Slovenian wines reach the top on a global scale

Winemaking in Slovenia is turning into a unique style of art. More and more boutique winemakers invest their energy in their wines and some of them are awarded the top prizes in Slovenia and on a global scale. At this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, a distinguished event that is considered the greatest and most influential wine evaluation in the world, Slovenian winemakers achieved record results. Five winemakers received platinum medals for their wines, and they even won a record 7 gold medals, 60 silver medals and 114 bronze medals. We present the winemakers and wines that brought platinum medals back from London.

Wine from vines caressed by a Mediterranean breeze

The wine-growing region of Primorska is renowned for strong, dry wines. The Brda, Vipava, Karst, and Istrian wine roads run across the region. In the Brda Hills, directly on the border with Italy, renowned Slovenian wine-makers produce white wines, such as Rebula, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, and red wines, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Karst Region is the area where special Slovenian wine is produced – Teran. This wine has a very full flavour due to the red Karst soil (terra rosa). In the Slovenian Istria Region, known for the white Malvazija wine, quite a bit of the red Refošk wine is also grown. In the Vipava Valley, in addition to the established white and red wines, you can also taste indigenous wines, such as Zelen, Pinela, and Pikolit.

 

Teran is strong – for your health

Teran is a wine made from the refošk grape variety that grows on reddish karst soil and it has the most Anthocyanins among all of the red wines in this part of Europe. Scientific research links regular moderate consumption of Teran with preserving the health of the heart, the vascular system, and the brain. 

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The most expensive Slovenian dessert wine

A prestigious bottle of Slovenian dessert wine has been sold for no less than half a million euros. The value of the vintage Refošk dessert wine with white truffles is greatly enhanced by its bottle, which is adorned with a diamond. The wine belonged to a prestigious series of dessert wines, enriched with honey, vanilla, and white truffles, which are also available at more affordable prices. 

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Hungry for Slovenian cuisine? Treat yourself to Taste Slovenia!

Immerse yourself in the unique stories that simmer in the Slovenian gastronomic pot. Discover the secret of fullness of flavours, learn about the close connection between people and nature in food production and about their dedication to tradition, then indulge in the boldness and innovation of top Slovenian chefs. Visit the Taste Slovenia website where you are sure to find the content to your liking and enjoy every mouthful of gastronomic exploration.

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Wines from the sun-drenched Podravje region

The Podravje wine-growing area, named after the River Drava, is located in eastern Slovenia, which has wine-growing locations that are considered to be among the best 4% in the world. Vines have been growing here since Roman times. They grow in soil that is ideal for their development, under the influence of the continental climate. This area is well-known for elegant white wines of international and some indigenous varieties. The most widespread white varieties include Italian Riesling, Sauvignon, Rhein Riesling, Chardonnay, the region’s special variety, Furmint, and Yellow Muscat. Among red varieties: Blue Franconian, Pinot Noir and Žametna Črnina (Black Velvet). In the area of the Radgonsko-Kapelske Gorice Hills, sparkling wines are produced and conditioned, among other things, and in the Prekmurje Region you can also taste excellent predicate wines (top German wine classification – Prädikatswein). Their bases are indigenous varieties, such as Ranina.

A drink of wine from the oldest grapevine in the world

In Maribor, the Blauer Kölner grapevine variety, which is one of the oldest cultivated fine wine varieties in Slovenia, has been growing for over 400 years.  The grapevine, which is a special landmark in Slovenia, yields up to 55 kilos of red grapes annually. After the celebratory grape harvest, city cellar workers carefully produce the Žametna Črnina (Black Velvet) wine. It is bottled into 250 millilitre bottles with a special design.

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The land of sparkling wine and predicate wine

Sparkling wines have a long tradition in Slovenia. In Gornja Radgona, a sparkling wine cellar has been developing since 1853. The Radgona sparkling wine is a classic for Slovenians, and sparkling wine producers from all wine-growing regions of Slovenia are often a pleasant surprise at international events for rating wines. The quality of predicate wines is obtained through special maturing and processing conditions: a late harvest, berry and dry berry selection, the processing of grapes left by wine-growers to freeze on the vine (ice wine). With a little luck, you can also experience such harvests in person.

Wines from Slovenian wine-growing areas

The Posavje wine-growing region, named after the River Sava, is home to Cviček, which is a special wine in Slovenian wine-growing, as it has a very low alcohol content and a good effect on health. Wine with the recognized traditional denomination is only produced in the Dolenjska wine-growing district. Otherwise, in this and in other districts of the Posavje wine-growing region, red varieties are usually grown, e.g. Žametna Črnina (Black Velvet), Blue Franconian, Blauer Portugieser, Pinot Noir, and white wines are also grown, e.g. Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Italian Riesling, and Pinot Blanc. This region is renowned for special wine-growing features, such as small cabins in vineyards (zidanice), where you can also spend the night, or special cellars (repnice), which are dug directly into the ground.

Metliška Črnina wine cellars

In Bela Krajina, a region in southern Slovenia, Metliška Črnina is especially regarded. This is a dry red wine made up of all of the red wine varieties in the area. This wine carries the PTP recognised traditional denomination and you can learn about it at the Wine Spring Holiday (Vinska Vigred) and in two major cellars.

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The story of Cviček

Cviček is made up of at least four varieties. The mixing of dominant red and the added white varieties is what gives this wine with recognised traditional denomination (PTP) its reddish colour and a pleasantly piquant flavour. This wine has a low alcohol consistency (8–9%), and if drunk moderately, it helps preserve health. You can learn about Cviček on the Podgorjanci Wine Road, in wineries, and homesteads, such as Matjaž's Homestead in Otočec.

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Authentic holidays in a vineyard cottage

The Dolenjska Region is full of zidanice – small cottages in panoramic locations above vineyards. The residential part is usually above the cellar, where tools and wine are stored. These houses that were once used by wine-growers have now been changed into pleasant tourist accommodation facilities. They are your best choice if you wish to be in contact with wine-growing and other countryside traditions of this area.

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Toast with sustainable wines

Taste the power of fine wines that reflect the harmony of man and nature. Slovenian sustainable wines are produced with great responsibility towards nature. Vineyards are part of the natural ecosystem, winemakers use only natural vine protection products, and it is generally accepted that man's intervention in the vineyard and in the wine cellar should be kept to a minimum.

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Wine holidays and wine roads of Slovenia

Every wine-growing district has its own wine road that leads you to wine-growers and wine cellar keepers in a small local area. Many of them also offer culinary and other delights in addition to wine. The mood is festive on wine roads and in other parts of Slovenia when various wine holidays and festivals take place.

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Where can you taste wine from all over Slovenia?

Even though the centre of Slovenia is not a wine-growing area, you will be able to find high-quality wine bars in Ljubljana, the capital, and wine-related events, such as the Ljubljana Wine Trail or the Vino Ljubljana International Trade Show, which is one of the oldest wine-related trade shows in Europe.

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