The region is renowned for its rocky limestone, known locally as kras (Slovenian) or karst (Italian). The word karst is used the world over to describe landscapes where the rock (usually limestone) is being slowly dissolved by water, giving rise to a range of interesting features above ground (such as sinkholes) and below (caves).
This tough land is predominately toiled by farmers growing what produce they need, and a few brave winemakers. The three local grapes are Malvazija (Malvasia Istriana), Vitovska (a cross between Malvasia and Prosecco) and Terran (Refosco). Marko works his vineyards, one of which is over one hundred years old (interestingly, called Quattro Stati, as it has been in four different countries, as borders have moved over the last 100 years), entirely by hand without use of herbicides, fertilizers and systemic treatments. In the cellar the grapes are fermented on skins for a few days and aged in a combination of stainless steel and cask before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Marko’s Malvasia is a beautifully crafted wine with distinctive floral notes and ripe stone fruit, the palate brimming with energy and finishing with a briny tang.