For centuries, wine has been a source of income for the population of Zagorje.
The natives of these areas of Illyrian-Celtic origin were conquered by Roman legions in the 1st century BC, creating a Roman province of Upper Pannonia. They also brought vines with them and produced wine that was transported to Rome itself. During the 6th century with the arrival of the Slavs, production progressed even more. However, with the invasion of the Turks, there are a lot of vineyards destroyed. The religion forbids Turks to drink alcohol. After the lost battle near Vienna, the Turks retreated and reconstruction began in vineyards.
Wine production in the 15th and 16th centuries was higher than grain production.
A large number of written documents mention the misfortunes of the winegrowers of this area – from natural disasters to imposed rents. whose founder was King Bela IV. to frequent looting of vineyards and wine revenues of the Counts of Zrinski and unreasonable taxes during the 16th century? It is claimed that the Zagorje winegrowers raised the Peasant Revolt (1573) precisely because of the high donations to the feudal lords and the church.
FILOKSERA CHANGES THE WINE IMAGE
With the advent of phylloxera, in the 1980s, much of the domestic vine was destroyed. In the restoration of vineyards destroyed by phylloxera, the so-called American rootstock, however, the method of cultivation is changing, many varieties have been lost and many quality vineyard positions have been abandoned. The restoration of the vineyards was interrupted first by the First and then the Second World War, and both, with unreasonable policies, further contributed to the destruction of the vineyards.
Significant changes occurred only after 1970 when the first plantation vineyards were planted in this subregion and modern wine cellars were built at that time. After the transition to a market economy (1991), a large number of excellent winegrowers and winemakers who independently process grapes from their own vineyards “emerged” in the Zagorje-Međimurje subregion. One of them is the family farm Zdolc from Klenica near Pregrada, which continues the century-old tradition of grape and wine production that they inherited from their grandfathers.
On the hills of Zagorje, where the writer Janko Leskovar also grew grapes, he planted the first vineyard in 1921. great-grandfather, who was born in the same year when the novella Propali dvori was written…
The founder Josip Brezak’s great-grandfather Josip nurtured the vineyard in the traditional peasant way with a lot of pain and love. The tradition, school, was passed down from generation to generation. Special varieties were selected to gain on the quality of the wine.
LATE 80’s Modernization
Gradually, production was modernized. Josip Zdolc, Robert’s father, begins the turning point and the big turn. With the application of new technologies, great attention was paid to the protection of vineyards, and in the 90’s we expanded our vineyard. 2011 the tasting room was opened, according to many, one of the most beautiful tasting rooms in Zagorje, in front of which there is a large old wooden press more than 100 years old in the yard.
2019 Organic production
A hectic lifestyle, overuse of natural resources, environmental pollution, could have resulted in some damage to the soil. Because of this, the younger generations decided to return to the traditional breeding and roots of their ancestors. In other words, production is based on the principles of organic farming, without the use of pesticides, or modern conventional plant protection products, herbicides and fertilizers.
The Zdolcs want to return to the nature we once had.
Such are their wines, natural and sincere.