Regions and Appellations Slovenia

Slovene Wine

Slovenia is a small European country with a long history of wine production. This is not surprising given its (borderline) Mediterranean location between the northern latitudes of 45 and 47 degrees, latitudes shared by Bordeaux, Burgundy and northern Rhone. The country is also bordered by four of Europe's most long-established wine producing nations; Croatia to the south, Hungary to the east, Austria to the north and Italy to the west.

Despite the cultural and political turmoil that has besieged the Balkan states over the past century, Slovenia has maintained its wine industry, one which has been particularly successful since the country gained independence from former Yugoslavia, in 1991.

The flag of Slovenia

Slovenia is largely landlocked, with only a few miles of coastline atop the Istrian Peninsula, just south of Trieste and the Carso DOC of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The Slovenian climate has a certain maritime tendency in the west, drawn from the northern Adriatic, while there are strong continental influences in the north and east, created by the Alps and Pannonian Basin. The topographical variation means it is hard to categorize Slovenia climatically, and its climate is often given the catch-all descriptor of 'sub-Mediterranean'.

This variation also gives wine producers plenty of choice when it comes to the location of their vineyards. While general climatic patterns are played out across the country there are, within these macro-climates, a range of more subtle variations that contribute to local terroirs.

Slovenia has three key wine regions: Podravje in the east, Primorska in the west and Posavje just south of the center.

Podravje is the engine room of Slovenian wine industry, producing roughly half of the country's national output. Its most densely-planted vineyard areas are located around the eastern town of Maribor, in the valleys of the Pesnica, Drava and Mura rivers.

Primorski is a coastal region, just across the Adriatic from Venice and Fruili. Since 1991, it has shown the greatest increase in quality wine production of all the regions, and continues to demonstrate its vinous potential in national and international wine competitions. Posavje is a less densely planted region, and has not yet developed the reputation that Primorski or Podravje have as quality wine producing regions.

The wine grape varieties grown in Slovenia show an Italian influence in the west, a Germanic influence in the east, and an increasing French 'international' influence in general.

Riesling (both Rhine Riesling and Welschriesling) are found in quantity in Podravje, as are Traminec (Gewurztraminer) and Rizvanec (Muller-Thurgau). Sivi Pinot (Pinot Gris) is also planted quite widely here, as is Beli Pinot (Pinot Blanc) and its local mutated form, Radgonska Ranina. In Primorski, the region's contact with Italy is manifest in the choice of grapes, notably Refosco, Tokaj (Tai) and Rebula (Ribolla). The latter is as successful here as it is in its homeland across the Italian border, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The red Bordeaux grapes that have been globally successful over the past 50 years are also popular in Slovenia, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and even their ancient stablemate, Carmenere, being used to make quality Primorski reds. Burgundy's key duo Pinot Noir (Modri Pinot) and Chardonnay are also favoured, as are dry whites made from Pinot Gris (Sivi Pinot) and Sauvignon Blanc.

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Most Popular Slovene Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Avg Price
Batic Rose, Vipava, Slovenia Cabernet Sauvignon 3,247th 88 $18
Mulit Rdece, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Cabernet - Merlot - Syrah 6,643rd 88 $25
Batic Merlot, Vipava, Slovenia Merlot 6,895th $19
Movia Veliko Rdece - Rosso, Primorska, Slovenia Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot 10,412th 90 $48
Movia Rebula - Ribolla, Primorska, Slovenia Ribolla 15,631st 89 $27
Bozidar Zorjan Wines Dolium Muskat Otonel, Stajerska, Slovenia Muscat Ottonel 16,768th $48
Edi Simcic Duet, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Bordeaux Blend Red 21,625th 89 $34
Ptujska Klet 'Pullus' Pinot Sivi, Stajerska Slovenia Pinot Grigio 22,611th 88 $16
Kabaj Rebula, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Ribolla 26,521st 90 $26
Giocato Pinot Grigio, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Pinot Grigio 26,521st 87 $12
Movia Lunar, Primorska, Slovenia Ribolla 27,111th 91 $27
Jakoncic 'Rdeca Carolina', Goriska Brda, Slovenia Bordeaux Blend Red 27,111th 89 $31
Marjan Simcic 'Opoka' Merlot, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Merlot 28,014th 89 $62
Movia Veliko Belo - Bianco, Primorska, Slovenia Rare White Blend 28,672nd 91 $36
Poljsak Zelen, Vipava, Slovenia Zelen 29,013th $21
Edi Simcic Kolos, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Bordeaux Blend Red 29,713th 89 $117
Kabaj Sivi Pinot, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Pinot Gris 29,713th 90 $25
Marjan Simcic 'Opoka' Ribolla - Rebula, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Ribolla 31,112th 90 $52
Burja Estate 'Burja Bela', Vipava, Slovenia Rare White Blend 32,630th $27
Movia Pinot Nero - Modri Pinot, Primorska, Slovenia Pinot Noir 33,484th 89 $39
Quercus Rebula, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Ribolla 33,484th 87 $9
Ptujska Klet 'Pullus' Sauvignon Blanc, Stajerska, Slovenia Sauvignon Blanc 33,990th 87 $14
Marjan Simcic Ribolla - Rebula, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Ribolla 34,430th 89 $18
Vinska Klet 'Bagueri' Merlot, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Merlot 36,363rd 88 $17
Movia Cabernet Sauvignon, Goriska Brda, Slovenia Cabernet Sauvignon 36,859th 89 $28
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To see how Wine-Searcher uses average pricing and professional wine critic scores on this page, please see Average Wine Prices and Wine Scores. To find out about popularity, please see Wine Ranks.
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