The Wine: Sun Drops 2020
Radovan Šuman Sun Drops is a skin contact natural wine (orange wine) made from a blend of Traminer, Sauvignon, and Riesling grown in Slovenia. The grapes undergo a long maceration on the skins before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no added so2. Sun Drops comes in clay bottles and is a Demeter certified biodynamic wine.
The Winery: Radovan Šuman
Radovan Šuman was born in Slovenian Styria, in the foothills of the Southern Alps, when it still belonged to Yugoslavia. His father, also a winemaker, fell ill when Radovan was about 14 years old, leaving him in de facto control of the 300-year old winery and its four hectares of vines. Those difficult early years were essential for Rado's self-teaching, having no point of reference other than his own intuition. In his spare time, he dedicated himself to the study of two of Yugoslavia's most popular national pastimes, wrestling and quantum physics. The former, he says, taught him important lessons about his own humanity, and the latter, importantly, led him to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of biodynamic agriculture, which Rado has practiced avidly for the last two decades.
Totally isolated in his youth from parallel currents in Western Europe, Šuman didn't think of what he was doing as natural wine, even though he never used additives in his winemaking and never has in the subsequent 30 years. Instead, he relies on extended maceration and long élevage in old oak, chestnut, and cherry foudres to gain stability and age-worthiness. Racking is left to a minimum and wines are seldom topped up. Radovan's approach to viticulture is even more radical. A few years back, he renounced the use of sulfur and copper sprays and stopped plowing entirely. Though his yields are somewhat lower, he believes that his soils have never been healthier and that the energy transferred to the wines, and ultimately to those who consume them, is an unquantifiable good — what fellow Slovenian, Slavoj Žižek, might call a “quantum good.” (source: Josh Eubank)
The Region: Slovenia