The charming little country of Slovenia sits quietly in-between the more tourist centric countries of Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary. I try not to be biased with any country that I have visited, but Slovenia was one of my favorite Balkan countries. It was steeped in old world charm, the people were friendly, and the country had an incredible food and wine scene, which included their impressive orange wines.
Orange wines are well known throughout Slovenia, and have been in production in this country for a very long time. Although they are not as popular in other countries, orange wines have been gaining global attention in the last several years. When I have spoken the words “orange wine”, the first thought of others is that the wine is made from oranges. I assure you that it is not, and it is made from white wine grapes, not citrus fruits.
Orange wine is indeed a form of white wine and is also called “natural wine”. Let me briefly explain it, as it was explained to me by the wine expert at Movia Wine Bar.
- The country of Georgia is considered the birthplace of natural orange wine, dating back to 6000 BC. The wines were made and stored in large clay pots that were buried underground within a cool underground cellar. The orange color is created by leaving the skins on white grape wines during the fermenting process. As with any wine grapes, red or white, the coloring of the wine depends on how long the skins are left on during the maceration process. Orange wine is made in a natural environment, with the older concepts of no pesticides or chemicals as well as being made in underground clay pots.
I was curious to learn more about orange wines, and to taste some of the best that Slovenia had to offer. I found myself in Movia Wine Bar in Ljubljana one afternoon. I was tasting orange wines, eating fine European cheeses, and listening to a one on one wine talk with Movia’s wine expert. It made for a memorable afternoon.
– Movia Wine Bar –
Movia Wine Bar is a handsome and casual gathering space, which is located in Old Town Ljubljana. They offer a variety of wine tastings, and serve a magnificent cheese board to nosh on while sipping.
Oranzno “Orange” Wine Tasting Menu – 2019
The lovely light burnt orange hue of ‘Orange Wine’, and the tasting list of four of Slovenia’s popular orange wines.
I found the taste and aroma of orange wines to be very different from any other wines that I have tasted in the past. It was not as light as white wines or as heavy as red wines, it was somewhere in the middle. For my palate, I found them to be dry, which I enjoy, and fuller bodied with a slight tanginess to it.
Wine and cheese go hand in hand, and Movia Wine Bar offered an impressive cheese board. All of the cheeses were excellent choices, but my favorite was the Italian Parmesan to the right. When dipped in the sweet local honey, it was a magical combination.
Local Honey and Olives
A few of my favorite things on this delicious board of cheese were the local honey, and the green olives. I loved the sweet flavor of the honey combined with the saltiness of the Parmesan cheese. As for the olives, I am a fan of this ancient food and these combined perfectly with the variety of chesses- Perfecto!
I was offered a tasting of Čotar in replacement for one of the other wines on the menu. It was a very good local wine from Komen, a town on the westside of Ljubljana. This was a very nice wine to try as part of my orange wine introduction.
Svetlik and Renčel
Two other popular orange wines from Slovenia that were recommended, and on the tasting list at Movia Wine Bar.
- Svetlik was one of my favorites of the wines that I tried. The bottle reads Rebula which is a white grape wine that is used to produce this nice bodied orange wine.
- Renčel is a boutique family winery located in Dutovlje, Slovenia. Not only do the produce great orange wines, they are also known for their red, white, rosé, and dessert wines.
My short couple hours at Movia Wine Bar sparked my interest on orange wines due to the history of old world production, and the intriguing tastes. While at the wine bar, I was shown a map of the regions where the vineyards in Slovenia were. My mind swiftly showed me visions of of myself driving through the Slovenian countryside, visiting vineyards, buying wine, and eating extraordinary cuisine.
That has been a dream of mine for over a year since I left Slovenia, and I do believe that dreams come true. We are the creators of our own reality, and Slovenia is part of my reality.
For location and Wine Bar information, please visit their website- MOVIA Wine Bar & Shop.
WINE is WIN with an E at the end…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre