Slovenia is small but it's up and coming! It's a fascinating place with a long winemaking tradition that should pique your interest.
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Slovenia's Wine Stats:
- Population of two million people, who drink a LOT: 5th highest wine consumption per capita in the world
- About 75% of the country's production is white wine
- 55K Planted acres makes it the size of Sonoma County, in California
- Small portion of the wine is exported
- 70% of the wine is premium, most is made in the clean modern style
- Some using ancient techniques (clay amphorae) to give the texture a tannic rasp and the wine a rosy, sometimes amber, hue (orange wines)
Slovenia's Wine History
- Of Celts, Romans, Christians, and Napoleon
- By the end of the WWII, co-ops controlled nearly all of the region's wine production: Sucky bulk wine production with a few small private wineries in the Drava Valley region
- In 1967, the government established the PSVVS (Business Association for Viticulture and Wine Production)
- In 1991, Slovenia was the first to declare independence from Yugoslavia
- Dictatorship/Socialism/Communism separated countries from centuries of winemaking traditions but they are catching up now
- At crossroad of eastern and central Europe bordered by Hungary, Italy, Croatia, and Austria
- Important Rivers: Drava and Sava connect to the Danube
- Dynamic regions on borders
3 Main Regions
- Near Italian region of Fruili Venezia Giulia, high quality whites and reds
- Sub regions: Vipava Valley, Goriska Brda (gore-ISH-KA BURR-DA), Koper (pr. Coper), Karst plateau district
- Grapes: Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Grigio, other whites, Refosco other reds
- Experimentation and blending of old and new: Orange wines, clay amphora, and long, long aging
- Drava (Podravje)
- Botrytis affected whites, Welschriesling, Furmin
- Nearly 97% of the wine made in the Drava Valley region is white wine
- Seven sub-regions
- Lower Sava (Posavje)
- Only Slovenian wine region that produces more red wine than white, though not by a large margin
- Three districts, you may see Lower Carniola on a bottle
- Lower Sava Valley region is dominated by bulk wine, rather than premium wine, production
- Use of many native grapes
Hope you enjoy this off-the-beaten trail podcast.