A little boy who spent his childhood wandering around the wines, later breathing in the aroma-laden air of the cellar and then finally being allowed to taste the delicious treats carefully guarded in there. That little boy was Jozef Repa, whose dream has now come true.
Both sides of his family worked in the vineyards during the Socialist era and it quickly became his dream to spend his life with wine. He already knew what he wanted to do in life. He graduated from the Slovak University of Agriculture and began to work with wines, later spirits and then on a new project INVINO Modra (today ELESKO). But his dream had still not been fulfilled. His brother-in-law teased him, you never do anything alone and you’ll never start your own winery.
Now, since 2009, he is the proud owner of a small, modern family winery in Šenkvice in Slovakia, producing approximately 70,000 bottles per year. Clearly no expense has been spared to transform the building into an up-to-date winery, with a mixture of Slovenian and French barrels, both used and new and stainless steel tanks contained in its vaulted cellars. With the help of his family, he has invested in modern technology and has also created a well-appointed tasting room and brasserie, where his wife prepares home-cooked meals for the guests of the winery. Since the spring of 2015, there is also a tiny shop selling wine and other Slovakian treats.
Until now, he has produced his wines from bought-in grapes from the local region of Malokarpatska, including grapes produced on the 3ha owned by his own winemaker, who also brings international experience from a year working in Pennsylvania under the tutelage of a Slovakian winemaker. However, this year they have acquired 5ha of land, which they plan to plant with Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir, and intend to buy a further 7ha near Nitra in the Hotianske Moravec region, one of the warmest parts of Slovakia.
In order to maintain the quality of wines, checking the status and quality of the incoming grapes is of utmost importance. He uses the results of years of selection work in Slovakia and produces wine from some of the thirty varieties created and named after Slovakian rivers, such as Rimava, Rudava, Hron and Nitra. Wines from these varieties have been winning awards in international competitions, as has his Pinot Noir, which he is particularly proud of, winning silver in the Mondial des Pinots.
After five successful years, they are moving into the fifth with great optimism. Who knows, the small must tasters, his two daughters, may also be aspiring to a life of wine and continuing in the family tradition.