TILIA Estate – House of Pinots and More

By Published On: April 3, 2024

TILIA Estate in Potoče, Vipava Valley – in Slovenia’s Primorska region – was founded in 1996.

The name TILIA comes from the estate’s linden trees. The image of the linden tree growing in the first vineyard TILIA planted symbolizes both Slovenian and the winegrower’s independence. After nearly three decades, founder and oenologist Matjaž Lemut has established himself as one of Slovenia’s premier Pinot Noir growers and winemakers – hence the slogan House of Pinots. He also grows and makes Pinot Gris, Zelen (Yellow Muscat), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay on his 10 hectares of vineyard and in collaboration with partner farms.

Pinot Gris 2022, Vipava Valley, Slovenia
Slovenia’s ray of sunshine
There’s nothing “gris” at all about this lively and rich white. Flavors like crunchy green apple, juicy pear, ripe melon, and zesty lemon are cradled in silky-softness from the delicate stirring of the lees during this wine’s short period of aging in stainless steel. Pair this sunny sipper with creamy pasta and risotto, grilled seafood, and poultry – or simply sip on its own.

Zelen 2022, Vipava Valley, Slovenia
Your friends will be green with envy when you show up with this
From a single solitary hectare – the University of Nova Gorica’s estate vineyard, Manče – comes the light and bright Zelen (Yellow Muscat), a native variety to Slovenia. It’s fresh, floral, and fruity – like spring and summer in a bottle – making it the perfect apéritif or accompaniment to lighter fare like salads, seafood, grilled chicken, and tuna or beef carpaccio. Zelen will be the zip and zing at all your outdoor gatherings.

Merijaki Pinot Noir 2019, Vipava Valley, Slovenia
From only 4000 vines comes this world-class Pinot Noir
The grapes for Matjaž Lemut’s Merijaki Pinot come from a neighboring farm, Pavlica – the namesake Renče/Merljaki Vineyard – where yields are exceedingly low, resulting in a uber-small production, intensely flavored Pinot replete with brambly berry, maraschino cherry, dried plum, and a whiff of smoke from aging 14 months in Slavonian and French oak barrels. Enjoy sipping this solo or alongside lamb chops, pork tenderloin, and fattier poultry like duck and goose. Believe us when we say this Pinot rivals those we’ve tasted from more well-known regions.

Estate Pinot Noir 2019, Vipava Valley, Slovenia
Lemut’s House of Pinots starts at home

Matjaž Lemut shows off his estate-grown Pinot Noir in this elegant, age-worthy red whose grapes come from his two of his plots, Potoče and Pliska. This is everything you want in a bold Pinot – it’s ripe and robust thanks to 14 months of aging in fine French Louis Latour barrels – and bursting with ‘very berry’ flavors like blackberry and cherry encircled by notes of smoke and earth. A wine this luxurious calls for rich meat dishes like Beef Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, slow-roasted pork, and venison stew.

Wines tasted at Wine Vision by Open Balkan and/or with Danube Wines.

Wine notes originally written for UK importer and retailer Danube Wines.


About the Author: Elizabeth Smith

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Dr. Elizabeth Smith is a former college professor and wine club manager turned award-winning wine writer, copywriter, and marketer. Elizabeth is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International Sacramento and Sonoma Chapters, the Circle of Wine Writers and the Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association. Connect with Elizabeth at easmith.net/contact.