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A gathering in the midst of vineyards

Photo: Leo Caharija

Celts were already cultivating grapevines some four centuries B.C. The Roman Emperor Probus ordered his soldiers to only cultivate the best varieties. And this is still done today.

Another of the boasts of Slovenia is the famous Old Vine in Maribor, which enjoys protected status as a natural monument and has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest grapevine in the world still producing wine. 

The culture of the grapevine in Slovenia dates back to the time of the first settlers in this territory. The Celts were planting vines here four centuries before Christ. Grapevines later became even more widespread under the Romans. They advent of Christianity had an important influence on the development of viticulture, since wine is an essential part of Christian ritual. 

An old Slovenian proverb says that wine does not like to be alone... and social gatherings involving wine have a venerable tradition among the inhabitants of Slovenia, as well as a wide variety of contemporary forms. All these riches derive from the diversity of soil and climate in a geographically small area and from the centuries of experience of creative Slovenian winegrowers and winemakers, who have succeeded, in these varied and often difficult natural conditions, to create wines of the highest quality. 

In Slovenia – the crossroads of the Alpine, Mediterranean and Pannonian worlds – people have been growing vines for more than two millennia and making wines that over the course of history have played an important part in shaping a diversity of cultural forms, everyday customs, holi-day traditions and lifestyles.

Text by Tanja Glogovčan