top grades: puro rose 2002 92/100, great red 2003 92/100, great white 2006 91/100).

Kaja Sajovic
Translated by G. K.