The holiday of fruitful autumn

The most widespread celebration in Slovenia related to wine and the culture of wine is the celebration of St Martin's Day. It is celebrated on 11 November and for a week or two after that. You will not experience autumn dancing like this anywhere else in Europe, so visit one of the large celebrations of St Martin's Day. To really experience the celebration of St Martin's Day, you should drive to the source of wine—to vineyards and winemakers. St Martin's Day is celebrated not only in all Slovenian wine-growing regions, but from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pannonian plains. Be part of the merry atmosphere upon the birth of the new wine.

When must turns into wine

The roots of St Martin's Day celebrations supposedly arise from a Celtic holiday which paid tribute to the fruitfulness of the autumn in the fields and vineyards. St Martin, a bishop from Tours in France with Hungarian roots, seemed like the most appropriate successor and protector of this important time. The joy as must turns into real wine is incomparable with any other holiday in Slovenia. Almost every seventh Slovenian is a winegrower and it is no coincidence that the greatest Slovenian TV soap operas of all time are related to wine dynasties.

St Martin's Day is redolent of like wine and delicacies

In addition to the celebration of a new wine vintage, St Martin's Day is characterised by its typical dishes, including, in addition to other types of poultry, the most typical roast goose or duck with shredded flatbread (mlinci) and stewed red cabbage. You will find St Martin's Day menus in most restaurants in Slovenia. Indispensable dishes include pogača, potica and other sweet delicacies. 

St Martin’s Day with flavours selected by Ana Roš

Surprise your loved ones and prepare a delicious St Martin’s Day feast in your own kitchen. To create a special St Martin’s Day culinary experience, prepare dishes using recipes by the world-renowned chef Ana Roš.

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Large outdoor St Martin's Day celebrations

According to tradition must turns into wine on St Martin's Day; wine is christened all over Slovenia on that day when large public outdoor St Martin's Day celebrations also take place. The autumn events in Maribor, home to a grapevine that is more than 450 years old, include the exciting annual Old Vine Festival. The Festival ends with the St Martin's Day celebration known for its rich gastronomy and diverse cultural and music programme.

From Maribor, the second largest Slovenian city in the west of the country with the world's oldest vine venture to Ptuj with the oldest winery in Slovenia, which was established by monks. Feel the joy of St Martin's Day amid the fertile rolling hills of Posavje and Dolenjska in the south of the country, and taste some wine on a wine trail in the heart of Ljubljana. The largest St Martin's Day celebrations of in Mediterranean Slovenia are held in Nova Gorica where the day connects the city and the rural area of the Vipava Valley, in the Karst and in Brda where you can experience the unique atmosphere of the oldest wineries in the picturesque village of Šmartno. The atmosphere is also merry in Koper .

Wine stories from Slovenia

The winegrowing and oenology of Slovenia are represented by three wine-growing regions with 14 wine-growing districts. The first written testimonies to winegrowing in the area of present Slovenia date as far back as the 3rd century B.C. Large quantities of excellent wine have been produced here since then. Certain Slovenian winemakers win the most prestigious prizes and awards at world competitions. A special feature of Slovenian winegrowing and oenology are certain indigenous grape and wine varieties. Among them, two truly special wines are Karst Teran and Cviček from Dolenjska, and there are also Zelén, Pinela, Grganja, Klarnica and others. Have you tasted them? St Martin's Day is the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Where can you taste Slovenian wines?

During St Martin's Day celebrations, you can taste young wine virtually all around Slovenia. Not only can you taste the new vintage in restaurants, inns, wine bars, and at organised St Martin's Day celebrations, you can taste wine in other ways, too.

A Ljubljana wine experience

If you do not have time to explore all of Slovenia’s wine regions, you can simply stay in the capital city of Ljubljana and taste their most recognisable wines there. Embark on a wine-tasting tour with a guide who is a wine connoisseur.

A Ljubljana wine experience

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Wine tasting on a boat in Izola

Board a boat in Izola and enjoy a pleasant boat ride on which you can see the vineyards in the area from the sea. You can also taste local wine brands and enjoy selected sea food.

Wine tasting on a boat in Izola

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Propose a toast in a vineyard cottage

Vineyard cottages, known locally as zidanice are pleasant-looking cottages in the vineyards of the Dolenjska and Bela Krajina regions. Locals will serve you their wines in the cellars of these cottages. Visitors can also stay the night in zidanice cottages and temporarily transform into their keeper.

Propose a toast in a vineyard cottage

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A visit to repnice turnip caves

While in the Posavje region, be sure to visit the typical repnice (pronounce rep-nee-tzeh) turnip caves. These are special caves that were once used to store food, mainly turnips, but most of them have been converted into pleasant wine cellars.

A visit to repnice turnip caves

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Follow ivy branches that take you to osmice wine bars

Around the time of the St Martin’s Day celebrations, osmice wine bars open their doors in the Primorska wine region, where you can be served local dishes and wines. The osmice wine bars are opened for ten days, and selected wine growers and farmers do not only open them in autumn, but in spring too.

Follow ivy branches that take you to osmice wine bars

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St Martin's Day Celebrations in Slovenia

On St Martin’s Day, there is no shortage of interesting events all around Slovenia. Check the locations where you can toast with young wine.



St Martin's Day, the greatest holiday of bountiful autumn  

Discover wine and the wine-growing tradition during the celebration of St Martin's Day. A week or two in November are reserved for joy at the new wine vintage. Slovenia is a miniature wine region of Europe.

Wines of Slovenia

Where can you taste the wine from the three wine-growing regions of Slovenia?

Wines of Slovenia

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For foodies

The creators of new Slovenian cuisine

For foodies

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Wine holidays in Slovenia

In wine-growing Slovenia, there are plentiful opportunities to offer a toast with good wine in all seasons. Also visit our typical wine-related festivals.

Wine holidays in Slovenia

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Slovenia’s best wine stories and experiences

Slovenia invites you for a visit to enjoy excellent and unique wine experiences.

Slovenia’s best wine stories and experiences

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Cycling among Vineyards

Take a ride on a bike on the popular Slovenian wine routes.

Cycling among Vineyards

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World’s Oldest Vine

For more than 450 years, the world’s oldest vine has remained firmly rooted in the heart of Maribor.

World’s Oldest Vine

World’s Oldest Vine

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Stories from Slovenia

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