If you are a big wine fan or a wine expert wannabe, you’re in the right place! By knowing about wine harvesting, you might impress your friends or business partners. And there’s more: once you get familiar with and start sharing new and interesting facts about Slovenian wine harvesting with your friends, you will be admired!
Isn’t it curious that Slovenia harvests more grape per capita than a lot of other world countries? A 2 million souls state is the 45th world wine-producing region. And that’s quite a thing! Did you know that 45% of the world’s wine-producing territory is present in the EU? The largest share in the EU belongs to Spain, France and Italy, but since you are interested in how Slovenia is doing, well, let me tell you that we are proud to present our contribution of half a percent of all EU territory to EU wine production. If you would like to taste our best and most significant wine, you can do it by attending our Wine Tasting in Ljubljana or in Bled.
Not just France, Spain, Italy or Napa valley, also Slovenia is a rich and important wine country and wine harvesting is the most important step from grapes to wine and a solemn Slovenian festivity. Tours in the wine regions of Slovenia are unique as tours in Tuscany.
Most harvesting in Slovenia takes place from the end of August to the first half of October. First to cut off the sweet clusters are in the wine-growing region of Primorska. Due to the small size and fragmentation of vineyard ownership, we maintained manual harvesting, although many winemakers go for the machinery help. Of course, manual harvesting is more time consuming and laborious than machine one, but there’s a romantic side to it or, let’s say, an authentic and memorable experience also as a tourist attraction. Likewise, in many, especially smaller vineyards, also the grape pressing is still carried out manually.
Through generations, the pressing has been an integral part of harvesting, as it’s a joyful ritual with singing. You can experience it firsthand by participating in a Wine Tour where we will take you to Vipava valley and its wine cellars.
Harvesting practices differ among Slovenian wine regions. We would like to tell you more about its tradition in the Vipava wine region where you can experience also the guided Wine Tour around the vineyards and taste our superior wine in the most important wine cellars. Vipava valley wine region’s pride and joy of autochthonous grape and wine varieties are Zelen and Pinela which you can taste during the organized Wine Tour.
Due to the long tradition of winemaking and the appropriate transfer of knowledge, the production of Slovenian wines is very successful and appreciated worldwide. These are mostly of superior quality, and some Vipava winemakers reached also the wine top of the world. The valley invites all wine and nature lovers to the Vipava harvest in September, where every year’s wine queen is crowned.
Grape picking is one of the few old customs that has been preserved almost unchanged over the centuries. At the beginning of September, sometimes in the last days of August, the grapes are ripe, and in Vipava Valley, harvesting can begin. The locals call it b’ndima, which most probably derives from the Italian expression for harvest – vendemmia. It all starts when farmers invite friends, family and neighbours to b’ndimo.
Many hands are needed as the juicy clusters are harvested by hand. In the evening, when the farmers are already done with the pressing, which is then left to the natural processes of ripening into wine, the workers sit around the table and enjoy homemade dishes and the best wines.
This is a local holiday, perhaps the best time of the year. The biggest harvesting celebration in the valley has been organized in Vipava for over half a century. Every second weekend of September joy spills in the main square and the streets of Vipava. Three days in a row of cultural and entertaining events, farmers’ market and wine tasting attract thousands of visitors to visit Vipava. Here they crown the Vipava Wine Queen and for one year she receives a special honor for representing the Vipava wines. During the event, the Vipava Vineyard also organizes an expert evaluation of Vipava wines, so on this occasion, the best-rated wines are awarded certificates of excellence.