Get to know Slovenian wine - Posavje region, Dolenjska wine district
In this post, I am presenting You, the Dolenjska wine district, which is a part of the Posavje wine region.
The Dolenjska wine district has a lot of micro-producers, who mostly produce wines for themselves and their family and friends.
Climate and soil:
The Dolenjska wine district is more inland and close to the Alps. It has an Alpine and sub-Pannonian climate with very cool winters and warm summers – known as the continental climate.
The best vineyards can be found on steep hills and are south-oriented. Karst clay on limestone bedrock and sandy-loamy soils dominate in the vineyards.
Whats produced there:
As mentioned above the Dolenjska district is home to many small producers. In fact, there are around 7000 wine producers. Not so many are in the serious wine-producing business, but there are a lot of the smaller producers that produce high quantities for the Slovenian market.
Cviček PTP is the most popular wine. It is not a high-quality product and probably it will never be. But it is extremely popular among Slovenians, and with long traditions of production. Cviček is a blend of red and white grapes, they were traditionally mixed in the vineyard and harvested together.
Cviček tasting notes: pale ruby in color, dry, tart wine, with a maximum of 10% ABV. The grapes used for Cviček are: Žametovka (40-50%) and Blaüfrankish (15%-20%) from the red grape varieties, Kraljevina (10-15%) and up to 10% of Welschriesling of the white grape varieties, some 15% of other permitted varieties can be added to the blend.
Most important producers of Cviček: KZ Krško, Bajnof, brcar, Frelih, Jarkovič, Jelencič, Karlovček, Mastnak, Martinčin, Pirc, Pleterje charterhouse, Štemberger, Zajc.
Fun fact: there are also examples of sparkling Cviček.
Why Cviček is popular: low alcohol levels (easy drinking), high acidity (cleaning the palate and making it compatible with everyday meals). And the saying »if everyone likes it, it must be good«. So arguing about Cviček with the locals is not recommended.
Other wines: dry and medium-sweet white wines, a few examples of sweet wines are produced. In the last years, the biggest progress was produced with the red wines made from Blaüfrankish. They can be young and fresh or oak-aged. Producers to try are Jarkovič, Jelenič, Kerin, or Štemberger.
Producers worth mentioning:
Frelih: is the pioneer in the production of sparkling Cviček. The sparkling wine is based on Žametovka and is considered a premium sparkling wine. The winery Frelih is managed by a mother-daughter lineup.
Kerin: Lojze Kerin is presented as the House of Frankinja, with the production of many different styles of the indigenous grape variety.
Martinčič: produces good white and red wines, especially from Blaüfrankish and sweet Welschriesling.
Domaine Slapšak: a small estate from the high altitude village of Telče. Lead by a Frenchman originally from Champagne who married into a Slovenian family. They produce elegant sparkling wines based on indigenous Žametovka and Chardonnay. Their brut rosé made from 100% Žametovka is considered the best expression of Žametovka.
Zajc: is a larger private producer, known for its wines of Cviček and Blaüfrankish.
Dolenjska wine district in a nutshell:
Source: Slovenia Winemaking country, by Robert Gorjak. Page 110-117.