Where The Raven Flies – Metlika

1st February 2023

Metlika Sparkling Wine Glass of Bubbly Where The Raven Flys

The cooperative of Vinska klet Metlika was first founded over one hundred years ago in Slovenia, on November 14th, 1909, they have a vast history in the country of Slovenia before the release of their first bottle of Sparkling Wine in 2000.

Over one hundred years ago on the 14th of November, 1909, the first Wine Cooperative in Metlika was founded, united by their ancestors, the grape growers and wine producers of the area, they came together to help push their creations, but when the cooperative first started, they didn’t have their own wine cellar, because its first mission was advising the winegrowers, both in terms of work in the vineyard and in the wine cellars.

They named the cooperative after the town in which they are located, Metlika, it is situated in southeastern Slovenia, on the left bank of Kolpa River on the border with Croatia.

It is a beautiful town with natural life and ancient wonders, the name of the town, Metlika was first mentioned in written material in 1228 as Metlica, then in 1268 as Methlica and then to its current spelling in 1337 as Metlika, the name actually comes from the Slovene common noun metlika ‘goosefoot’, thus referring to the local flora.

The area of Metlika has been home to humans since prehistoric times, according to Archaeological evidence, from around 1205 it was incorporated into the Imperial March of Carniola, which was a southeastern state of the Holy Roman Empire in the High Middle Ages, then in 1335, it was granted town privileges.

The Ottoman Empire would come down hard on the town, often raiding it throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, then in the 17th century, the town was hit by an earthquake and in 1705 the whole town burned to the ground in a massive uncontrollable fire.

The famous Metlika Castle was originally built in the 15th-century, and perched looking over the old part of the town, it would then be rebuilt in the early 18th century after the town fire and again after it was damaged by a fire in 1790. The castle would then be seized after the Second World War and converted into a local museum displaying paintings by Slovene artists.

For Metlika the cooperative winery, it became clear to those involved that a joint winery would be required, so in 1929 they joined forces and built the first cooperative winery, but it wouldn’t stand the test of time, during World War II it would be bombed and destroyed, although, they wouldn’t stay down for long, after the war had ended, the Cooperative Union of Slovenia started the construction of its wine cellar in Metlika which lasted from 1952 to 1958. The Wine Cellar, once completed measured 108-meters long in a tunnel-type cellar, completely underground, with a constant temperature between 12 and 13 degrees Celsius, they have the capacity to store 3 million liters of wine, with them producing around 500,000 liters of wine a year.

They have around 350 hectares of vineyards, planted on the gentle slopes of the Gorjanci Mountains, in Bela Krajina, which sits at an altitude of 200 to 350 meters above sea level.

Metlika has had a lot of history to recognise, including their most important developments of viticulture and winemaking in Bela Krajina over the past 100 years:

  • 1909 The first Wine Cooperative was founded
  • 1954 The construction of a 108-meter-long underground wine cellar begins
  • 1958 The winery receives the first quantities of grapes
  • 1966 Agricultural cooperative Metlika zoo takes over the winery
  • 1968 The first bottle of Metliška črnina is bottled
  • 1979 The first top-quality wine was produced – the top-quality black from Metliška
  • 1981 The first Slovenian Rosé wine is produced
  • 1983 The first wine of a special harvest is produced in the wine-growing region of Posavje
  • 1986 The first ice wine is produced under the leadership of dr. Julija Nemanič
  • 1987 Expansion of the cane selection for the Bela Krajina wine-growing region
  • 1993 The start of accelerated restoration of their own vineyards
  • 1995 Zdravica wine is produced
  • 1997 Produced the first barricaded wine of Modra Frankinja
  • 1999 The first dry strawberry selection wine is produced; the appointment of an initiative committee and a working group for the preparation of a study on the protection of Belokrajna wines
  • 2000 The first sparkling wine, Metliška sparkling wine, is produced according to the classic Champagne Method in Bela Krajina
  • 2008 The Rulebook on wine with the label of the recognized traditional appellation was published – Metliška črnina PTP and Belokranjec PTP
  • 2012 Installation of a new modern automated filling line
  • 2016 Makeover of the wine bottles with new, modern wine labels
  • 2019 Vinska klet Metlika – Metliška Penina Zelo Suha 2015 won Gold in the Vintage Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards
  • 2020 Vinska klet Metlika – Metliška Penina won Gold in the Creamy Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards
  • 2021 Vinska klet Metlika – Metliška Penina Zelo Suha 2015 won Gold in the Vintage Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards
  • 2022 Metliška took home two Silver Medals in the Creamy and Meditation Category a the Glass of Bubbly Awards

The White Raven

Vinska Klet Metlika – Metliška Penina Zelo Suha – Slovenia

Aroma – “A cream base, the likes of a lemon meringue pie, with a sprinkling of edible flowers,  floral notes, hay and ripe white pears, along with peaches and apricots on the aroma.”

Flavour – “A touch dryer with sweet textures of white chalk, minerals, white pears, green apples, and floral notes on the aroma.”

Silver Medal in the Creamy Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2022

The Pink Raven

Vinska Klet Metlika – Metliška Penina Rosé – Slovenia

Aroma – “Red berries, raspberries, vegetables, signage, garden herbs, wet hay and Wensleydale cheese on the aroma.”

Flavour – “Very smooth with minerals, raspberries, apricot and peach skins, then during the mid-palate to the close you get a lovely sweet burst of very ripe, coming on syrupy raspberries, orange, apricots, peaches and more on the palate.”

Silver Medal in the Meditation Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2022


Image Credit: Snow RavenRavenRaven BranchRaven TreeSnowy Raven

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.