Slovenia has more than 28,000 wineries!
24th November 2021
I wanted to share an attention grabbing headline, far from click baiting as it is a fact, in order to acquire your attention as I firmly believe that Slovenia deserves a good proportion of our overall wine attention. Here’s why with plenty of facts to support it:
In the last month (October 2021) I have been involved in two events promoting Slovenian Sparkling Wines (Love Wine Love Slovenia) and a common conversation initiation towards me was “I never realised Slovenia was making so many wines” as well as a number of people who had yet to be educated to “where Slovenia was” on the atlas and yet to realise it wasn’t either Slovakia, Serbia neither part of Russia.
It’s surrounded by four other famous wine growing countries to include Italy and Austria – Produces around 90 million litres from 22,300 hectares of vineyards. Bang in the middle, with a touch of the Mediterranean Sea, of Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary. It holds sun, sea, ski, caves and more!
The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana (also the country’s largest city) and is pronounced: Lyoo-BLYAH-na
There is nothing more joyful in the world of wine than when we discover a new wine region or winery. The world of wine holds an incredible depth of variety such as the splendour of our global terroirs to include winemaking styles. There are simply 100,000’s of wineries and probably well over a million labels to explore when counting vintages too. Over 10,000 varieties of grapes and with many of them combined to make blends, it’s grab your calculator time so to realise the amount of wine digit delights!
Some readers will be familiar with Slovenian wine so hats off to you – Though for others yet to discover this wine region then read on for some further information and useful note taking facts:
Let’s start off with a very important record that Slovenia holds and that is the oldest vine in the world! Located in Maribor (the country’s second largest city and popular wine tourism destination) the vine is said to date back some 400 years and is officially included within the Guinness Book of Records. The vine stands outside the Old Vine House which includes a museum and tasting room – There are annual events that take place within and outside so do check the official website to find out more: www.staratrta.si/en/
Wine regions of Slovenia:
- Podravska containing Prekmurje / Štajerska / Bizeljsko Sremič
- Primorska containing Goriška Brda / Kras / Vipavska Dolina / Slovenska Istra
- Posavska containing Dolenjska / Bela Krajina
Popular grape varieties in Slovenia (53 in total are permitted):
- Istrian Malvasia
- Šipon (Furmint)
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Grigio
“Wine production is a part of history as well as the modern everyday life of Slovenia. It began with the Celts in the 3rd and 4th centuries BC, when wine-growing was thriving at the time of the Roman Empire. The fact that wine has always been a significant part of life in this territory is tellingly corroborated by the fight for the right to trade in wine, the so-called wine war between Maribor and Ptuj, which lasted over 300 years from 1339 to 1654.” source TasteSlovenia
Slovenia has a growing reputation for its traditional method sparkling wines with recent years over 100 Gold Medals received and countless trophies via the London Champagne & Sparkling Wine Awards. From extraordinary Champagne style vintages to bold red sparklers, Slovenia holds a great depth of expression to its wines thanks to the varied terroir (geographical and climatic diversity) seen across the country and its wine regions.
We must not forget that Slovenia is in fact a relatively young country having only been formed in 1991 prior to which it formed part of Yugoslavia. A smaller than average sized country, 20,271 square kilometres, and with a population of 2.1 million. Though wine is very much everyday life for many of its inhabitants and most to all adults will have some wine knowledge, the country only produces 0.2 per cent of global wine production – Many of the vineyards are smaller in size and those larger production houses will usually be co-operative thus servicing 10’s to 100’s of grape growers.
What Slovenia lacks in production levels it certainly makes up for in quality – In the shadows of its neighbours Italy and Austria and usually with less funding in order to achieve further global exposure, it remains relatively unknown and unexplored – A potential sleeping giant awaiting global attention.
Three Exceptional Gold Medal Winning Slovenian Sparkling Wines:
Istenic – Gourmet Rose Brut 2016 – Tasting notes: “Soft pink floral, raspberry, citrus nose. Delicate and elegant. Pink floral, wild strawberry, red berry zest, minerals in flavours.”
Bjana – Cuvee Prestige – Tasting notes: “Zesty and yeasty yellow fruits on the nose. Added green apples, soft spices, pastry. Dry flavours. Dried lemon slices, gooseberry, freshly cut grass, flaky pastry, dare I say a touch of garden mint too.”
Vina Kobal Štanjel – Tera Terranova Penina – Tasting notes: “Fresh blackberry fruits, prunes in syrup, violet, dark red rose petals on the nose. Wonderful and well balanced presentation of blackberry fruits on the palate. A relaxing wine and also great for gastronomy delights.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.