Mouthwatering Wine Tasting in Slovenia - Discover where you can find it
We visit top travel destinations Slovenia and Slovenia landmarks for wine lovers. We experience Malvasia wine and more Slovenian wines in the Vipava Valley Slovenia as well as in other wine regions of the country. Green hilly landscapes invite you to go on excursions. Winemakers open their cellars to wine lovers. wine Routes lure with landscapes and restaurants. You can even stay in the vineyard, There are many opportunities, Slovenia's wine regions to discover.
Experience Wine in Slovenia
There are three winegrowing regions in Slovenia. These can be divided into 14 smaller centers. The first of these is Primorye in south-western Slovenia. It extends from the coast along the border with Italy to the area around Dobrovo. The other two wine regions of Slovenia border directly on each other. They are located in the east of the country. The Posavje winegrowing region stretches across the Sava river basin to the southeast. The third winegrowing area is Podravje along the river Drava in Styria, Slovenia. We visited two of them on our trip:
The Dolenjska Wine Region - Slovenia Wine Tours
The Dolenjska region belongs to the Posavje wine region and attracts with forests. Rivers such as the Krka, Mirna, Kolpa and Lahinja make their way here. Grapes ripen in the sun on the valley slopes. Among them are grape varieties from Slovenia as well as Welschriesling and Blaufränkisch.
Staying in a Vineyard
If, like us, you like to combine wine trips with experiences, then we have a treat for you. Skatlar Vineyard Cottage is one of Slovenia's wine lover's destinations. Here you can spend the night in the middle of the vineyard. Imagine waking up in the morning to the chirping of birds and looking at grapevines in front of the house. Sounds tempting, right? If there is also the possibility to help yourself from the wine cellar of the house - what more could you ask for? In summer you can also use the vegetable garden. Tomatoes and peppers grow on the doorstep. Fruit is available directly from the fruit trees on the premises.
Simple Vineyard Huts
These are vineyard huts in the hills above Otocec. The cabins are simply equipped. We visit the wine hut of Skatlar. Matjaz Pavlin lovingly restored it. If you are looking for silence and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you will find everything you need here. The vineyard cottages are not luxuriously equipped. They are covered with a straw roof. But they offer everything you need for everyday life. Dishwasher and washing machine are available as well as a massage shower and satellite TV. The furniture reminds me of my grandparents' house. In any case, they offer an experience that is not often found today.
Relax in the Vineyard
Treat yourself to a glass of wine from the cellar in the evening after a day full of experiences. Enjoy the view of the castle of Otocec, the Krka valley and the hills of Gorjanci. All in the privacy of a little house in the vineyard - what more could you want? If you are staying in a cabin for more than three nights, you will be invited to dinner with Slovenia specialties and for wine tasting in the house of Matjaz Pavlin. You will have the opportunity to get to know Slovenian wine, people, their culture, their music and life in the region up close.
You can book the Vineyard Cottage Skatlar * here.
Wine tasting in the Wine House Frelih in Sentrupert
Of course there are also winegrowers in this region where you can taste wines. We were at Wine house Frelih in Sentrupert. Its history began in 1892 when Joseph Frelih moved here. Before that, phylloxera had destroyed the vines in his homeland. He was one of the first to plant vines from America here. These were resistant to the pest. Today Veronika Frelih manages the winery. She introduces us to her wines from Slovenia. Cvicek, Penina, Sentruperska Penina, Modra Frankinja Barrique, Penina Kappelman and Zeleni Silvaner are just a few of them.
The Primorska Wine Region - Slovenia Wine Tours
The Primorska wine region is located in southwestern Slovenia. It stretches north from the coast along the border with Italy. This makes it easy to reach. The Autobahn quickly connects them to the capital and the sea.
Vipava, main Town in the Vipava valley
The second wine region of our trip is the Vipava Valley. It belongs to the Primorska wine region, the coastal region. The Vipava wine that we encounter there differs from those of the Dolenjska region. While grape varieties from Slovenia are mainly cultivated in that region, in the Primorska region we encounter grape varieties that we also know from other wine regions in the world. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling are popular, as are Malvasia and Ribolla. In the Vipava Valley there are also wines such as Zelen and Pinela.
Wineries and more to experience in the Vipava valley
It was the Romans, who brought the wines to the Vipava valley. Wines were their main crop. The Vipava Valley is only an hour from Ljubljana , the Adriatic, Postojna as well as the border to Austria. This makes it easy to reach. It takes its name from the Vipava River. Moreover, the town is in an environment that impresses with its beauty. The plateaus of Trnovski gozd, Hrusica and Nanos as well as the hills of Vipava border it to the north. In the south, the Vipava hills turn into the Karst region.
