For years, Slovenian wines have been one of Central Europe’s best-kept secrets. But now it’s emerging as a hotbed for organic wine and high-quality winemaking. As the country has gained independence and entered the EU, the wine industry has flourished.

After independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia became an EU member in 2004, and has had a long history of wine production from its Mediterranean location. But now Slovenian wines are hitting its stride.

Discover the best Slovenian wines in the UK

Two-thirds of Slovenia’s wine is white, while red wine quality is catching up fast. In fact, some would say that Slovenia is a leading region for orange wine (a type of wine that remains in contact with grape skins during fermentation). There are over 16,000 hectares of registered wine farms in Slovenia alone—and that doesn’t even include the estimated 31,000 small plots.

Slovenia has three key wine regions: Podravje in the east, Primorska in the west and Posavje just south-east of the centre. The Primorska wine region (aka Primorje) is the most developed wine industry in the country. You may recognize the famous Slovenian wines we know outside of Slovenia.

The result is four well-defined sub-regions:

  • Goriška Brda
  • Vipava Valley
  • Kras (aka Karst region)
  • Slovenian Istria

The Goriška Brda wine region in Primorska is the western-most part of Slovenia, bordering Italy. Both countries have historically shared this area, with Goriška Brda a continuation of the Collio region in Italy today.

Primorska’s Vipava Valley is most famous for its excellent white wines but also produces some wonderful red wine and rosé wines. This region is also renowned for its organic and biodynamic producers.

New producers have been focusing on quality and more subtle uses of oak to make wines with a clear sense of their terroir. And the fruits of their labor are appearing: today, Slovenia is a hotbed for organic wine—with over 320 certified organic wineries!

Check out more with VIDA’s quick guide to Slovenian wine regions.