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Teran vineyards in autumn

Photo: Joco Žnidaršič

Teran is an indigenous Slovenian red wine variety. The karst soil gives it a distinct taste and it is meant to be enjoyed, to act as a pick-me-up or heal us.

The Kras  (Karst) wine district is Slovenia's smallest wine district. The Karst vineyards mainly grow grapes of the Refosco (Refošk) variety, from which Teran wine is made. Kraški Teran – Teran from the Karst – is one of Slovenia's more distinctive wines, with a character that is strongly influenced by the red soil (terra rossa) specific to this area. Teran is defined as a red, dry, still wine with a moderate alcohol content and the flavour and nose of forest fruit. The wine is an intense, ruby-red colour that may sometimes contain shades of violet. Other characteristics include a high lactic acid content and high levels of other organic acids and polyphenolic compounds. In terms of gastronomy, Teran is an excellent accompaniment for Karst prosciutto, salty cheeses and game. 

The first accounts of winemaking on the Karst plateau and in Istria date from Roman times, to the first century AD. Many centuries later, the Carniolan historian Janez Vajkard Valvasor  noted that in the sixteenth century the wine market in Ljubljana was utterly dominated by two wines:Vipavec (from the Vipava Valley) and Teran. Teran was apparently in such demand that it was even used as a means of payment. In 1910 Maximilian Ripper, an inspector from the Istituto Sperimentale Chimico-Agrario in Gorizia, published a booklet on "Terrano del Carso" (Kraški Teran) in which he describes the pro-duction of this wine in great technical detail. 

Text by Tanja Glogovčan