Description 1 of 2

 

Wine-making has existed in Slovenia since the Celtic and Illyrian tribes dwelled there before the Romans. The country is surrounded by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. For this reason, there are cultural influences from all these nations, which figure into its wines. They have been produced almost continuously, even during times of intense political struggle between Balkan nations. Since it became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991, efforts have become more focused with hopes of international success.
 
There is a range of climates and soils within Slovenia. Cooler, rugged, elevated areas exist near the Alps and Pannonian basin, coastline influences in the Istrian Peninsula and then warmer inland areas. It has three major viticultural zones: 
 
Podravje in the east is the largest. Many of its styles have Germanic influences, with grapes reflecting this trend such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau (known locally as Rizvanec), Pinot Gris (Sivi Pinot), and Pinot Blanc (Beli Pinot, Radgonska Ranina). 
 
Posavje in the southeast is the smallest, bordering Croatia. The wine styles are also largely Germanic, with the addition of Austrian grapes such as Sentlovrenka (Saint-Laurent), Blaufrankisch (Modra Frankinja), and Zweigelt. 
 
Primorski to the west is largely influenced by Italian culture. The varietals Taj (Tokaj), Refrosco, and Rebula (Ribola) are produced along with popular Germanic and indigenous ones, similar to the Alto-Adige. Both Slovenian and Italian are spoken here. 
 
In addition to the regional grapes mentioned, popular French varietals are also grown, as well as indigenous ones, such as Pinela, Vitovska Grganja, and Zelen for whites, and Malocrn for reds. 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

Slovenia is a small wine country with a interesting mixture of influences and climatic conditions. In the north eastern wine growing region of PODRAVJE (named after the Drava river), the wines are more Austrian influenced, with desired fruity aromas and elegant freshness. The wines produced in the region are mostly whites, ranging from dry, fresh to elegant ice wines. Podravje wine growing region is divided into 2 sub-regions: Slovenian Steiermark and Prekmurje. Recommended for this region are: a fresh Šipon (Frumint), Sauvignon blanc (with a special elderberry blossom aroma), Rhine Riesling as well as Muscat and Traminer. This region also has the oldest vine in the world (over 400 years old) and they still produce minute quantities from it. The variety is Zametovka. To the south east there is a wine growing region of POSAVJE (named after Sava river). This region is mostly known in Slovenia as home to a special blend of white and red grapes called “Cviček”. Cviček is a very special wine not to everyones' taste as it tendts to have high acidity, to 10% alcohol and almost zero sugar. It is one of few wines in the EU that has a special permission to be made from white and red grapes. Posavje wine growing region is divided into 3 sub regions: Dolenjska (home of Cviček), Bela Krajina (excellent sweet wines) and Bizelje-Sremič region. In the western part of Slovenia there is the wine growing region of Primorje (by the sea). It is a region mostly influenced by Italian style of wines (Venezia Giulia, Colio). This region is the biggest in Slovenia for red wine production. From more interesting reds there are Refosk (a traditional Istrian variety), Teran (an indigenous red from Kras) and Barbera. Altough Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noirs are also produced there. As whites go there are traditional varieties like Pinela, Zelen, Klarnica, Rebula (Ribolla), Sauvignonasse (Tocai Friuliano), Malvasia and Vitovska Grganja. The region is divided into 4 sub-regions: Goriška Brda (an extension of Italian Colio), Vipava valley (most indigeonus varieties), Kras (home of Teran a traditional wine) and Slovenian Istra (Malvasia, Refosk). Today Slovenia has more than 40,000 wineries making 1 million hl (26.4 million gallons) annually from the country's 24,600 ha (59,300 acres) of vineyards. Lightly putting it Slovenia has vineyards about the same size as Bordeaux with half of the production. The 40.000 wineries are a nice quota for a 2 million population of the country don't you think. Historically Slovenian land has seen viticulture in the Roman times, as it was found on an amfora found in Vače. There it was seen the festivals surrounding wine making and drinking. Wine growing later emerged again during the christening of Slavic settlers in the 14th and 15th Century.

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