Step by step to superlative wine
Wine production has deep roots in Slovenia, stretching all the way back to Roman times. To date Slovenians have produced millions of litres of outstanding wine, and today the wine growing tradition is still etched into the consciousness of almost every seventh Slovenian. The eastern part of Slovenia in particular is covered in vineyards, and in the west the wine growing area stretches from the coastal belt deep into the hinterland of Mediterranean Slovenia. Slovenia has 14 wine districts and 3 wine regions. Each region has its own way of flavouring the wine. The flavour is influenced by the soil composition, climate and wine growing tradition.
From the western to the eastern hills, Slovenian vineyards are linked by a love of the vine, which can be seen in the quality of Slovenian wines. Some Slovenian wine producers have won the highest prizes and accolades.Late summer and early autumn are the nicest time for them, because it is then that they gather the fruits of their past work, and the harvest is therefore a happy time in the vineyards. You too can be a part of this unforgettable event!
It is time for the harvest
Since the earliest times, grape harvests have been established as social events. When the grapes are ripe enough and contain the proper quantity of sugar, the whole family shows up, along with those who come to help them pick the sweet grapes. The time of the harvest differs somewhat from region to region. In coastal Primorska it takes place from the end of August up to the end of September, while in the south and east (Posavje and Podravje wine regions) of the country the grapes ripen a little later.
The grape harvest usually begins at eight in the morning, when the master and mistress of the house greet the guests, and then the grape harvest shears are distributed. While they work, the grape pickers like to joke and hoot, to yell and sing, so that soon they call in a response from neighbouring vineyards. And an accordion player is on hand to make the vineyard work more agreeable. During the harvesting there are usually two substantial snacks provided, then later a dessert with roasted chestnuts and a party that can go late into the night.
Grape shears in hand and off to work
Would you like to experience the joyful atmosphere of the harvest? Any additional hands are welcome for the grape picking, so the vineyard owners will be happy to invite you to join them. For the most comprehensive information on organised grape harvests, go to vineyard tourist farms. You can join some of the biggest grape harvests in Slovenia.
Podravje wine-growing region
Among Slovenia’s wine stories a special place is reserved for the Old Vine in Maribor, in eastern Slovenia, which is featured in the Guinness World Records as the oldest grapevine in the world. Befitting its venerable age and distinction, there is also a ceremonial harvest, which each October attracts large numbers of visitors to the Lent district of the city, and is established as a major tourism and protocol event in Slovenia. The harvest is also part of the Festival of the Old Vine. And just a few days after the harvest in Maribor, you can attend the town harvest in Ptuj. To the sounds of wind rattles, the powerful wooden protectors of vineyards from birds, even at the beginning of September you can join grape pickers for the Lendava grape harvest. You can also be part of the colourful throng of grape pickers at the romantic wine hills in Prlekija.
Primorska wine-growing region
In September the Vipava Valley, where the native pinela and zelen grape varieties thrive, attracts people to the Vipava grape harvest, where they also crown the new wine queen. An inspiring backdrop of vineyard-strewn hills awaits at Goriška Brda, where they get harvesting as early as the end of August. In the wine cellar Brda you can taste the kinds of wine they make in this area.
Posavje wine-growing region
You can also take part in the grape harvest in the Posavje wine-growing region, where the end of the working day is celebrated in style in the wine cottages, sweet little houses with wine cellars perched on vineyard hills. In the Bizeljsko area you should visit what are called repnice, sandy caves that once served for storing produce, particularly turnips (repa), and today used for cellaring wine.