The Santei estate is located in Vipavska brda, the upper, rugged part of the Vipava Valley. Our vineyards are a part of the Upper Branica wine-growing location, which is characterized by specific geo-climatic conditions that enable the production of superior wines. The Branica valley serves as the border between the Kras region and the Vipava Valley and encompasses the upper part of the Branica basin with the southern slopes of the Vipava hills. The ground is composed of the deposits of Eocene flysch, which is characterized by sequences of marlstone, sandy siltstone and coarse-grained carbonaceous sandstone, intertwined by thick and thin layers of breccias and conglomerates. The people from the Vipava region call this ideal wine-growing topsoil “soudan".
Upper Branica has a very specific location, because of the immediate vicinity of the Kras region, so the brown and white clay in the soudan mix with the red soil, typical of the Kras region. It is also characterized by lower temperatures. Our measurements show that the average temperatures are approximately 2 degrees lower than in the rest of the Upper Vipava Valley. This is the result of the Čipnje gorge limiting the inflow of warm Mediterranean air. The geo-climatic specifics of the Upper Branica valley allow the grapes to maintain the appropriate quantity of acids even when fully ripe, which contributes not only to their superior quality, but also to a potentially longer maturing period.
Ever since the classification of the Slovenian wine regions, the Upper Branica valley has been one of only three wine-growing locations in the Upper Vipava Valley. At the time, the term wine-growing location was strictly reserved for wine-growing areas where an exceptional terroir (a combination of topography, geology, climate, tradition and winemaker know-how) enables consistently superior quality yield.