Slovenian wines may be little-known outside of their native land, but the country has over 28,000 wineries which mainly produce delicious white wines from local grape varieties. Viticulture in Slovenia dates back to the ancient Celtic and Illyrian tribes who began cultivating wine grapes in the 4th and 5th centuries BC. Although most Slovenian wines are consumed domestically, their great quality and value for money makes them a great option for adventurous wine lovers who want to buy Slovenian wine and try something new.
Key Slovenian Wine Regions
The largest Slovenian wine region is Podravje on the country's eastern border with Croatia and Hungary. White wines make up 97% of this region's total production and Podravje has a particular reputation for top quality sparkling and dessert wines. Posavska in south-eastern Slovenia is the smallest region and is known for its light red blends called Cvicek. The other main region is Primorska in western Slovenia which is heavily influenced by neighbouring Italy.
Slovenian Grape Varieties
The most important white wine varieties are Istrian Malvasia, Rebula, which is also known as Ribolla Gialla in Italy, and Furmint. Slovenian white wines tend to be elegant and refreshing with plenty of acidity, although Furmint is also used to make intense and opulent dessert wines. For red wines, the deeply-coloured Refosco variety is popular as well as Zametovka which is the second-most planted black grape and is traditionally used to make Cvicek. Slovenian wines tend to pair well with the country's smoked and cured meats, pork and grilled fish dishes.