Slovenia has three winegrowing regions: Primorska, Posavje, and Podravje, differing in microclimate, soil composition and viticulture tradition. All of these regions are particulary suited for production of the highest quality wines. French, Italian and German influences are evident both in the growing and production of wines as well as in the terminology. Slovene legislation explicitly forbids any reduction of natural ingredients that can affect the three primal characteristics of wine: colour, taste and bouquet.
The viticulture sites of Slovenia are particulary suited to production of quality and high-quality wines. The slopes are generally quite steep, which guarantees optional sunshine but makes cultivation difficult and labour-intensive and the yields less than optional.
Slovenia is best at producing white wines such as Rieslings, Pinot Grigios, Chardonnays, Sauvignons including in native varities like Rebula and Zelen. Among international red varieties Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot take the flagship, whereas Teran prevails as the indigenous red, almost thick wine.
PRIMORJE WINE REGION
In Brda, the Movia estate has been producing wine for more than three centuries. Purchased by the Kristancic family in 1820, the estate is now run by young Ales. This French and Italian trained winemaker takes a historical but radical approach to his wines. He ages the whites in Slovenian oak casks, leaving them on the lees without stirring for more than two years. Movia is fully biodynamic, and a member of Nicolas Joly's Renaissance group. He also produces an extraordinary sparkling wine called 'Puro'. After three years in vats, the base wine is bottled with the must from the new vintage, but no sugar or yeast. The bottles are then buried in the earth for three more years, to be subjected to the earth's magnetic forces. Finally, the wine is dug-up, cleaned and labelled without being disgorged.
The winery is situated in Ceglo (Zegla), a small village in the region of Goriska Brda, by the Slovene-Italian border. Half of the vineyards lie in Slovenia and half in Italy. One part of their wines is represented by fresh, younger wines and the other part by older wines, from the best grapes selected from ancient vines, which mature more slowly in casks and barrels of oak. (Ribolla Reserve, Sauvignon Reserve, Chardonnay Reserve, Teodor White Reserve, Teodor Red Reserve, Pinot Noir Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Leonardo).
• EDI SIMČIČ
Having supplied the local co-op for many years, they have been a winemaking estate since 1990, farming 10 hectares. In some ways this is the most "international" wine estate with all wines, white and red, fermented in barrels, mostly barriques and 100% French oak. 70% of Edi Simčič's production is exported.
Stojan Ščurek farm 17 hectares of vines and produce up to 60,000 bottles in a year, making this estate one of the region's larger independent estates. The majority of their vineyards are on the Italian side of the border, and Ščurek exports around 45% of its production, mostly to the ex-Yugoslavian states, but also across northern Europe. These are very solid, fruity, good quality commercial wines with minimal skin maceration: just six to eight hours in the press for whites, before chilling and to stainless steel for fermentation. Reds are macerated for 10 days or so. In the cellars, classical music is played to the slumbering wines.
A family farm, today run by three generations of the family, who present a diversity of rational, proficient and innovative ideas, offering different groups of wines: “This is Medana”, Kristančič wines and Pavo wines. They vary from each other but at the same time conceal the typical, distinguished character of our wines. Such a choice of wines can satisfy simple as well as the most demanding tastes.
Located in the heart of the wine-growing region-Brda in village of Medana, they offer some excellent wines from chosen vineyards, including Ribolla, Medana Sauvignonasse, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Rose…
• VINSKA KLET GORIŠKA BRDA
The Wine Cellar Goriška Brda is the largest Slovenian wine cellar that carries on a several-hundred-year old tradition of the region - the production of excellent Brda wines. You will, of course, sample the best known wines in their cellar: A+, Bagueri, Quercus, Villa Brici, sparkling wines, archive wines…
• VINOTEKA BRDA
The Renaissance Castle at Dobrovo hosts Vinoteka Brda. The old arched cellar was renovated to offer guided tastings with a presentation of the Brda wine region. You can taste typical Brda white and red wines and special Brda white wines (Pikolit, Verduc and wines from dried grapes).
Santomas is a private farm in the heart of Slovenian Istra. It produces top-quality wines with an emphasis on traditional wines such as Refosco and Malvasia in a natural way. With respect to International varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can be found in Santomas. One of Santomas best and most perspective vineyard, growing the best grapes for Santomas is Grande Cuvee - Certeze. With its exceptional micro-climate the valley strecthes between the villages of Padna and Šmarje, surrounded by typical Istrian landscape and sub-Mediterranean forest with oak trees, black beech trees, ash trees and other sub-mediterranean wood.
Vinakoper is a company with the largest proportion of its own vineyards in the country. It hides an authentic Istrian wine cellar inside which you can taste wines such as Refošk, Malvazija, Cabarnet Sauvignon…
This family farm and vineyards, cellar, and house are located in the western part of the Karst, in the village of Gorjansko. This is a unique Slovenian terroir of terra rossa soils over pure limestone. They cultivate their vineyards in an environmentally friendly way and have also officially shifted to an ecological farming style. Their seven-hectare farm is two years into a three-year programme to gain organic certification, and only natural, ambient yeasts are used in vinification, with a minimal amount of sulphur. Cotar 's white wines are macerated for one to two weeks, and reds for at least 15 days. All are matured in older oak for two to three years. A few wines, or proportions of them, see much longer macerations.
• BORIS LISJAK
Boris Lisjak is famous for his outstanding Kraski Teran, presented in elegant bottles. While producing this wine the grapes are harvested carefully so that none of the fruit get damaged. The grapes are then gently separated from stems and precisely crushed. Strictly controlled maceration and the maturation of the wine in aged oak barrels produces a Kraski Teran of constant quality which tends to keep its specific bouquet and aroma longer than others. Lisjak's Kraski Teran is consistently among the very best produced in Slovenia.
Tradition in farming and winegrowing on the Batič family estate goes back in history. It produces quality wines such as Cabarnet Frank, Merlot, Chardonnay, Ribolla, Pinela and Rose.
The farm blends in with the architecture of Podraga village, typical of Primorska: narrow streets, stone- walls, small framed windows and stones on the roofs. The cellars on the farm were built at the end of the 19th century; the 19th century room has been converted into a tasting room and a place for gathering. Sutor produces the following wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Burja (Rebolla, Malvasia, White Riesling), Merlot.
PODRAVJE WINE REGION
• JOANES PROTNER
In their own vineyard they produce selected sorts of white wines, sec, demi-sec and demi-sweet wines, sparkling wines and top quality red wine.
Čurin vineyards spread on the beautiful hills of Kog. Wooden wine casks, modern cisterns, hard work, observation, tasting and love have produced top quality wines: Sipon, Laški Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon, White Pinot, Chardonnay, Grey Pinot, Muscat Otonel, Traminer and Ranina.
Bottled wines of current years as well as older wines, originating from the year 1972 on, are stored in it. The most precious among them are top quality wines: late vintages, selections, ice wines from dried grapes.
POSAVJE WINE REGION
Istenič is one of the leading classical method sparkling wine producers in Slovenia. The Istenič family owns 5 hectares of vineyards in Bizeljsko. Their sparkling wines are among best in the world, as confirmed by Maison de Qualité and numerous other awards.
Family-run winery in Bizeljsko wine region. Interesting because of their special wine cellars called »Repnice«. These are underground cellars that were completely hand- dug in sand. In the past they were used as a refrigerator, today for storing top quality bottled wines.