Bruno Trapan and his eclectic new tasting room- more wine from Croatia
One of the young turks of Istrian winemaking is Bruno Trapan. Dynamic, innovative and a passionate winemaker, Bruno started studying winemaking at the University of Porec and quickly realized he wanted to have his own vineyard. He set about to plant his own vines covering 5 hectares on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia and now has malvasia, chardonnay, syrah and cabernet sauvignon thriving in the Mediterranean sun.
Bruno and his family recently opened their new winery (Nov 2010) and it was in full swing the day that I stopped by with Trevor and Judith of Pacta Connect, my Istrian wine guides. The winery is modern and shiny and the tasting room can only be described as eclectic. Bruno used the Croatian company Fabrika to design the room and the architect was Zeljko Burik. The room was sunken into the ground so that the windows were all along the upperhalf of the building, creating a very warm and sunny space. The most striking thing was the “bunch” for lack of a better word, of tubes that were sticking out of the ceiling. I asked Bruno what exactly there were supposed to be and he replied that it was a “bunch of grapes”.
Ah, I get it now, very post modern, I think. Another interesting quirk was the clock that was fastened to the shorter of on of the longer tubes. You could only see it if you were directly below it and looking up. Bruno explained that was so that you would know what time it was if you happened to be laying on the floor. Why you might be laying on the floor was unsaid but I think it might have something to do with drinking all night and waking up in the tasting room (wink,wink).
Bruno is thinking globally and has the name of his winery in both English and an Asian language. He says that he does get a fair number of Asian visitors, though there were none there the day we visited.
Bruno’s main grape is malvasia and I tasted through his range. The malvasias were crisp and clean with that familiar mineral bite that good Istrian malvasia seems to possess. It must be that red soil and the white stones of the area that give it such a character. I also sampled his rosé, the Rubi, which is named after his first daughter. A blend of syrah, merlot, teran and cabernet, it was dry but fruity, fresh strawberries and cherries jumping to mind as I quaffed it down with some of the homemade pate that Bruno’s mother brought in for us to enjoy.
The Trapan winery is a family run estate with everyone pitching in to help. I liked Bruno’s wines and for a young and upcoming winemaker, I think the best is yet to come.