INTERVIEWLIFESTYLEWINERY

GIANFRANCO KOZLOVIC – MALVASIA IS WINE WITHOUT BORDERS

The philosophy of the Kozlovic family is based on togetherness that has been preserved for generations. Working towards a common goal with great diligence and devotion, in an effort to push the boundaries and widen horizons in the world of wine, always keeping quality as their priority guaranteed by their family name. For generations, Kozlovic Winery has created wines in which they nurture the expression and character of autochthonous Istrian varieties, and by constantly improving production processes and know-how, they unite past, present, and future in their wines.

The Kozlovic wine house in Istria, built-in 2011, is located in a building of contemporary design, with an interesting interior for wine tasting. In addition, the winery is one of the most recognizable establishments in the wide surrounding area. It can be said that Gianfranco Kozlovic is the man who single-handedly brought the Istrian Malvasia back to the top of the best wines in the region. For years, his Malvasia has been setting an example as the perfect Istrian white wine and the man himself is probably the most famous Istrian winemaker, despite the strong competition that exists in the industry.

1. The story of Kozlovic Winery began in 1904 in the Valli Valley, in which the family had only a few hectares. Today You live in the same place, right next to the vineyards and in unity with them. Can You tell us more about Your wine beginnings?

“You summarized my family’s wine beginnings well. Indeed, since 1904 and the first hectare, we have been living here for four generations. My own wine beginnings date back to the 1990s. The nineties in Istria brought a whole new generation of us young winemakers, they like to call us “first-timers” – Degrassi, Matosevic and me. The nineties were full of power, the wine revolution came rolling down to us from the Friuli Colli, across the Goriška Hills, and further on. In the 90s, Istrian winemakers went to Udine University (the same one my daughter attends now).
At the same time, the nineties for me personally in my closest circle were the years of conflict between generations: father-son, old-new, tradition – technology. In those years I decided to stay where it had all started, in Valli. Sticking to the knowledge and technology, I dreamed of a new malvasia, produced by controlled fermentation in tanks. In the same decade, came the first success: at Vinovita in 1997, the then most famous wine fair, Malvasia 1997, was awarded the best-rated Croatian wine”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic



2. Competition in the market is extremely strong. What sets You apart from others?

“These are the traits of character, in my case persistence, focus towards a set goal, patience. Or simply – order, work, discipline”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic


3. What is the essence of Your wine vision?

“This game, which is my life, or this life of mine that I play in, ultimately wants only one thing of me – to grow, improve, measure strength with myself, and challenge myself from time to time”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic

4. What varieties do You grow in Your family vineyard?

“Our classics – malvasia, teran and muscat momjan make the main part of the plantation. In addition, we have cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, and plantations are distributed in the vineyards of Valle, Santa Lucia, and Contarini”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic


5. Which wine is Your favorite?

“I’m in love with malvasia. I call it wine for good morning and for a good night. To me, malvasia is the wine without frontiers”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic


6. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a cellar tour and wine tasting. What can they expect during the visit?

“Experience! And then again – experience. You see, you can buy a bottle of our wine and take it home, or buy and drink it at a restaurant, or buy and share it with your friends, but if you come to our property, then you come to our house, and the whole story is written before you. At our tastings, guests can also taste wines that are not on sale or distributed to restaurants. We believe that those who came to our house deserve our full attention. For them, we have prepared specially designed snacks for all wines on offer. With the previous agreement, it is possible to organize a tour of the cellar, which spreads over 3 levels and covers 2200 square meters”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic


7. One of Your products is extra virgin olive oil, can You tell us more about it?

“Olives are part of our tradition. We planted them in Santa Lucia, our most valuable vineyard, and we have a fine number of trees in the Valle vineyard. We have always made olive oil for ourselves and then decided to offer it to our guests. It is a blend of three brands – pendolino, bjelica, and leccina – that we obtain by cold pressing after manual harvesting. It tastes spicy and fruity, especially resembling a green apple”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic


8. What are Your plans for the future?

“One thing is certain – further work on quality, in all business segments, from wine to wine tourism. The second is completely uncertain – the entrepreneurial spirit never sleeps, surprises are always possible”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic


9. Are You more the type for sailing the vast expanses of the sea or for vacationing on exotic sandy beaches?

“Sailing, always. Despite the unknown and challenges”.

Mr. Gianfranco Kozlovic
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