Raise your glasses!
Slovenia has no less than 14 wine-growing districts with wine hills in locations which have the highest quality in the world. Every winemaker is proud of their wine and likes to share it with the visitors who stop at their cellar. The pride and joy that supreme Slovenian wines bring about is also reflected in a number of festivals and events taking place in wine regions practically throughout the year. The most festive season is autumn when the grapes are ripe and are turned into must in presses. On St Martin’s Day, the must then turns into young wine. The harvest and St Martin’s Day are traditional wine holidays, which must be experienced first hand.
Autumn joy at the new vintage
Slovenian vineyards in autumn colours mark the time when wine cellars open and invite you to taste the new vintage. In addition to an oenological experience, numerous events held during this time will offer you an insight into old customs.
From grape picking ...
When autumn generously arrives to the country, happy songs can be heard and a lively atmosphere felt among the vineyards. With the help of numerous hard-working hands, the winemakers are harvesting the fruits of their past labour. Grape harvests have a special charm. They have expanded into traditional social events or festivals, such as the harvest of the Old Vine in Maribor, the town harvest in Ptuj or the Lendava grape harvest.
... to St Martin’s Day
St Martin’s Day is in November and is one of the most important folk festivals. St. Martin’s Day is one of the most important folk festivals in wine-growing regions. To truly experience this festival, we recommend that you go where the wine originates. Among vineyards and the people who tend them, to a place where you can smell the sweet aroma of home-made cooking and freshly baked chestnuts. You will learn about the most authentic traditions and customs by visiting one of the numerous wine cellars,wineries or zidanicas around Slovenia, and St. Martin will also visit the capital and other cities in early November.
The queen of all grapevines
Maribor, the second largest city in the country, is home to the oldest vine in the world, which still produces grapes. It is the only plant with its own museum and even an anthem. Many interesting events take place in its vicinity, especially in autumn during the Old Vine Festival. The diverse social activities start in Maribor with the harvest of the Old Vine and last until St Martin’s Day.
In the spring and summer, awaiting the arrival of the new vintage
Celebrations and festivals connected with wine and local cuisine start as early as in the spring in wine regions. The noble flavours of wine and olive oil can be tasted in March at the festival in Šempas. Visit the Brda & Vino spring festival or the Rebula and Olive Oil Festival in the Brda Hills in April. Spring in Izola usually starts with the Orange Wine Festival on the last Friday in April, and in the beginning of June, the streets of Izola come to life with the Olive, Wine and Fish Festival. The largest wine festival in Slovenia, Vinska vigred (Wine Spring), takes place in May in Metlika in Bela krajina. At the beginning of May, you can combine something sweet with a glass of good wine at the Wine and Chocolate Festival in Podčetrtek. In May, visit Marezige in Slovenian Istria, where the traditional Refosco Festival has been taking place for many years. In the Dolenjska region, its remarkable wine called Cviček is being celebrated at the traditional Cviček Week every May.
At summer festivals, the wine is frequently combined with various fields of cultural creativity. One example of this is Ptuj, where the Days of Poetry and Wine are organised in August. The lovers of the Karst Teran and prosciutto must visit Dutovlje, where the Festival of Teran and Prosciutto takes place in August. At the onset of autumn, it is also lively in Lendava at the Vinarium Festival.
We look forward to the new wine vintage in autumn
In addition to numerous grape harvests and St Martin’s Day celebrations, you can visit also other wine-related events. Among the largest ones is the Old Vine Festival in Maribor. Taste the noble drops of wine in November at the Slovenian Wine Festival in Ljubljana. Even in Bohinj, which is not considered a traditionally wine-producing region, you can raise your wine glass at the Cheese and Wine Festival in September.
Wherever you encounter a bouquet of ivy
A lot happens in the Karst Region in all seasons, as winemakers open Osmice – pop-up wineries. The tradition of opening Osmice in the Karst Region, which has lasted over two hundred years, is more alive than ever. A permission was granted to wine-growers to sell excess wine, home-made prosciutto and other meat products tax-free for eight days, and this provided the ideal excuse to hold a social and joyous event. Home-made bread, Potica and cooked Štruklji (rolled dumplings) are sure bring you good cheer. Osmice take place throughout the year, and to mark the way to them, ivy bouquets known as “fraskas” are placed along roads and at intersections.
See the oenological side of Slovenia
Slovenia is a land of superb wines, which you can taste at renowned winemakers, on tourist farms, in top restaurants and at other wine providers. You can learn about the tradition of wine producing in very interesting ways.
Slovenian wine roads
If you wish to travel around the three wine-growing regions of Slovenia, you’ll find it helpful to look through this publication featuring in-depth presentations of their wine-growing districts.