Puklavec Family Wines sign
Puklavec Family WinesRegion: ŠTAJERSKA ORMOŽ-JERUZALEM
Address: Kolodvorska Cesta 11, 2270 Ormož, SloveniaPhone: +386 41 741 118Website: http://puklavecfamilywines.com/en http://www.archivewines.comContact: bklanjsek@puklavecfamily.comWinemaker: Nejc BorkoBrands: Jeruzalem Ormož, Puklavec & Friends, Estate Selection, Seven NumbersVineyards: Family owned 650 hectares 

This relatively old family run business is a story of loss and gain over time. Founded in 1934 by Martin Puklavec it left family hands during the collectivist Tito era, becoming an important publicly owned cooperative which Martin then directed on behalf of his community. In 2009 both winery and vineyards returned to family control under the guidance of Martin’s grandchildren: Vladimir, Tatjana and Kristina Puklavec.

At its heart is one of the most fabulous pieces of ‘modernist’ wine architecture in the world. Dating from 1967, multi-leveled and circular in shape, it is an optimally designed, perfect machine, for winemaking. Grapes entering in natural lighting at ground level and then are fed progressively downward by gravity through each stage of processing, eventually ending up in a perfectly temperature, mold-encrusted cellar. PFW’s cellar contains Slovenia’s largest white wine archive with more than 250.000 bottles, dating as far back as 1956 with most in prime drinking condition.

On my first trip to the cellar in 2014 I had the pleasure to drink several Sauvignon Blancs from the 1970s -- all proof that this white grape can age beautifully. These and many others are still available for sale: www.archivewines.com

Production is over five million bottles sold under five brands: Jeruzalem Ormož (traditional domestic brand), Puklavec & Friends (export brand), Estate Selection (regional styles), Seven Numbers (single vineyard). The winery sources grapes from 1,100 hectares throughout the greater Ljutomer- Ormož region, with 600 family owned vineyards and 400 owned by ‘friends’, mostly producers from former coop times.  

Vineyards are located on relatively steep slopes between 250 and 350 meters high, centered around the little village of Jeruzalem, where it is possible to see into Austria, Croatia and Hungary from a nearby tower.

The winery’s oldest Sauvignon vines are planted in their Gomilla vineyard, which is a cooler and windier sub-region. They have 15 clones of Sauvignon planted from various parts of Europe. Winemaker Nejc Borko says, ‘the old local clones are still the best for disease avoidance and aromatics.’

PFW have several other sub-regional vineyards, each with different ripening patterns created by differing micro-climates, elevation and exposures. Malec vineyard is best for Pinot Noir, which is nearest Jerusalem. The best Pinot Gris, Sipon (Furmint) and sparkling varieties come from Gomilla Klumpa, with similar weather to Gomilla, Grapes are hand picked in a single day, with vines carrying between 1.5-2.5 kg per plant.

Winemaking is a mix of modern stainless steel production and traditional maturation in large 1000+ litre barrels.

Puklavec Family Wines is an important Slovenian winery with strong brand recognition both domestically and abroad. There is obviously a deep respect for Slovenian traditions and thoughtful strategies intent on taking Slovenian wine into the greater world. 

Apart from that and because Jeruzalem Ormoz is primarily focused on white wine production, PFW have recently purchased vineyards in Macedonia to flesh out their red wine production. This should be an exciting development given Macedonia’s interesting mix of native grape varieties and cool elevated growing areas. 

View Puklavec wine notes here

Puklavec Vineyard and church

Spectacular vineyards surrounding Jeruzalem

Puklavec art deco building

Brilliantly designed Tito-era winery 

Puklavec wine-maker

Winemaker Nejc Borko