Slovenia extends in the area of 20,273 km2, positioned in Central Europe. It lies in the crossland of four geographical units: the Pannonian on the East, the Dinaric Alps on the South, the Adriatic sea on the East and the Alps on the North.
In 2017 there was 21,000 ha of vineyard area whereas 99.3 % is dedicated to quality wine. Annually 2,550 winemakers produce some 0,7 million hl of wine. The most of wine produced in Slovenia are white wine taking up 70 % of all the production.
The steep growing terrain in Slovenia promotes manual harvesting practices over mechanical for most of Slovenia’s vineyards.
In 2016 Decanter World Wine Award, Slovenian winemakers won 2 Platinum, 4 Gold, 10 Silver and several Bronze awards. These and other trophies from previous years and other international competition show that Slovenia is definitely a winemaking country with quality wines produced by a passionate new generation of winemakers. Slovenian wine is pretty small in production terms compared with other winemaking countries but due to its great terroir, a great combination of climate and human factor Slovenia and its world-class wines are placed on the world wine map.
It is no wondered that Slovenia and its passionate winemakers are producing a top quality wine as today’s territory of Slovenia has a rich winemaking history. The production of wine dates back to 3rd and 4th centuries BC in time of the Celts and Illyrian tribes. In Roman times the winemaking flourished. In 8th century AD, the Franks specifically encouraged the viticulture. Later in the 11th century, most of the vineyards were owned by the Church that further developed the viticulture in the region. After the Second World War, the wine production was concentrated around cooperatives. Vineyards were owned either by the state or farmers who were selling grapes to cooperatives. The rise of the private winegrowers began in 1970. Only then the wine growers began bottling wines under their own labels. After Slovenian independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, wine culture grew among wine lovers and the winemakers took a careful artistic approach in vineyards and their cellars. This enthusiasm and eagerness gave the Slovenian wine a reputation of top quality world wine.
Slovenia is also a home to the oldest vine in the world, that is over 400 years old. It survived Ottoman raids, phylloxera, and both World Wars. In Maribor, it is yearly organized traditional harvesting event of the Oldest Vine in the world, planted between 1500 to 1600. Grapes are pressed, vinifies and put in 0.25 l bottles.
Wine is very much a part of Slovenian everyday life and folklore. Annual consumption of wine is over 40 l per capita, what places Slovenia among the top five wine-drinking countries. How not if even the Slovenian national anthem is, in fact, a toast. However, most of the population is a cultural drinker, enjoying a quality wine.
Young wine or must is widely served on 11th November, on the name day of the most important wine saint in Slovenia, St. Martin of Tours. On that day the must turn into the wine. Slovenians widely praise St. Martin with ceremonies and feasts that starts a week before and ends a week after. A traditional meal on St. Martin’s day consists of goose served with red cabbage and maroni accompanied by must.
During this period twenty wine routes of Slovenia are full of wine lovers who want to experience the new wine and new vintage in its authentic environment.
No matter if in November or any other month of the year, you will surely find a wine you like on wine routes of Slovenia.
All year round you can explore award-winning dry whites, reds, sparkling wines and sweet wine.
Enjoy Slovenia, Enjoy Wine.