The first vines were planted in this area by the Celts some 2,400 years ago. The Romans influenced viticulture especially in the area of Poetovium (Ptuj = Pettau). The Roman wine author Pliny the Elder (23-79) mentioned viticulture in the Karst region and described these wines as an elixir of life. During the migration of peoples, viticulture came to a standstill again. But in the Middle Ages, the wines were highly valued at the courts of the imperial Wien and archbishopric of Salzburg. The Austrian Archduke Johann (1782-1859) owned a model vineyard near Maribor (Marburg). Even today, the influences of the historical and long affiliation with Austria-Hungary can be felt. As in most European countries, large vineyard areas fell victim to phylloxera in the second half of the 19th century.
Vineyard areas / climate
the wine-growing areas are located in the north on the border with Austria (southern Styria), in the east on the border with Hungary and in the west on the border with the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. White wines account for about three quarters of production, red wines for about one quarter. Slovenian viticulture has shown a rapid positive development. A model enterprise and pioneer is the Movia winery. There are many small winegrowers with tiny areas. The climatic conditions are characterised by Alpine, continental and Mediterranean climates. Short, heavy downpours in spring are followed by a warm summer and a long, mostly sunny autumn, which allows for a late harvest and thus also ripe Prädikat wines. Slovenia is divided into three large wine-growing regions with 14 origin-protected wine-growing areas. In 2012, the vineyards covered a total of 16,000 hectares, from which 507,000 hectolitres of wine were produced (see also under wine production volumes):
Podravje (Drauland) divided into two areas with 9,650 ha
1. Stajerska Slovenija (Slovenian Styria) with 8,685 ha
As in Austria and Germany, these are based on the must weight of the grapes. The total quantity of bottles produced or their number in litres must be indicated on the label. The degrees of sweetness are suho (dry), polsuho (semi-dry), polsladko (semi-sweet) and sladko (sweet). In August 2009, the EU wine market regulation came into force with fundamental changes to the wine designations and quality grades. There are the following new designations or quality levels (see also under Quality System):
PTP = Priznano Tradicionalno Poimenovanje or traditional wine
PGO (Priznano Geografsko Oznaka = recognised geographical designation)
Wine from fully ripe grapes, natural alcohol content to. 8.5% vol, maximum yield 120 h/ha, sensory and analytical testing required.
ZGP (Zaščitenim Geografskim Poreklom = protected geographical origin)
Use of quality wine grape varieties and specific vineyards are required, fully ripe grapes, natural alcohol content at 8.5% vol. (9.5% vol. in wine-growing zone CII), max. maximum yield 80 hl/ha, sensory and analytical testing required, at official tasting 16.1 out of 20 points must be achieved.
VV z ZGP (Vrhunsko Vino z Zaščitenim Geografskim Poreklom = top wine of gesch. geogr. Herk.)
This corresponds mutatis mutandis to a Prädikatswein. In addition to the basic criteria, the following conditions apply: Declared vintage, no enrichment and no additives allowed, no deacidification. At least 18.1 out of 20 points must be achieved in an official tasting. Additionally listed appellations/wine types:
Ledeno Vino = Ice wine (naturally frozen at harvest, to. 128 °Oe)
Slamno Vino (Vino iz Sušenega Grozdja) = straw wine (dried on reed mats)
PTP(Priznano Tradicionalno Poimenovanje = recognised traditional designation)
Wines produced according to traditional methods with protection of geographical origin. There are only four of these; they are Belokranjec, Cviček, Kras Teran and Metliska Crnina.
Special wine designations/types
Arhivsko Vino = archive wine (matured for 2 years in barrel and 2 bottles; 83 °Oe)
Mlado Vino = young wine (marketing 30 days after harvest until 31 Jan of the following year)