I’ve traveled all across the globe in search of the best wines this world has to offer. This past May I made a crucial purchase that has greatly added to my wine searching and enjoying experience—the VinGardeValise® wine travel case. This isn’t just a case that can hold a bottle or two of wine, this particular wine bottle carrier can hold a case—that’s twelve bottles—of wine. And it’s indestructible, TSA approved and conforms to all airline standards. It was the best purchase I’ve made in my wine drinking career, as I can now bring home a variety of wines in my wine suitcase from all of my around-the-globe travels.
I’ve been to Tuscany, Bordeaux, Napa, even Victoria. But, by far, my favorite wine region has got to be Slovenia. Slovenia has a rich history in wine, dating back to ancient times, but the country’s wine production remained a secret until recently because of Slovenia’s history as a former part of communist Yugoslavia. The reason they have remained a secret until recently is largely because of Slovenia’s history as a former part of communist Yugoslavia. Today Slovenia has nearly 30,000 wineries making between 80 and 90 million liters annually. Slovenia benefits from a continental climate and mineral-rich soils, which makes it particularly ideal for producing white wines—so much so, in fact, that about 75% of the country’s production is white wine. Slovenian wines have a unique taste that often baffles wine experts—this is because winemakers combine well-known grapes with the local Sipon variety, which is known for its high acidity and herbal-yet-fruity taste.
Just last month I (along with my wine travel bag) paid a visit to the Podravje region of Slovenia, where I indulged in quite a few delicious white wines. Laski Rizling and Chardonnay are the most common grape varieties in the Podravje. The sweet wines (made from either Laski Rizling or Renski Rizling) are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. A few bottles I brought home with me in my wine carrier that I’d recommend to try are:
- Ptujska Klet, Renski Rizling 2006, Stajerska Slovenija
- Crunk, Laski Rizling, Ice wine 2005, Maribor
- PRA-VinO, Laski Rizling, Ice Wine 2005, Ljutomer Ormoz
My favorite part about my trip to Slovenia was visiting the beautiful P&F Winery. Run by the Puklavec family, this winery is homegrown and family-oriented. But don’t be fooled: this isn’t just a small operation, P&F was voted Slovenia’s Winery of the Year in 2014. The winery grows Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Welschriesling, Traminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sipon. My favorite P&F wines include:
- 2013 JERUZALEMČAN: A dry blend made from Furmint, Welschriesling, Rheinriesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay
- 2014 LASKI RIZLING: A medium-bodied wine with pleasant acidity and floral, tropical fruit and green apple flavors.
- 2014 CHARDONNAY: A medium-bodied wine with aromas of peaches, citrus and melon.
- 2014 RUMENI MUŠKAT: A medium-bodied wine with notes reminiscent of lemongrass, citrus, clove and peach, and a pleasantly sweet and refreshing flavor.
I encourage anyone who considers themselves a wine enthusiast to take a trip to Slovenia if they haven’t yet. You’ll be happy, and your VinGardeValise® wine carrying case will be put to good use, I assure you!