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We know so many wine regions of Europe. My mind often thinks of the Chianti region of Italy, Bordeaux in France, or even the Duoro Valley of Portugal. But what about Slovenia? Have you heard of their wine? On my first trip to Slovenia, this was one of my biggest takeaways from the county. Slovenian wine is a hidden gem, completely delicious, and rooted in a long history of Europe’s wine culture.

Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

Dating back to the Celts and Illyrians, vineyards have always been part of Slovenia’s landscape. It’s a large part of their cultural heritage and you’ll find that as you travel through Slovenia, their wine is served everywhere. With more than 28,000 wineries producing 80 million liters of wine, there is no shortage of varieties and styles of wine.

You’ll find that more than 70% is white wine, with different varietals often not found anywhere else in the world. The three predominant regions of wine growing in Slovenia are Primorska, Podravska, and Posavska and have 14 distinct wine tasting districts. It’s wine-lovers heaven.

Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

On this trip to Slovenia, I spent some time just scratching the surface of the Goriška Brda district of wine. I visited a few wineries, saw the incredible landscape, and got a taste of how great the wine is. So with a little digging and asking the locals what makes this wine so good, here’s what I found. 

A look at Slovenian Wine

Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar


Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

Quick facts on Slovenian Wine

1. There are quality ranges for their wine:

  • Namizno vino – Table wine
  • Deželno vino PGO – Country wine
  • Kakovostno vino ZGP – Quality wine
  • Vrhunsko vino ZGP – Premium quality wine

2. On the wine labels, notations for sweetness is denoted:

  • suho (dry)
  • polsuho (medium-dry)
  • polsladko (medium-sweet)
  • sladko (sweet)

3. Wines were historically aged in Slovenian wood casks but now have started using French oak barrels. 

4. It’s the intersecting climates that make these wines so special. Take Goriška Brda for example. The Mediterranean climate comes from one side and the alpine climate meets from the other. The intermixing of the two, cold winds from the alps (creates crispness) and the warm wind from the sea (creates sweetness) make an ideal climate for growing grapes. 

5. In some regions, like Goriška Brda, they don’t even have to water the vineyards as the roots grow so deep. There is enough moisture in the soil here that even in the warm summer it’s not necessary. 

6. You can drink a wine that is from a 400-year-old winery, still produced today called the Žametna Črnina (Black Velvet) wine. 

7. The saying goes that there’s a winery for every 70 people!


Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

A Few Favorite Wines Varietals in Slovenia

Malvazija: a bright, white wine that is both fruity and mineral. One of my favorites from the trip.

Chardonnay: I normally do not drink chardonnay as I find it quite buttery but in Slovenia, their chardonnay was just perfect. This is a great wine to start with to get an introduction to the flavor notes found here. 

Pinot Gris: A carefully harvested white wine, this can often have spicier notes and more full-bodied.

Ribolla Gialla: Has almost a saltiness to it but full of flavor to balance it and often will show more minerality.

Sauvignon: One of the more predominant varietals found throughout Slovenia and this dry white varies depending on the region and soil.

Riesling: Slovenian Riesling sits well — almost has more of a citrusy flavor to it and is not always sweet.


Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

Where to buy Slovenian Wine in the States

If you can’t get to Slovenia and you’re wanting to try these at home. Or you didn’t bring a big enough suitcase like me… there is luck to find these. Even though the majority of Slovenian wine is consumed in Slovenia there are a few wineries who are exporting. A few major retailers that I have found who are selling Slovenian wine are Total Wine, Wine.com, and 1000corks.com.


Head to this site to find out more about Slovenian wine, the regions to visit in Slovenia, and more.


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Slovenian Wine and Why It Should Be on Your Radar

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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