Call him the bad-boy of winemaking, the Istrian RocknRolla or the young zealot of Teran. But whatever the name tag is, one cannot dispute the fact that Bruno Trapan is definitely a game changer freshening up the scene with his avant-garde approach and thrilling personality. You may be shocked by his bluntness or click with him immediately, but one thing is certain – you will not leave his winery indifferent.
Not a lot of my readers know, but I’ll admit it once again – I do not come from a traditional wine family of producers/viticulturists/sommeliers. At one point of my life, I found that the wine industry interested me much more than translating English literature did, so jumping in head-first was the only logical move I could think of at the time. In 2005, Bruno did the same. Upon finishing university, the idea of opening a winery came to him like all great ideas do – with the help of alcohol and a few good mates. They were joking about what kind of wines could be made in Šišan, an area near Pula, said to be unsuitable for tomatoes, let alone grapes. One of them even said “If you’re going to be a winemaker, I’m going to be the next Pope!” Read the full interview with this guy here.
At 2010’s Vinistra, an annual competition that focuses on the local and international promotion of Istrian wines, Trapan’s first Malvazija won best-in-the-show award and got some serious people talking. Amongst them were the Decanter crew, who paid a visit to Istria in 2014 and Robert Parker who awarded Trapan’s 2008 Uroboros with 90 points. But all this serious gameplay didn’t take Bruno off his track. He simply wanted to keep the image he had before the awards and fame, and let me tell you – he did exactly that. While talking to him, I could see the passion he has for winemaking, the everlasting belief in ride-or-die friendships and the undying need to put family in front of everything. He may be a guy that loves partying and eccentric shit, but under that image lays a great personality, proper winemaker and unbelievable host.
Trapan’s vineyards are held at a sustainable level. His winemaking style is the clear definition of funky – a modern exterior, a sign that reads “Trapan Wine Station” in Croatian and Japanese, Che Guevara posters, rainbow-colored oak barrels, lots of exploration in the production and best of all, tasting those same wines with Jamiroquai blasting on the stereo. Besides this, his wines reflect his signature style and personality. He mainly focuses on indigenous grapes Teran and Malvazija, but also has plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay, all grown on terra rossa soils (good drainage characteristics). A unique quote about what his creativity-oriented approach revolves around explains everything – the less you drink, the older you get. No need arguing with that.
In the sea of high-quality barrel and bottle samples I tried, the signature wine would definitely be The One 2013. Let’s start from the label, which is without a doubt light years cooler than you – straight-to-the-point minimalistic and catchy. The One is a red blend of Teran and Syrah coming straight outta Bruno Trapan’s creative workshop. It’s this powerful and oddly pleasing liquid that just blasts you into a completely different zone of perception, making you look at an Istrian wine as if it was born in the terra rossa of Coonawarra, Australia. Jammy and fresh black fruit on the nose, mashed together with sage, white pepper and chocolate. Opulent palate, laser precise acidity matched with a gorgeous creamy texture reminiscent of that first coffee you order in the morning while being hungover as fuck. This wine has a similar effect. After drinking so many overdone Terans, I’ve found the one I want to look up to in this world of chaos and darkness. 90/100
NAME: Wine Station Trapan
ESTABLISHED IN: 2005
ADDRESS: Giordano Dobran 63, Šišan
ANNUAL PRODUCTION: 70.000
LABELS: Ponente, Uroboros, Rubi Rosé, CHE Teran, Nigra Virgo Revolution, Teran Terra Mare, Shuluq, Dark Rose, The One
Written by Aleksandar Draganić.
I’m a WSET certified grape juice drinker, and yes, I’m that 1% of people that love their job. I drink wine, write about it, preach about it, even take pictures of it. Find me at @grapenomad