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Get to know Slovenian wine - legal terms, behind the label

It was about time that we start talking about Slovenian wine. In the next few series of posts, we are going to get to know Slovenian wine. To that topic I am going to read up and offer you the most useful insight of the book SLOVENIA A WINEMAKING COUNTRY by Robert Gorjak, he is also a WSET certified educator (big plus here), and he owns the BELVIN wine school in Slovenia.


In this post, we are going to talk about the legal part behind Slovenian wine. You will be able to understand what does something means when you pick up a bottle of wine.


All Slovenian wine that is to be sold, has to be submitted for tasting, chemical, and physical analysis. The wine that passes the panel gets a certificate number, which is printed on the label, together with other information as to the origin, and alcohol content.

For the wine to be PGI designated (Protected Geographical Indication) has to be at least 85% from one of the three designated wine regions, and those are Podravje, Posavje, and Primorska.

PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) = ZGO (zaščitena geografska označba/deželno vino PGO).

After regions come districts, there are nine of them. Each district has permitted and designated grape varieties, which are determined by climate and tradition. If a new variety is to be added to the mix, it has to be submitted to the authorities.

If a wine is to be PDO (Protected designation of origin) the grapes have to be 100% from one of the nine designated districts.

PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) = ZOP (zaščitena označba porekla/vrhunsko vino zaščiteno geografsko poreklo or vrhunsko vino ZGP/ kakovosnto vino zaščiteno geografsko poreklo or kakovostno vino ZGP/ priznano tradicionalno poimenovanje).



Predicate Wines: In the regions of Podravje and Posavje the botrytis style sweet wines are thriving, Primorska makes sweet wines from dried grapes. To indicate extra ripeness, superior quality, and sweeter style of wine, there are the categories below:

  • Pozna trgatev (Spätlese): slightly overripe grapes picked a week or two after regular harvest. Can be made in a completely dry style or with some residual sugar.

  • Izbor (Auslese): made from fully ripe and overripe grapes, the minimal sugar level in grape are prescribed, normally dry but usually sweet style of wine.

  • Jagodni izbor (Beerenauslese): made only from selected, fully ripe berries and is a very sweet style of wine.

  • Suhi jagodni izbor (Trockenbeereanuslese): these wines are considered some of the sweetest – oiliest, well concentrated, and long-lived wines. Produced only in small quantities and small in small bottles (0,25l).

  • Ledeno vino (Ice wine): as the names suggest they are very sweet wines from frozen grapes. Unfortunately due to global warming, fewer and fewer vintages are being produced. Healthy grapes are left hanging on the vine into the winter months. At the freezing point, the water in the grapes turns into ice. Picking and then pressing and the ice remains in the press, and the sugar content of the resulting juice is increased.

* So if you are familiar with the German predikant wines, you will understand the Slovenian system as well.


PTP=Recognized Traditional Denomination, it means that in Slovenia, the wines are named by grape varieties. Behind every name, there is a sort of recipe, defining the production zone, the permitted grape varieties, the percent of grapes for each wine, style of the wine in the zone (district), where it can be produced. Slovenia has seven PTPs.

- PTP wines are almost always entry-level quality wines but essential in terms of quality and local economy.

- Of the most important are Cviček and Teran (small % is exported).



Source: Slovenia a winemaking country, page 25
Source: Slovenia a winemaking country, page 25

If this light reading makes you want to know more about Slovenian wine, make sure to visit the link at the top of the post and buy the book. You can also get it in a Kindle version on Amazon.

As always have a WINEderful day!


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