28 PODRAVJE: the land of noble white wines
The wine hills in the east of Slovenia are famous for their excellent white wines and some red wines. Particularly notable are the lateharvest wines, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese wines (made respectively from selected bunches, individually selected grapes and individually selected shrivelled grapes) and ice wines. Wine routes lead to interesting curiosities such as the oldest vine in the world (House of the Old Vine, Maribor), one of the largest tunnel cellars in this part of Europe (Vinag, Maribor), the cellar containing Slovenia’s oldest wine, the 1917 Zlata Trta (Ptuj), and many others.
POSAVJE: the land of Cviček
This region along the river Sava is famous for Cviček – a wine with recognised traditional denomination status which has a low alcohol content and a characteristic acidulous flavour. Many people claim that it is beneficial for the health! The region also offers other pleasantly light red and white wines. You can visit the famous underground cellars known as repnice (Bizeljsko), a sparkling wine producer (Istenič, Bizeljsko), the wine gallery at Rajhenburg Castle above Brestanica and other notable sights!
PRIMORSKA: the land of Refosco, Teran and autochthonous varieties
Excellent red wines such as Refosco (Refošk), Teran, Merlot and Cabernet are produced in this region’s vineyards beneath the Mediterranean sun. Characteristic old white varieties such as Ribolla (Rebula), Zelen and Pinela are also establishing themselves. Visit the House of Refosco in Koper, the vineyards of Goriška Brda and the Vipava Valley, the wine cellars of Dobrovo Castle and other interesting sights along the wine routes.
Air-dried Karst ham
FOR THE PERFECT TASTE EXPERIENCE CHOOSE THE BEST COMBINATIONS:
Carniolan sausage and a glass of Cviček from the Posavje wine region; roast lamb accompanied by Metliška Črnina from the Posavje wine region; Istrian corn soup (bobići) and a glass of white Malvasia from the Primorska wine region; also from this region is the autochthonous Zelen, which goes very well with traditional dishes such as žlikrofi (Idrija-style ravioli) with mutton sauce; Furmint (or Šipon), a characteristic white wine from the Podravje wine region, is a good match for prleška tünka (meat from the lard barrel); finally, a lateharvest Rhine Riesling is the perfect accompaniment for a rich premurska gibanica (layer cake).
Ptujska Klet wine cellars
The Old Vine, Maribor
Traditional open-hearth kitchen
Vines have been grown in Slovenia since the time of the Illyrians and Celts, but viticulture really began to flourish in the Roman era and the Middle Ages. Slovenia is home to the oldest vine in the world – a 400-year-old Žametovka vine (also known as Modra Kavčina)! Over 20 wine routes lead through Slovenia’s three wine regions, each with its own characteristic wines. The wine routes link hospitable wineries and farms offering a wide variety of local specialities. Find them at www.slovenia.info.