Size: 1 L
Country: Czech Republic
Grapes: Gruner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Muller-Thurgau
Nesterac Motto: Normal Wines from the Czech Republic
Milan on this wine: “This wine embodies my unassuming Moravian roots. Made with “common” local grapes that are neutral and low-alcohol and hence always used to be blended together for an everyday wine. (Gewurztraminer being the fancy Sunday-kinda-wine). An approach I like–and Běl and its plump, juice-like 1-liter bottle is my tribute to that.
I remember hearing the word “másnica” used for a bottle of wine when I was a kid. Only as an adult did I learn that it derives from the German Mass, an old volumetric unit roughly equalling 1 liter, which used to be a standard size of bottle for a guy working in the field (mixing it with water to get more quantity). I do love the term “minimagnum” too, though, courtesy of my Montréal friends.” The name Běl means white in old formal Czech, another tribute to things past. Linocut label by Milan’s wife Mirka.
Soil: Loess, clay, sand – blend of different vineyards in Bílovice and Moravský Žižkov, aged from 5 to 40 years. Estate-owned, organic.
Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The wine is spontaneously fermented in stainless steel and neutral oak without temperature control. It rests in the same vessels for about 6 months until the following spring. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with cca 30ppm of sulfur at bottling.
Personality: Milan says the aim with this wine was to have a bottle he can bring even to his conservative neighbors because it’s so approachable – fruity, with good acidity and pleasant citrusy aroma – that you can drink it with literally everyone, be they natural wine fans or haters. Mission accomplished!