Štajerska, internationally known as Styria, is the largest winegrowing area in Slovenia. The region’s landscape and terrain are superbly uneven, perfect for huge vineyards. The slopes of Haloze, a strip of hills expanding along the Drava River, have been giving birth to excellent wine since Roman times. Vineyards in these parts are grown on the hilltops where the sun can do its magic best. The terraces of the Ljutomer-Ormož hill area produce some of the country’s best wines. Perched between the Mura and the Drava Rivers, the climate here is a superb blend that offers a type of ‘cooling effect’, which provides the right conditions for late harvest and the production of ice wines. The capital of Styria, Slovenia’s second largest town of Maribor, is situated right in the heart of this winegrowing haven and is home to the oldest (still fertile) vine in the world. The Blauer Koelner variety, known among locals as Žametna Črnina, which is over 400 years old. This Maribor area is famous for its aromatic whites and a great majority of wines are produced and stored in the Vinag cellar. This 200-year-old place is known as the Maribor Wine Tabernacle and consists of three kilometres of underground tunnels, making it the largest of its kind in Europe. It can store a staggering 7 million litres of wine. The Srednje Slovenske Gorice district of Styria is home to pre-war vintages and some of the most exquisite whites. The climate is influenced by the continental Pannonian Straights and the moderate colder currents coming from the Alps. The Radgona – Kapela district, expanding from northwest to southeast on the Austrian border with Ljutomer, is known for its hot summers and ice-cold winters. Due to this extreme climate and soil composition, the place has a longstanding tradition of sparkling wine production stretching back to the early 19th century. When you’re in the Styria region and looking to try some of its incredible wine, make sure to be on the lookout for Laški Rizling, Renski Rizling, Traminec, Šipon, Yellow Muškat, Beli Pinot, Modri Pinot, Sivi Pinot, Rulandec, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Rulandec, Modra Frankinja, Žametna Črnina, Zlata Radgonska Penina, Radgonska Ranina, and a few signature Ice Wines. Cheers!
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