Miha and Marijan occupy the highest elevated farm in Vrhovnica in the Bizeljsko region of eastern Slovenia, barely two miles from Croatia. The Kelhar family has deep roots in the area- they’ve been farming it for over 240 years. They built their first cellar from local oak trees in 1776, and their second, a part of the current family home, in 1834. The family always made wine, but without the commercial aspect. When Marijan took over in the 80s, he bottled and sold their wine for the first time, establishing the Keltis name at the same time. These days, he is joined by his spirited and creative son Miha.
Miha credits Marijan for guiding him to the proper way of winemaking. Marijan, when he pushed the family farm firmly towards viticulture, wanted to make wine in tune with nature, and Mihan pushed this to its logical conclusion, which is organic farming. Miha participated in a wide variety of tasting from local and regional winemakers, coming away with the unmistakable impression that organic practices produced the best wine, by far. In 2009, Miha and Marijan experimented farming organically on a few of their plots, proving his intuition correct. Within a few years, the estate became fully organic.
Keltis has 24ha of land in total, with 5ha dedicated to viticulture. Their vines are, on average, 17 years old, on a variety of soils- marl, sandstone/quartz, limestone, and clay- all contributing to a rich and diverse production. The vineyard benefits from western winds from their neighbor Orlica, offering natural protection against disease and moderating temperature in their high altitude locale. All together, they grow rumeni plavec, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, ottonel muscat, riesling, yellow muscat, pinot gris, and traminer.