Stylish Croatian winemaking taking the world by storm
- Marino’s family have been making traditional Croatian wines since his Grandfather planted a small group of indigenous Momjan Muscat vines 130 years ago. They were vines of such immense quality that the Markezic's are still making glorious wines from them today.
- Alongside the family winery, Kabola, the vines sit on the picturesque northwestern Istrian peninsula, with a view of the Alps and the Dolomites on one side and a beautiful sea panorama on the other.
- Marino’s respect for nature and focus on authenticity is at the heart of every decision he makes in the winery. But this doesn’t mean he’s afraid of challenging tradition - since opening the winery, Marino has insisted upon using amphoras rather than traditional barrels, leaning into an exciting, forward-looking style of winemaking.
Marino Markezic's Story
Tell us more about yourself/ background and why you chose to become a winemaker.
Grandfather Marke?i?, Ivan once worked and dedicated his life to winemaking. If we indulge our imagination just for a moment and go back in time, we will see his cellar, his old dusty barrels, his hardworking boškarin (the indigenous Istrian ox), and him – proud and happy that this land rewarded his efforts and endowed him with good wine. Through his life as a peasant, he succeeded in passing on to us all the values that are leading us into the future. This is the strength that encouraged our family to stand firm and continue to produce wine by investing a great deal of effort and maintaining respect for tradition.
When did you realise that winemaking is your passion?
The story of winegrowing in the Marke?i? family dates all the way back to 1891, when we laid the first cornerstone with our indigenous Momjan Muscat.
Since then, hardworking and patient hands have been weaving the incredible tale of our wines, inspired by the desire to stand out by being genuine and unique. We managed to shape our own recognizable style through the Kabola brand.
How long have you been making wine?
More than 130 years. Since 1891 because we have 2 bottles of our indigenous Muškat Momajnski, and this year is the proof of our grandparents making wine because of that we use 1891 as the beginning of our winemaking tradition.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
In the morning we first visit our vineyard and check the process of growth of our vines then we do tasting of all barrels to check the evolving process of wine. This is a really important step because we constantly care of the wine and its process to be the best it can be.
Who are the people around you that make your wine a reality?
Our family and our hardworking team.
What is the craziest thing you've ever done in the name of wine?
23 years agoKabola started using amphoras with our indigenous variety Malvazija Istarska. At that time this winemaking method was so different and very ‘modern’ and out of the box that the people in Croatia was shocked and sceptical. The Amphora wine first became popular in Scandinavia and France. Now after 20 years of tradition in making Amphora wine we are the most popular winery in Croatia with Amphora production known in Croatia and abroad. Marino’s vision and strength was the key to the development of this wine method in Croatia. In 20 years of tradition in making Amphora wines we managed to produce unique wines from our indigenous white Malvazija Istarska, red Teran and our aromatic protected variety Muškat Momjanski.
Outside of winemaking, what interests you?
Discovering and learning more about wine and winemaking.
Describe your winemaking style/philosophy in 5 words (must be applicable for the wines you craft for Naked Wines).
Tradition, terroir, authentic, indigenous, natural
What events in your career inspired your current style/philosophy?
Our hardworking mother, father and strength of our family.
Most memorable moment making wine?
The harvest is for us the most important and challenging period of the year, where nature gifts us with the grapes after all the hard work and patience in the past year in nurturing the soil and vines. The harvest is entirely handpicked and selection of the best grapes so every day of the harvest is a challenge to bring home as many grapes as possible to create a new vintage to remember.
Biggest challenge you ever faced making a wine?
Always push the boundaries to improve our wines and remain true to our signature style and elegance.
Why did you choose to work with Naked Wines? When did you join?
Kabola just joined Naked Wines and we are really happy to be part of the team.
Do you have a message you'd like to share with Angels?
Thank you for drinking our wines and supporting us! Welcome to Kabola winery!
What is your dream project?
We are almost finished with the project of expansion of our new winery. After 20 years this is for us a dream come true.
How do you think Naked Wines can help you?
We hope the Angels will enjoy our wines and visit our winery in Croatia so they will feel and understand the beauty of our indigenous variety inside the golden drops of the wine Malvazija Istarska and see the beauty and uniqueness of our terroir.