Slovenia lies between Italy, Croatia and Austria, with a perfectly southern exposure to the Mediterranean Sea. This small country has deep winemaking roots and a young generation of winemakers doing everything right.
Slovenia is not the first wine-producing country that comes to mind, but wine lovers and enthusiasts are finding a source of reliable wine in the verdant region. There’s quality here, and the country’s wines are worth seeking.
Here’s our guide to the Grapes of the Mediterranean, Slovenia. Slovenian wine explained. We hope you enjoy premium-quality white wines because Slovenia is heaven for white grapes.
History of Slovenian Wine
Slovenia is at the heart of the wine belt, meaning its climate and soil are ideal for growing wine grapes. In this corner of Europe, Grapevines predate the Romans and could go back to the earliest Celtic tribes back in the 4th century BC.
A large chunk of Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia and lived under communist rule. In 1991, Slovenia gained its independence, and its wine industry thrived. Today, Slovenian winemakers borrow plays from the Austrian and Italian playbooks to craft wines with a distinct Mediterranean personality. Italian and German grapes make Slovenia’s repertoire.
Slovenia is home to at least a dozen local and international grapes. White varietals show the most promising results as they ripen to perfection on the Mediterranean coast.
Sivi Pinot. You know this grape as Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, but don’t expect the same old white wines you’ll find elsewhere. In Slovenia, Sivi Pinot shows a marine salinity and the freshest notes of white apples and peaches. Fruit purity defines these refreshing Mediterranean wines.
Riesling. Riesling is the queen of cold-climate white grapes. It thrives up north in Germany, but it feels more comfortable on Slovenia’s Mediterranean coast. Here, both Riesling and Welschriesling are produced with an Italian approach for fresh, citrus-scented wines with floral notes and honeyed richness.
Rizvanec. Known elsewhere as Müller Thurgau, this German grape feels right at home in Slovenia. In fact, this might be the most refined rendition of the grape. Expect floral aromatics over scents reminiscent of green apples, pears and herbal notes.
Wine + Food
Slovenian white wines are food-friendly, to say the least. They’re compatible with the country’s cuisine and any other Mediterranean speciality from anywhere around the blue sea.
Slovenians are big fans of seafood, and their marinated sardines represent the country’s cuisine beautifully. It comes without saying the lemony wines coming out of Slovenia’s wineries pair nicely with sardines and other oily fish like salmon.
For tuna steaks, salmon fillets, Niçoise salads and other Mediterranean meals, especially if cooked with olive oil and seasoned with aromatic herbs, the stylish Slovenian wines are the perfect fit.
Every winery in Slovenia is worthy of a visit. In return, a once in a lifetime experience is guaranteed. Still, few wineries are as better known worldwide as Movia.
Movia is a unique estate in Slovenia, and it’s gained a place in the top 100 wineries in the world list by Wine & Spirits Magazine. This estate specialises in Rebula, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, amongst others.
Aleš Kristančič is the winemaking genius behind Movia, and if you want to try his wine, you’ll feel right at home at the estate’s wine bar. This is what we call luxury, and you’ll only find it in Slovenia.