"When Rowman & Littlefield confirmed the idea for a new book, I started from scratch. I spent a few days in Brda, exploring the surroundings, from natural beauty to museums, and conversing with locals, tasting their food and wine. I had the intention to personally visit all the winemakers producing Rebula wines to get a detailed understanding of their philosophy and cellar work. I reached out to my contacts from the Masterclass to recommend experts who could provide in-depth insights into terroir from a perspective crucial for viticulture in this region, as well as the Rebula grape variety. They advised me to speak with experts from both the Italian and Slovenian sides, as Rebula is a cross-border variety, and directed me to two leading experts in Rebula and viticulture – Dr. Atilio Scienza from the University of Milan and Denis Rusjan from the University of Ljubljana.Since the book's purpose, in agreement with the publisher, was to present this incredible story to a global audience that may not necessarily be wine experts, I envisioned a writing style that would allow readers to learn along with me through the book's pages. This way, I could present even complex topics in a simple and understandable manner while providing enough information for connoisseurs. After the autumn harvest, I began the first visits in Brda, but before the winter ended, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, putting the world on hold. The long and uncertain year 2020 brought a lot of remote work. On the one hand, it was an ideal time for writing, and the general content of the book came together quickly. However, visits to the winemakers were delayed, and I continued writing based on my Masterclass notes and remote research. The idea to include a culinary section with recipes from the most successful Slovenian chefs also came about during the pandemic. To top it off, I received a call to write an article for The Guardian about the destinations I would visit after the pandemic. Of course, I wrote about Brda, as the pandemic brought us even closer through remote work, and I couldn't wait to visit them again.
REBULA – The Golden Protagonist of the Book GOLD WINE
The creation of a book is like the birth of new life. It begins with the right people meeting at the right time and place. Bonds, mutual respect and love are formed between them, which is crowned with the birth of a new, common story.
Back in 2019, when we, as co-organizers of the Masterclass Brda Home of Rebula, first invited world-renowned author Noah Charney to a vertical tasting of the Rebula wines from Brda winemakers from both sides of the border, we had no idea that the word about the queen of our region would spread so far. Noah Charney, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in the past, enthusiastically accepted the invitation, because as an art historian, he is deeply intrigued by themes that underpin stories with in-depth explanations and data. He confirmed his participation with the mandate to write a column about Rebula and the terroir of Goriška Brda for a wider audience, published in one of the most respected lifestyle magazines in Slovenia. Before we had even fully swirled the wine glasses, he realized that the subject was so rich with incredible stories and legends that it could give birth to a book. The journey from one of the poorest regions in the former country, where Brda was even the cheapest possible purchase in a Monopoly game, to becoming one of the most exclusive, boutique destinations in Slovenia, serving local wines with the world's most important recognitions, captivated him.
As the world started turning again, I conducted additional interviews to finalize the stories and met with representatives of the cooperative winery in Brda, where head oenologist is Darinko Ribolica and director Silvan Peršolja. The mayor Franc Mužič told me about the region itself and its history. I was particularly intrigued by the success story of the cooperative winery and Rebula during the times of Tito and Yugoslavia, as well as the 'Father of Rebula,' Zvonimir Simčič. Therefore, I conducted interviews with his friends, colleagues, and successors at the Medot estate, as well as with the first Slovenian president, Milan Kučan, who shared his personal memories from those times, how they looked at the impoverished Brda, where not even an asphalt road led, to the cooperative wine cellar and the popular Rebula, which he personally ordered for the birth of his daughter. And so, throughout the year that followed, the story began to take shape and form.
Fast forward to the book's release in the final weeks of 2022 and its arrival in Slovenia in 2023. A few more harvests passed than we initially thought, but the fact that the book arrived together with one of the best vintages for Rebula is a positive sign and a beautiful beginning for 'Gold Wine.' The circle is now complete, and the book is in the hands of readers.«
With these words, author Noah Charney, who, during this year's attendance at the Masterclass Brda Home of Rebula, was able to taste Rebula samples from the 2022-2019 vintages, a period coinciding with the entire book's creation, also shared the writer's story about writing Gold Winw.