Have you tried Slovenian wines yet? You are in for a treat because while small in size Slovenia has lots of vineyards and a long tradition of wine production. I share with you my favorite Slovenian wines that I had the chance to taste at the recent Slovenian Wine Festival in Ljubljana.
Slovenian Wine Festival
After a two year break due to the epidemic Slovenian wine festival finally took place and showcased more than 100 winemakers, who offered the visitors a chance to try over 500 wine samples.
I couldn’t possibly try that many. That is why I came prepared and knew exactly which wines I wanted to try though I did also let just a little bit of room to improvise.
I started with the list of this year’s winners.
The Winners of the Slovenian Wine Festival
- RADGONSKE GORICE D.O.O., ZLATA RADGONSKA PENINA SELECTION BRUT 1,5 L,
the region: PODRAVJE-ŠTAJERSKA SLOVENIJA
- IGOR SANABOR – VINA SANABOR, PALLIDA BRUT NATURE, the region:
- KZ ŠMARJE, HIŠA VIN EMINO, PENINA VILJEM EMINENT, geografsko poreklo:
- PUKLAVEC FAMILY WINES, 34 WHITE CUVEE, the region: PODRAVJEŠTAJERSKA SLOVENIJA
- MORO, MORO CHARDONNAY, the region: PRIMORSKA-BRDA
- ALEKSANDER VINA, CHARDONNAY, the region: PRIMORSKA-BRDA
- JAN BORDON – BORDON, IVANOV REFOŠK, the region: PRIMORSKASLOVENSKA ISTRA
- SANTOMAS WINERY, ANTONIUS REFOŠK, the region: PRIMORSKA-SLOVENSKA
- POSESTVO BERCE, MATJAŽ BERCE S.P., MERLOT BERCE, the region:
My Favorite Slovenian Wines
From the above list of winners I chose the three reds because and here comes the disclaimer I prefer them. I sampled those, as well as the wines I already enjoy and that’s how this list of my favorite Slovenian wines was created.
Also I have to note I am not an expert in wines, just a big enthusiast and I will not be describing the smell, the taste etc. I can only tell you that I like my reds strong, bold, with lots of character …
So, let’s take a look and if you decided to try any of these wine please remember to savor them, enjoy them and drink responsibly.
Better yet, don’t just try the wines visit the wineries if you can.
Fornazarič Winery, Rubino
Even though it’s not on the list of winners, I’ll start with my favorite Slovenian wine. It comes from a family owned winery located in Vipava valley.
Vipava valley is a synonym for great wines. Don’t just buy the wines made there, visit the valley and all the wineries along the way.
They produce great white wines and only one red, called Rubino, probably because the colour of the wine is ruby red. It is a blend of merlot 80% and cabernet sauvignon 20% with addition of sweet wine from dried grapes.
Tip: Share it with your best mates and dearest family members while you dig into some delicious food.
Santomas Winery, Mezzo Forte, Grand Cuvee
I sampled a little bit of all their reds: Mezzo Forte, Antonius Refošk and Grand Cuvee and let me tell you they all impressed me. Though the most playful was Mezzo Forte. It’s a blend of 60% Refošk, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Their Grand Cuvee is a 100 % Refošk and it’s rich, dark ruby colored perfection.
The winery Santomas is located in Slovenian Istra, near Koper and you can visit them to taste their great wines as well as olive oil.
Tip: Open a bottle of this wine on a summer night and share it with your date.
Moro Winery, Margerita
This family owned winery situated in Goriška Brda has been producing wines for a long time and can trace it all the way back to their great-grandmother Margerita. She started to cultivate the land and today one of the winery’s best wine is named in her honor.
Margerita Cuvee is a blend of Merlot and Cabarnet franc. It is a strong and intensely red colored wine that you just want to sip and enjoy.
Tip: Don’t share.
Bordon Winery, Ivanov Refošk
Another wine that carries a name of its founder. Ivanov refošk got the name from Ivan Bordon, who was the first private winemaker from the Slovene Istria to introduce his own wine brands and now his family carries on the tradition.
The wine has lots of tannins, it’s ripe, strong, full flavor.
Tip: When the winter time becomes too dreary get your friends over and share a bottle of this wine.
Ščurek Winery, Stara Brajda
Ščurek family is one of the largest family wine producers in Slovenia. Their 17 hectares of vineyards are located in Goriška Brda close to the border of Italy. They produce great wines but the one that stood out for me was the Stara Brajda.
It is a blend of 30 % Merlot, 20 % Cabarnet franc, 20 % Cabarnet sauvignon and 30 % Refošk.
Tip: A family get together after a loooong time apart where there’s much to share.
There you have it, though I could go on but I’d love to hear some tips from you. Share with me your favorite Slovenian wines or any others.
Fancy a pint instead? Here are 6 Slovenian craft beers you have to try.