Chul-kyu was born in Seoul in South Korea on 11 August 1973, but at the age of 1 he was adopted in Italy by a Valle d’Aosta family. In choosing the school address, like many boys he had no idea what his life choices would be but after starting his studies at the Institut Agricole Régional in Aosta, he decided to move towards the world of wine continuing in Alba at the Umberto I Institute
Following some work experiences in the Langhe area that allowed him to come into contact with the great Piedmontese wines now famous all over the world, he manages to return to his adopted region, going to work in a Cooperative that will allow him to mature over the years their skills.
Over time, the desire to see the birth of their own label grows. This “dream in the drawer” begins to take shape in 2015 with the recovery of small plots left to friends by generations now tired. As Chul Kyu likes to think, this is his small contribution to a better tomorrow; tearing these modest family vineyards from uncultivated and abandoned vineyards is the first step in the right direction.
Thus was born in 2018 Cave Monaja. The name is a tribute to his maternal grandfather, Carlo Alessandro Monaja, a Knight of the Republic who delighted in producing small quantities of wine for the family. The logo, on the other hand, comes from the union between its Asian origins and the bond to the territory given by the adoptive family.
The company works following a concept of maximum respect for the natural cycle of life by adopting all the attention applied to organic certifications as well as a particular attention to sustainability as a principle to be pursued in every small daily choice. The heart of the company is represented by a vine over 300 years old, identified at the beginning of the 90s, in the hamlet of Farys in the Aosta Valley and immediately inserted among the monumental plants kept by the Agriculture Department of the Valle d’Aosta region. Aosta. Around this monumental vine of Farys, Cave Monaja creates its symbolic product: the Monaja 300. The grapes come from the oldest strains of the various recovered plots which together with the monumental of Farys allow to obtain 225 liters of this precious AOC Vallée d’Aoste rouge. The wine is left for 24 months in French oak barrels followed by at least 6 months of bottle aging.
From a start that can be quantified in just over 400 square meters, today we arrive at an area 50 times larger, allowing us to add two AOC products to the Monaja 300:
Foehn – Vallée d’Aoste rouge, obtained from the native vines Fumin, Petit Rouge and Vien de Nus and
Stau – Vallée d’Aoste blanc, obtained from Chardonnay with a small share of Traminer and Muscat and two wines outside the DOC standards:
Prêt à Boire Blanc and Prêt à Boire Rouge, worked respectively in Nomblot amphora and ovoid tank.
All the small plots managed by the company are located in the central area of the Aosta Valley at an altitude between 500 and 1000 meters above sea level: hence the definition of heroic viticulture. The choice to work these blends was made because in past eras, as is still used today with the wines of the great French Chateaux, even in Valle d’Aosta there was the custom of using more varieties so as to be able to bring and modulate all the qualities of the different vines giving a better final product than the simple sum of the single ones.