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For those who appreciate discovering new destinations filled with experiences you’ll gush over forever Slovenia is just the place. You’ll find, among Slovenia’s treasures, a fairytale backdrop of emerald waters, stunning lakes, the sparkling Adriatic coastline, and snow-capped mountains. The people of Slovenia are friendly and welcoming and the food reflects the diverse cultures and vast local agriculture of a fascinating country.

But one of the most exciting finds when you travel to this tiny country, nestled between Italy and Austria, is the wine. Slovenia boasts about 54,000 acres of vineyards and while the majority of that grape-growing land is dedicated to some fine whites, Slovenia's reds are also excellent.

Slovenia’s wine country is in the very heart of Europe’s wine growing zone. Given the growing conditions found in Slovenia it should come as no surprise that the wines from this region are fast becoming recognized. They are definitely considered world class by wine aficionados. The cool alpine air and the nearness of Slovenia to the Adriatic Sea contribute to the excellent terroir of the Slovenian wines. Let's take a look at how Slovenian wine came to be so outstanding and let us tell you about some of our favorites.

Slovenia’s Winemaking History

Wine isn’t a recent craft to the region of Slovenia. In fact wine began growing in the region of Slovenia roughly 2,400 years ago. Back then the Celts cultivated the grape vines in Slovenia and winemaking flourished. Even under the rule of the Romans and even the great Roman naturalist, philosopher and author Pliny the Elder wrote about wine in Slovenia in the first century.

Later on the Austrians availed themselves to the land of this remarkable wine-growing region to establish their own vineyards to serve the noble houses of their adjacent country. Sadly, in the late 1800s, there was an infestation in the vineyards of many of Europe's finest winemakers. Among them was Slovenia where phylloxera destroyed nearly all of the vineyards in the country.

A Whole New Crop of Winemakers

In 1991 Slovenia gained independence from the former Yugoslavia and that’s when things changed. The new generation of vintners was younger, ambitious and devoted to creating remarkable wines. This could not have happened under communist control when the growers were forced to contribute their grapes to the cooperatives.

These new winemakers, driven by an independence they hadn’t known before and the freedom to exercise their creativity, grew a combination of indigenous varieties of grapes along with the international stalwarts that served Europe's winemakers so well. Their passion is evident in their product.

The Three Winemaking Regions of Slovenia

Winemaking in Slovenia is heavily influenced by their neighbors Austria and Italy. Depending on which of the three cultivation areas you sample from you will note similarities in the character of the wine, but with some notes (and color!) all their own. Slovenia’s winemakers produce 52 varieties of wine which include whites, reds and rosé as well as the unique orange hued wine, the aromatic Malvasia and a very decent sparkling wine.


The Podravska wine region borders Croatia and Hungary to the east and produces some very unique whites. The hot summers and cold winters of this area, also called the Drava region, provide excellent growing conditions for some white varieties such as Riesling, Chardonnay and a favorite dry white, Sipon. This region produces a wonderful Pinot Noir, at once fresh and mature. This region of Slovenian winemaking also boasts the oldest and largest wine cellar in the country with a passage that’s nearly a mile and a half long.

The Padrovsakn hills put out some very good quality reds. Among them Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. The whites, along with Simon, are Rieslings, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and a Yellow Muscat.


The Primorska wine region is one of the oldest and longest producing areas of winemaking in the country. Its proximity to Italy is quite evident in the reds. The traditional grapes grown in this area are Refosco, Tokaj and Rebula. Rebula is also grown just over the border in Italy. One of the most successful varieties grown in Primorska is Bordeaux. High quality Slovenian reds are owed to the varieties Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and the deep, rich red-producing Carmenere.

Some of the favorite wines of this region are traditional reds; Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. The whites are quite good and include Malvasia, Panera, Rebula, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Orange Wine

Primorska also produces some very nice white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Primorska is also where the majority of the grapes that go into Slovenia’s famous orange wine, also often referred to as the fourth color.

The process for making the interesting orange wine (really more of an amber color) involves leaving the skin in contact with the wine to macerate for a period of time. This unusual wine is made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and the skin contact changes the color, yes, but also increases the tannins eluted from the skins of the grape.

Orange wine is one of the oldest wines in the world and has recently experienced a trendy rejuvenation among the hip wine drinkers. The flavor profile is unique and often described as somewhat sour, nutty with a note of fig, or giving the impression of being sweet but not actually sweet at all.


Posavska is the southernmost wine region of Slovenia and home to the famous and easy-drinking Cvicek wine. Click is a blend of white and red grapes and is characterized by a low alcohol level. Other favorites of the Posavska region are the red Zametovka, Modri Pinot, Sentlovrenca and the white Renski Rizling, Chardonnay, Tramenic (a Gewurztraminer) and Rumeni Plavec, an excellent sparkler.

World Class Wines

As Slovenia proves itself a contender in world class wine categories the winemakers of the country have perfected their art. The boutique wineries are especially dedicated to creating spectacular wines that are recognized as such both within the country and throughout the world. Currently there are seven winemakers of gold medal stature and one who has been recognized as platinum.

Wine tourism continues to blossom in this country of such fairytale beauty.  We invite you to come sample some of these outstanding and unique wines for yourself.