10 Slovenian Autohthonous Varieties you have to try

Slovenia is a small but diverse wine country with rich wine history and culture. Each wine region in Slovenia has one or more autohtonious or indegenous wine varietals that are gaining on importance and popularity in the last years. The „autohtonous“ here refers to grape varietals that are grown in a partucular area and have a long history in that particular area. The grape varietal adjusted well to the local conditions during time and today it can give its best quaility under care of a diligent winemaker.

Each wine region, and wine district has it own wine specality.


1. Pinela

Pinela is an indigenous grape variety of Vipava Valley. Its calming freshness and delicate floral fruity aromas impresses with its elegant, balanced and rich aftertaste. Pinela amazes with its uniqueness. It goes well with cold and hot appetizers, pasta, vegetable dishes and white meat.

2. Vitovska

Vitovska is an ancient rare grape variety found predominantly in the Karst region. This variety provides an appealing wine with pronounced mineral notes. It is an elegant and attractive wine with a slight taste of almonds and vanilla, that fills us with curiosity. A pleasantly fresh harmony of perfectly balanced fruit aromas.

3. Malvasia

Malvasia has been grown historically in Slovenian Istria where it was introcuced in the 14th century. It is a young fresh wine, slightly aromatic with a characteristically intense bouquet. Malvasia is a moderately dry wine with an intense taste and a medium alchocol content. It presents a beautiful harmony between freshness and elegance.
Colour of young wines is delicate straw color, with golden glints. On the nose it is generously fruity with notes of flowers and dried mediterranean herbs. Flavour is elegant and refreshing, with medium alchocol content and good length.
Malvasia is best served with fish, risotto, pasta dishes, white meat and cheese. It is also a good match for Asian cuisine.
If you are after a mature Malvasia you will get a rich and full wine with an intense golden color and a complex aroma. The smell and aroma are very aromatic, highlighted by notes of dried fruit particulary dried apricot. This value wine has a harmonious taste with a rich after taste, which confirms the maturity, sweet spices, citrus and acacia.

4. Rumeni plavec / Yellow Blue

Yellow Blue is a variety of white wine. In Slovenia, it is considered an autochthonous vine of the Bizeljsko-Sremiško wine-growing region. Yellow Plavec is a very demanding variety that rarely appears as a varietal wine. The wine has a delicate lemon color. The flower is discreet and reminiscent of yellow apples and acacia. It has an intense taste with high but very pleasant acidity. Alcohols are low. It is a very light, pleasant and drinkable wine.

5. Rebula

This wine is an indigenous variety, cultivated on the hills of Goriška Brda for centuries. It is characterised by its straw yellow colour with green reflections, a delicate fruity aroma and harmonious and balanced flavour. It is dry and elegant with no excessive alcohol and with pleasant and fresh acids that enhance its fruitiness and minerality. It is a fresh, acidic and expressive wine with an excellent intensity and flavour persistence.
Rebula, with its delicate scent and fruity flavour, is excellent as an aperitif. It is a very versatile wine, which can be matched with many kinds of food: cold appetisers, vegetable dishes, fish courses and white meat, fresh Carpaccio and also with mild cheeses.

6. Zelen

Zelen is an indigenous variety from the Vipava Valley. It has a uniquely light floral and fruity aroma, reminiscent of apple and the Mediterranean herbs, rosemary and lavender. The balance of freshness and softness is felt in the enduring and harmonious aftertaste. With its full and elegant body, it impresses with every sip.
Zelen is recommended as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to lighter dishes as it nicely complements fish dishes as well as white meat, pork, veal, vegetable and seafood risotto and pasta.

7. Pikolit

Pikolit, made from indigenous grape varietals in Goriška Brda, was highly regarded in the past due to its uniqueness. It is an extremely rare and noble wine of superior quality as precious as its antique-gold colour . The nose is reminiscent of acacia honey, underpinned by an elegant scent of peaches and a floral bouquet. Its sublime flavour is of great complexity, warm and harmonious with a pleasant creamy long aftertaste. In short – Pikolit is a true jewel among sweet wines and best admired alone. It is an extraordinary wine that perfectly accompanies fruit desserts, custards and creams. An even more successful marriage is with foie gras and aged cheese.


8. Teran

If you are looking for an authentic wine experience or something new and exquisite, Teran is the right choice. It’s an indigenous Slovenian wine produced from Refosco grape. The most important distinction is that it grows on red soil or »terra rossa«. Terra rossa is a fertile soil with a lot of iron oxides, mainly present in the Mediterranean Karst areas.
Teran has always been appreciated for its medicinal properties, with soothing effects on various ilnesses, including anemia, due to its large quantity of lactic acid and bivalent iron. Teran also stimulates the appetite and facilitates digestion of rich foods. It is believed that the moderate and regular consumption of Teran wine maintains the flexibility of blood veins and inhibits the progression of atherosclerosis as well as the aging process itself with its very high level of antioxidants.
It is ruby red in color with a glimpse of purple and blue tones. Aroma is delicate, recognizable with a unique fruity bouquet reminiscent of forest fruits, especially raspberries or blueberries. Flavour is intense and lasting with a characteristic taste which is full, strong, robust and yet pleasantly matched wine, with forest fruit presence on the finish. Vibrancy and freshness of taste are the results of a rich spectrum of acids.
Due to its characteristics, Teran is an excellent fit to all meat, particularly red meat and wild game dishes. It also complements various pork dishes and cheese.
A glass of Teran can also be served to guests during a pleasant afternoon chat.

9. Blue Frankish / Blaufränkisch

The historical ampelographic sources has provided an evidence that the geographic area of origin of laufränkisch vine is Slovenia – an area of Podravje and Posavje wine region.
A wine of a deep ruby color, it will delight those who prefer a mature, full and complex wine. It has a distinctive frutiy taste with a unique bouquet reminiscent of berries. Enjoy the pleasant freshness of mild tannins and the medicinal effects of antioxidants, particularly resveratrol, which has a positive impact on health.
Resveratol is lowering overall cholesterol levels and increasing the beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is protecting the heart. As it also helps prevent cancer, a moderate consumption of Modra frankinja is especially recommended.

10. Cipro

This wine of rich, bright ruby color impresses with its typical floral-fruity aroma, reminiscent of roses and berries. The taste is a harmony of freshness and fruitiness with an aftertaste redolent of the muscat grape. Cipro simply surprises and thrills. The wine complements a variety of desserts, light Asian cuisine, herbal cheeses and homemade salami. Cipro is also great as an appetizer.

Check the selection of Fine Slovenian Wines and enjoy them at home or offer them to your customers. For all additional information contact us at info@fineslovenianwine.com


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