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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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 majority of grapes are used to produce Italian Riesling. A large amount of grapes are also used to produce Furmint (Šipon), Rhein Riesling and Chardonnay, followed by Sauvignon, Traminec 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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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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