It’s in the Guinness Book of Records. It’s 400 years old. And it still produces wine. We’re talking about the oldest grapevine in the world located in Slovenia’s second largest city of Maribor.
Appropriately named the Old Vine was planted at the end of the Middle Ages. At that time Maribor was an invasion by the Ottoman Empire. The vine survived the battles, despite its host, the Old Vine House, being part of the city’s defence wall. It withstood, fires, droughts and its arch enemy the vine lice. The vine even lived through bombardments during World War II when the Old Vine House was partially destroyed.
Today, the Old Vine is the only plant with its very own museum. Its scions grow all around the world and in several places in Slovenia. It even has an anthem in its honour.
The Old Vine harvest produces the Blauer Koelner variety, also known as Žametna Črnina or “žametovka” or the “modra kavčina”. It’s one of the first domesticated noble sorts in Slovenia. The annual harvest, which consists of around 35 to 55 kg of grapes, is made into wine and bottled in 2.5 dl bottles designed by the renowned artist Oskar Kogoj. Only 100 bottles are filled each year.
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