In the beginning, there was a dream. Then, the idea was born. Our vision was to combine the best terroir and our respect for the nature in order to offer wine-lovers a new, organic, natural and unforgettable wine experience. After that, the hard work began. Hard work that resulted in Santei wines and spirits. We are not looking for shortcuts. We are not looking for quick fixes. We are only interested in the best. We follow nature, we respect tradition. Our grapes and wines are organically certified and in 2019 we started to follow biodynamic principles in wine-growing and vinification process. This is our path. We wish you many pleasant moments with our Santei wines and spirits!
The Santei estate is located in Vipavska brda, the upper, rugged part of the Vipava Valley. Our vineyards are a part of the Upper Branica wine-growing sub-region, which is characterized by specific geo-climatic conditions that enable the production of premium wines. The Branica valley serves as the border between the Karst region and the Vipava Valley and encompasses the upper part of the Branica basin with the southern slopes of the Vipava hills. The ground is composed of the deposits of Eocene flysch, which is characterized by sequences of marlstone, sandy siltstone and coarse-grained carbonaceous sandstone, intertwined by thick and thin layers of breccias and conglomerates. The people from the Vipava region call this ideal wine-growing topsoil “soudan".
Upper Branica has a very specific location, because of the immediate vicinity of the Karst region, so the brown and white clay in the “soudan” mix with the red soil, typical of the Karst region. It is also characterized by lower temperatures. Our measurements show that the average temperatures are approximately 2 degrees lower than in the rest of the Upper Vipava Valley. This is the result of the Čipnje gorge limiting the inflow of warm Mediterranean air. The geo-climatic specifics of the Upper Branica valley allow the grapes to maintain the appropriate quantity of acids even when fully ripe, which contributes not only to their superior quality, but also to a potentially longer maturing period.
In 2004, upon entering the EU, Slovenia designated special protection areas (Natura 2000 areas), which include the Branica river valley. The area also includes the Upper Branica river basin with the southern part of Vipavska brda. This is a feeding area for bats that have their maternity colonies at the Rihemberk castle. The area is covered by protected streams and other water environments, dry grasslands and juniper groves. These are habitats of rare and endangered animals (e.g. Italian agile frog, yellow-bellied toad, Balkan goldenring dragonflies, stag beetle, Morimus funereus, Carabus variolosus Fabricius, etc.). A special characteristic of the Branica valley are also the high-trunk orchards (one is located below the Santei estate). These trees provide a suitable habitat for rare species of birds, such as hoopoe and little owl.
Santei Natural wines are the pure demonstration of our respect for Mother Nature and Matej´s perfectionism in the wine cellar. All our wines are certified organic from 2018 vintage. From 2019 we follow the principles of biodynamic winemaking and in 2021 we received Demeter certificate.
Our vision is to combine the best terroirs and offer you a natural, organic and unforgettable wine experience, while respecting the natural characteristics of the Vipava Valley.
We believe in the concept of sustainability. Most of the work at our vineyards - including harvest - is done manually with respect for nature. It is only this deep respect for nature that allows us to build a sustainable ecosystem. All our grapes and wines ore organically certified, and from 2019 we use biodynamic principles in our vineyards and at Santei wine cellar.
In our sustainability efforts, we are assisted by nature itself:
We believe in the concept of terroir. Premium wines can only be produced from the grapes which are grown at the best wine-growing sites. We place great importance on the wine growing tradition. Our ancestors, the old farmers of the Vipava valley region knew exactly which wine growing locations were the most appropriate for individual grapevine varieties, so we strictly adhere to this tradition. All Santei vineyards are planted at the locations where vineyards were grown in the past. Our wines are made exclusively from the grapes that we grow in our vineyards.
We respect tradition. In our wine cellar we follow the French know-how. We use traditional French wooden press for pressing grapes and utilize no additives in the winemaking process, apart from sulfur, which is added in minimum quantities necessary. The essence of our oenological processes is cleanliness, attention to details and time, and these factors only support the premium grapes from our organic and biodynamic vineyards. We believe that every wine needs enough time to fully mature in the barrel before it is bottled. Only when fully harmonized, we offer our wines, spirits and gin to our customers.
6222 Štanjel, Slovenia