by Yasmin Wright·
Andréa Calek & Stephana Nicolescu manage approximately 5 hectares of vineyards in the hamlet of Saint Philippe, located in a valley between Alba La Romaine and Valvignères (Ardèche). Andréa is originally from the Czech Republic, got to know France during a short vacation when he was in the Czech army. He deserted, settled in France. He worked on organic and biodynamic vineyards and learned the ropes from Gerald Oustric of Le Mazel, one of the founders of the vin naturel movement.
Fans of Andrea Calek’s natural wines often portray him as something of a rock star, mentioning his mohawk, his smoking habit, his general aloofness and the fact that he lives in a trailer next to his vineyards in the Ardèche, in southern France. And while those traits are all true, behind Calek’s veneer of cool is a studious winemaker and an innately curious person fascinated by ancient Incan ruins and whole hog charcuterie.
Calek, who was born in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), produces about 40,000 bottles of wine annually divided between four reds and one white. Each is incredibly unique, completely free of sulfur and other additives, and together his portfolio offers a broad spectrum of flavor profiles from soft and sultry, to robust and structured.