Overall Excellence, Many Specialties
The Vipava Valley produces outstanding whites and reds alike. Connoisseurs describe them as elegant and harmonious, with an ostensibly rich bouquet. Their other praised traits are freshness, fruitiness and smoothness. The characters of our wines reveal an unmistakable hint of historical winemaking tradition, infused with dashes of the younger generation's contemporary approach. Natural farming is a staple of the region, and its progressive winemakers craft wines from organically grown grapes based on biodynamic principles.
Quite a number of varieties feel at home in the Vipava Valley, including eight old indigenous ones that are uniquely special in many ways. In addition to the whites and reds, the valley also offers rosé and contemporary orange wines.
Grape Varieties of the Vipava Valley
The Vipava Valley winegrowing district is most famous for its white varietals and the quality white blend called Vipavec. The foremost white is Ribolla Gialla whose ancient tradition is also the longest. Very popular varieties here include Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia, Welschriesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. A special place among the white varieties belongs to the indigenous Zelen, whose producers are united in the Zelen Consortium. Some vineyards also grow Pinot Gris, Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains and Sauvignonasse.
Reds are not as widespread in the Vipava Valley, but they do achieve some amazing results. The predominant variety here is Merlot, in the valley an essential base for superior red blends, while most cellars also hold Cabernet Sauvignon. Popular red varieties also include Barbera, Refosco and Pinot Noir.
Old Local Varieties
No other wine region boasts as many old indigenous varieties as the Vipava Valley, where this extraordinary heritage is also highly valued. With much love, dedication and nursery expertise, the winemakers of the valley managed to preserve a surprising number of ancient local varieties, now the unique stars of Vipava Valley's already outstanding wine offer.
The grape varieties of the Vipava Valley
were first described in 1844 by the priest Matija Vertovec
in his expert book on viticulture.
Zelèn is a grape variety indigenous to the Vipava Valley. The wine is straw-coloured with accented greenish shades. It has a gentle nose expressing fruity notes of pear and apple, rich, varietal and very pleasant. Zelèn is a semi-aromatic variety giving wines with a rich, harmonious and well expressed character. The aroma is complex and quite distinctive from any other aromatic profile. The fullness of flavour speaks of the generous structure and extract, which on the palate releases lingering sweet-sour sensations in a rounded balance. The finish confirms the wine's overall harmonic richness.
Pinela wine is yellowish with light greenish shades. It has a distinctive, recognizable and gentle varietal bouquet, fruity and floral in character. The flavour is full, harmonious and very smooth, giving an overall impression of freshness and drinkability owing to pronounced acids. This wine is great when enjoyed fresh and young, while proper aging can also result in some noble, more serious aromas. The alcohol content and extract are medium.
Legend has it this old variety was named after the beautiful lady Klara who surrounded her home with a thick wall of vines to hide from her countless suitors. Klarnica wine is greenish-yellow, expressing a strong floral bouquet reminiscent of blooming acacia and honey. The flavour is rich and full, with harmoniously balanced acids and quite frequently some residual sugar.
Another greenish-yellow indigenous protagonist, this wine's bouquet is less strongly pronounced while the flavour is light and mellow. Pergolin makes for good young wine, though varietals are quite rare. More often it shows up in quality blends.
In Vrhpolje near Vipava
you can find Slovenia's largest vine nursery,
helping preserve our old varieties ever since 1905.
Picolit wine has a golden yellow colour. The bouquet hints at overripe apricots, dry fruit and honey. The flavour makes it an extract-rich and harmonious wine, with some producers also making sweet Picolit. When dried grapes are vinified, the colour gradients start turning brownish.
This local variety is said to have been named after the winegrower Poljšak, who brought it from the surroundings of Maribor into Šmarje. Since he had forgotten its proper name in the process, the people named it after him instead. Two types of the variety once existed, widespread around Vipava. The wine appears light yellow and is best enjoyed young. It is added to some great local blends where it contributes agreeable acidity.
Light yellow in colour, this wine has a gentle and floral aroma, with a varietal, fresh and satisfying flavour.
A yellow wine with a vinous, not particularly varietal bouquet. It tastes light and pleasurable, compelling in spite of the lower extracts and alcohol.