Wines of Slovenia

Tacitus referred to wines of Poetovio The cultivation of wine, ‘Vitis vinifera’ predates written history. The earliest evidence is from 3,500BC. around Shiraz in ancient Persia where it was first cultivated. Slovenia has evidence of wine-making for 2,400 years. Archaeological findings show wine was known in the northeastern part of Slovenia when it was settled by Celtic and Illyrian tribes. Depicted on the ‘Vaška situla’ (6BC). Celtic vessel discovered at Vače, are festivities with wine. Winegrowing flourished in Roman times. In 1AD. Tacitus referred to Poetovio’s wines (Ptuj). In Slovenia there are three wine-growing regions, Podravje, Posavje, and Primorje. These are further divided into fourteen districts. Around 21,000 hectares are cultivated producing annually an average of 850,000. hectolitres. The majority of wines produced are quality wines – only 30% of the wine is table wine category. This standard is maintained by legislation and rules of the Slovene Wine Growers’ and Producers’ Association. Varietal wines are named after the grape, and the blended wines are named after the region of production. The association also provides the optional use of a seal which gives a guarantee of a wine’s quality – a registered trademark of Slovene wines; red for table wines, silver for quality wines, and gold for high-quality wines. The Slovenian terms for quality are: ‘namizno vino’ (table wine), ‘kakovostno vino’ ZKGP (quality wine) and ‘vrhunsko vino’ (premium wine), ‘arhivsko vino’ (archive wine) – the minimum is two years in the barrel, and two years in the bottle. Amongst the varieties of wines are: Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Teran, Refošk, Modri Pinot, Renski Rizling, Laski Rizling, Beli Pinot, Traminec, Šipon. The specialised wine shop is called ‘vinoteka’ and largest selection in Slovenia is at the Vinoteka Bradeško in the Ljubljana City Fairground. The annual International Ljubljana Wine Competition is the highlight of the viticulturist’s calendar; Slovenia is one of six European countries to have accreditation from global organisations for wine analysis.

Learning activities

1. Send a post card
Text-type: postcard
Linguistic element: formulaic expressions of letter-writing
Send a postcard about visiting the Brda area in Primorska region

2. Design a business card
Text-type: business card
Linguistic element: formulaic expressions of address
Write a business card for the Wine Cellar Goriška Brda

3. Write a script for a conversation

Text-type: conversation
Linguistic element: formulaic expressions of price, numerals
Write a dialogue about the wine-sampling offered at Wine Cellar Goriška Brda

4. Design a brochure on Wine Roads of Slovenia

Text-type: brochure
Linguistic element: prepositions – declension
Write a brochure about the Wine roads listed at the Slovenian Tourist Board

5. Design an advertisement
Text-type:  advertisement
Linguistic element: adjectives – declensions
Design and write a promotional advertisement about the Maribor Wine Road

6. Write a script for an interview

Text-type: interview
Linguistic element: pronouns – interrogative
Interview a staff member about Wine Cellar Goriška Brda

Comprehension – reading and responding

Read the text Stara trta from site, Maribor-Pohorje

Answer the following questions in English.
1. Where does ‘Stara trta’ grow?
2. How much wine is produced annually from the Old Vine?
3. Where is it pressed?
4. How much is bottled?
5. How was the Old Vine protected?
6. What are future plans for the building which the Old Vine climbs?
7. Which countries have received a gift of a graft of the Old Vine?



Sandi Ceferin

Sandi Ceferin (B.A. CELTA) is a researcher and Thezaurus editor. She is a writer of language materials and the Slovenian Webclassroom. Her studies in Slavic linguistics and Indo-European languages has been a springboard to collaboration and development of new model applications of technologies for languages and culture study. Sandi produces curricula and resource materials including Course Outline - Slovenian CSF Years 1-10, published by the Victorian School of Languages, Melbourne (2003).