Vipava Slovenia reminds me of small towns in Italy. You can drink an espresso or sip a glass of wine in its market place. We take a walk through the city and discover the springs that feed the Vipava river. Behind the palace of the Lanthieri family, bridges and pedestrian walkways cross the river. That is why Vipava is sometimes called the Venice of Slovenia. A little over the top, perhaps, as comparisons often are. In any case, the river and its bridges are worth seeing.
The Lanthieri Palace once belonged to the Counts of Gorizia and Vipava. Today it houses the wine school of the area. The Lanthieri family also once owned the hunting lodge Zemono outside the village. There we enjoy the best food of our trip.
Experience Malvasia Wine and others in the Vipava valley
We finish our walk through Vipava in the wine shop at the visitor center. There, winemakers from the area present their wines to visitors. In addition to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, we taste wines from the region such as Pinela and Zelen, which excites me. I also notice a bottle with female forms. We are told that only the best Zelen wines can be bottled in these bottles. It is like a seal of approval for the quality of the wine it contains.
Malvasia wine is a wine, which is particularly interesting. It is a white wine variety that is widely grown in this region. It is ancient and probably dates back to the Greeks. Although the grapes ripen late in the year, they provide good yields. The white wine that is made from it, is rich in alcohol. It also has a good aroma. In the region, this wine is called by different names. Malvasia Istriana is the most common name for the grape variety.
Just a few kilometers outside of Vipava we visit the Zorz wine cellar in Slap. The Zorz family is originally from France. Their winery is one of the largest in the Vipava Valley. In addition to Zelen and Pinella wines, it also produces excellent red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. There are also white wines such as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Blanc. The young generation is already in charge of this winery and produces excellent wines.
How Wine is cultivated in the wine-growing Regions in Slovenia
The Grape Harvest
The viticulture process begins with the harvest of the grapes in the Autumn. Determining the right date for the grape harvest is not easy. To do this, the winemaker must use scientific methods to determine the sugar content of the grapes. He also makes sure to use the right weather for the harvest.
Pressing the Wine
Depending on the size and importance of wine-growing in the respective winery, the pressing of the grapes can be carried out in a traditional or mechanical way. Traditionally this is done by crushing the grapes in a wooden tub with bare feet. Larger wineries have now mechanized this process and shred the grapes with machines. This is how Most is made.
The next step in winemaking is the fermentation of the must. Adding yeast, this process begins within 6 - 12 hours after the grape press. The fermentation lasts until the sugar turns completely into alcohol. The result is dry wine.
Next, the wine must be cleaned of solid particles. To do this, the winemaker filters out dead yeast cells, tannins and proteins from the young wine.
Maturation & Bottling
The last step of wine making is the maturation process of the wine. This can be done both in the bottle and in the barrel. Some winegrowers immediately bottle their wine, in which they let it mature. Others fill the wine first in stainless steel tanks or in oak barrels made mostly of French oak, in which they mature their wine.
With a little luck, you can watch one of these processes while visiting a winemaker. In any case, it is worthwhile to visit the winegrowers. A guided tour is offered in many wineries. Often there are Slovenian specialties and antipasti. Moreover, such a visit is always interesting, because it offers an opportunity to meet the people who produce the specialties of the region.
Slovenia and its Wine Roads
There are four Wine roads in Slovenia:
- the Brda Wine Route
- the Vipava wine route
- the karst wine route
- and the Istrian wine route
Slovenia Wine Tours - our Conclusion
We got an insight into the wine regions of Slovenia on this trip. Slovenia There are many things to discover for wine lovers. Experiencing Malvasia wine in the Vipava valley in Slovenia and in the other regions of the country is a great experience. The local grape varieties surprised us. We had never heard of many before. Some wines did not correspond to our wine taste at all. Others have convinced us. We especially liked the Zelen grape in the Vipava Valley. At Weinhaus Frelih we liked the Penina Kappelman and the Zeleni Silvaner. The Sauvignon Blanc from Zorz was excellent. However, wine is always a matter of taste. We therefore recommend you: go on a discovery tour of Slovenian wines. Worth it. There is a lot to discover. Definitely makes Slovenian Experience wines a lot of fun.
Travel Organization of your own Slovenia Wine Tour:
Parking at the airport
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. By car you can reach Vipava or Otocec from Munich in about five hours (without traffic). The nearest airport is Ljubljana.
Travel Guide for Slovenia * you can order at Amazon.
More tips for Wine tourism, wine areas and wine experiences can be found here.
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Source: On-site research for “Slovenia Wine Lover Destinations”. We definitely want to thank Best Press Story for supporting this trip. However, as always, our opinion remains our own.
Text Slovenia Travel Destinations : © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline