Vina Cotar is an estate winery in Gorjankso, a village overlooking the Gulf of Trieste (2 miles/3km away) and in the western part of the Kras or Kast region of Slovenia, which is called Carso across the border in Italy. The business began in 1974 when Branko Cotar started making wine for the restaurant he owned. He closed this in 1988 to focus on wine. Branko’s son Vasja is now in charge. The wines are made from a mix of local and international varieties.

Vineyards | Around 7 hectares (17.3 acres) of vines. White grapes Vitovska and Malvasia Istriana, plus Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Red grapes Refosco, plus Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Organic certification | 1990-2003 Organic without certification. | 2004 First vintage with full organic certification.

Winery | The cellar is dug into the hill.

Sparkling wines

Crna Penina | Made from Teran (Terrano).

White wines

Blended white | Includes Vitovska, Malvasia, Friulano.


Sauvignon Blanc

Vitovska | 2015 20 months in 2,000-litre barrels. No filtration, no added sulfites. Savoury, clean orange fruit, very good weight (Real Wine Fair 2017).

Red wines

Teran | Made from the Refosco (group of grapes). | 2014 11% alcohol. Aged 26 months in barrels. Lovely sappy fruit (Real Wine Fair 2017).


Cabernet Sauvignon

Terra Rosso

Sweet wines

Passito | A dried grape wine made from Refosco.

Solera wines

Sladominka | A solera-style (fractionally blended) white from Malvasia Istriana.