Where the Oldest Vine in the World Thrives

Slovenia is home to excellent wines, viticulture experiences and wine particularities

Špičnik Vineyard by Rok BreznikSlovenian Tourist Board

Although Slovenia is considered a pocket country, it combines four diverse regions: the mountainous Alps, the mysterious Karst, the lively Mediterranean coast and the tranquil Pannonian Plain. Numerous hills have boasted assiduously maintained vineyards for  thousands of years. 

Old Vine House in Maribor by Andrej TarfilaSlovenian Tourist Board

The world’s oldest grapevine, dating back more than 450 years, also grows here and from its fruit (exceptionally precious) wine is still produced today. Did you know that this noble beverage is also mentioned in the Slovenian national anthem, Zdravljica,  which is part of the poet Prešeren’s toast?

The world’s oldest grapevine, dating back more than 450 years, also grows here and from its fruit (exceptionally precious) wine is still produced today. Did you know that this noble beverage is also mentioned in the Slovenian national anthem, Zdravljica,  which is part of the poet Prešeren’s toast?

Tasting in the vineyard by Ciril Jazbec, Tent FilmSlovenian Tourist Board

🍷 3 WINE REGIONS 🍷

Slovenia and its wines are marked by three wine-producing regions: Primorska, Podravska and Posavska. These are divided into nine wine-producing districts where numerous native vine varieties grow. The majority of wine produced is white, but there are also  distinctive red varieties which stand out.

Coast of Ankaran from the air by Jaka IvančičSlovenian Tourist Board

🍇 PRIMORSKA WINE-PRODUCING REGION

Under the influence of the mild Mediterranean climate, vineyards in which strong dry wines are mostly produced are scattered from the Adriatic Sea and the Slovenian Istria across the Karst, the Vipava Valley and the Goriška Brda Hills, which are also known as Slovenian Tuscany. 

🍷The particularities of this region include white varieties of Rebula, Zelen, Pinela and Klarnica. The famous red wines include Barbera, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refošk and Teran.

Špičnik by Mediaspeed, foto: Anja RojSlovenian Tourist Board

🍇 PODRAVJE WINE-PRODUCING REGION

At the opposite end of Slovenia, next to the Pannonian Plain and on the foothills of the Pohorje Hills along the Drava River and southward towards the Sotla River, the vineyards of the Podravje wine-producing region are situated. These wine-producing locations are considered to be among four per cent of the best wine-producing locations in the world. 

🍷Internationally acknowledged white varieties and sparkling wines are produced here, such as Italian Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Yellow Muscat and the special local variety, Furmint. Red wines include Blaufränkisch, Žametna Črnina and Pinot Noir.

Vineyards above the Pleterje Monastery by Jošt GantarSlovenian Tourist Board

🍇 POSAVJE WINE-PRODUCING REGION

In Slovenia’s southeast, the continental climate yields to the colder pre-Alpine climate in the vineyards of the Sava and Krka rivers’ catchment areas. 

Grape varieties suitable for light white and red wines grow here, such as Žametna Črnina, Blaufränkisch, Blauer Portugieser, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc and Italian Riesling

🍷This is the land of a special wine variety, Cviček, a red wine with a low alcohol content and a recognised traditional denomination, which is produced in the Dolenjska wine-producing district. Cviček consists of at least four grape varieties. It has a typical reddish colour and gently acidic flavour.

Celebrating St. Martins day by Iztok Medja, archives EKVisuals d.o.o.Slovenian Tourist Board

OSMICE WINERIES

Slovenian wine producers are happy to open up their cellars and organise wine tasting events for their visitors. Osmice  wineries or temporary wine bars are typical of the Primorska wine-producing region. 

They are marked with branches of ivy and their tradition goes back more than two centuries to the time of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Joseph II of Austria, when wine producers and farmers were allowed to sell surplus wine from the previous year for eight  (osem in Slovenian) days per year. Today, you can still visit osmice, especially in the Karst, the Slovenian Istria and the Vipava Valley. The locals serve their wines together with local delicacies such as prosciutto.

Celebrating St. Martins day by Iztok Medja, archives EKVisuals d.o.o.Slovenian Tourist Board

🦆 ST MARTIN'S DAY

St Martin’s Day is a celebration of new wine and a new wine vintage that takes place in Slovenia on 11 November. 

St. Martins day feast by Tomo JeseničnikSlovenian Tourist Board

St Martin's feast

The celebrations are connected with wine and viticulture, and are accompanied with a typical St Martin’s feast, which traditionally consists of roast goose or duck with mlinci flatbread and sautéed red cabbage. 🍇🍷

Zidanica - vineyard house by Sara MikavcSlovenian Tourist Board

VINEYARD COTTAGES

The hills of the Dolenjska wine-producing district are scattered with vineyard cottages (zidanice).

🏡 These are small houses in vineyards whose cellars are intended for wine production and the storage of tools for work in the vineyard, while simple dwelling quarters are arranged on the first floor. To enjoy a unique and genuine wine holiday in Slovenia, guests can also spend a night in certain cottages which offer tourist accommodation.

Old Vine House in Maribor by Jošt GantarSlovenian Tourist Board

🍇 THE OLDEST VINE IN THE WORLD

Since the end of the Middle Ages, 🌿the oldest vine in the world 🌿 has been growing in the Lent district of Maribor on the embankment of the broad Drava River. 

Old Vine Descendants wine by Domen GröglSlovenian Tourist Board

The Žametovka (or Modra Kavčina) vine variety is considered a symbol of Slovenian viticulture and one of the greatest Slovenian attractions. No more than one hundred quarter-of-a-litre bottles of wine are made from its grapes every year. 

The visitors can learn about the vine’s heritage in a special museum, the Old Vine House. Not far away, the heart among the vineyards, the iconic image of the heart-shaped road at Špičnik, can also be seen. 💚

Vinarium Lendava (2017) by Miran KambicSlovenian Tourist Board

VINARIUM TOWER

A unique panoramic tower with a 360° view of the plains, vineyards and gentle hills of Slovenia, Hungary, Austria and Croatia. 

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