Slovenia

Slovenia is really a republic nation, formerly a part of Yugoslavia, that gained independence in 1991 following a brief conflict. In truth, Slovenia had usually been probably the most prosperous and western-facing from the former Yugoslav states.

Slovenia's wines - also as its cultural and social attitudes - have already been influenced by its neighbours Italy towards the west, Austria towards the north and Hungary towards the east. Croatia towards the south is a crucial trading companion, but Slovenia has totally embraced Europe, becoming a part of the EU because 2004.

Slovenia these days is really a confident democracy that engages using the rest from the globe each politically and economically. Its naturally western-facing tendencies have flourished

The Slovenian wine business has also gone via huge modifications. Below communism, grape growers had been needed to sell their production towards the cooperatives. But because 1991 a brand new generation of independent wine estates has emerged from the country's younger and much more ambitious farmers.

Wine regions

To the north-east, the region of Podravje will be the biggest vineyard region. It features a continental climate, and is recognized for its sparkling and dessert wines. Simply to the south is Posavje, exactly where some extremely great high quality wines are produced, but additionally a deal of Cvicek, a light, pink wine produced by blending red and white wine grapes. But this function concentrates solely on probably the most westerly of Slovenia's 3 wine regions, Primorska.

Primorska enjoys a much more Mediterranean climate, with some diverse micro-climates. Its land is largely a continuation of Italy's Friuli region, and soils range from flysch - a friable mix of sandstone, marl and sandy shale - towards the wealthy terra rossa from the Kras plateau.

Grapes

Slovenia grows a fascinating mix of indigenous, Italian, and international grapes. Slovene varieties like Pinela and Zelen are bottled as varietal wines, as are numerous grapes familiar to fans of Friulian wine - like Rebula (Ribolla), Pikolit (Picolit) and Refošk (Refosco). When it comes to French varieties, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinots Gris and Blanc are typical for whites, while Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are becoming joined by Pinot Noir for reds. Eastern Slovenia has definite Austrian influences, with Laški Rizling, Riesling itself, Traminer, Muscat and Šipon (Slovenia's name for Hungary's Furmint).

The political boundary in between The Italian hills of Collio and Slovenian hills of Brda appears absurd when viewed from the ground: the vineyards spread seamlessly across the landscape, not marked by any sign or fence. Numerous Slovenian estates have vineyards scattered across each appellations. Indeed, the very best recognized name of this region is most likely Josko Gravner, the iconoclastic winemaker who farms in each Slovenia and Italy, but who tends to make his wines on the Italian side. His good results has had a effective influence on a little group of winemakers who've embraced exactly the same all-natural farming and winemaking methods, utilizing minimal chemical substances, minimal or no sulphur, and only ambient yeasts to handle implausibly lengthy skin macerations.

Producers like Batic, whose 50,000 bottle production ranges from some simpler going, off dry designs, towards the complete “Gravneresque” therapy. Sutor tends to make nearly exclusively white wines, but they've begun a Pinot Noir project with thrilling possible. Edi Simcic is among the much more “international” estates, with all wines fermented in barrels, mainly barriques of French oak. Marjan Simcic strikes a middle ground with an international style, but some wines macerated for 1 year. Movia is among the most fascinating estates, exactly where owner and winemaker Aleš Kristancic farms biodynamically and tends to make some extraordinary wines.

Eastern Slovenia

The climate is a lot more continental than the Mediterranean west. It could reach 40°C in summer time but winter temperatures are frequently as low as -20°C. This provides a clue as towards the wines the region is most proud of - its intensely sweet and luscious ice-wines and “Trockenbeeranauslese” (appear for Ledeno vino and Jagodni Izbor on the label). The country's very best producer of those wines will be the family members company of PraVino, exactly where 3 generations are nonetheless involved.

A few young producers performing promising issues with Šipon consist of Miro Munda whose wines are zesty and fresh, having a Chablis-like mineral high quality. Verus has British MW Angela Muir as director, and their 2007s have beautiful aromatics and fresh, crisp structure. Bostjan Protner of Joannes tends to make great Riesling, Pinot Gris, decent Chardonnay along with a pleasant Pinot Noir rosé. Literally inside a couple of metres from the border with Austria's Styria, Sauvignon Blanc does nicely, with Valdhuber creating 1 from the very best. There is Austrian involvement in the brand new Dveri-Pax winery, owned by Benedictine monks.

Slovenia is really a thrilling nation to go to, with it beautiful scenery and warm welcome. Its top producers are undoubtedly punching nicely above their weight in creating a few of the most thrilling wines in central Europe.