Almost on the border with Croatia, the hills of Ljutomer-Ormož rise lavishly among the Mura and Drava rivers.
Jeruzalem is contained in this area which is particularly famous for its amazing landscapes, which many people consider to be some of the most beautiful in the world.
Jeruzalem, with its holy name, has it all: an energetic vibe, wine roads with top wines and exquisite viewpoints. Some say it has every right to be named a "heavenly place".
During all seasons, the landscape on the Jeruzalem Wine Route shines with a special intensity of colors and shapes, and the hospitality of the people in the various sites along the journey makes it even more colorful.
Tourist farms, bars, wine growers, artisans and locals in the towns invite you to visit the route throughout the year.
Like Goriska Brda, this area is scarely populated and feels like another world so come and lose yourself in the stunning countryside that makes up this corner of Slovenia.
They take their wines very seriously here and a lot of families live off a combination of wine production and tourism.
Therefore it is no surprise that the area is famous for its high quality wines with long traditions.
Thanks to the great diversity and varieties of white wines produced in this area, you can truly say that Jeruzalem-Ljutomer-Ormož is a true symphony of whites!
Wine lovers, and especially white wines lovers, will discover a true Slovenian paradise here among incredible nature.
WHERE TO START?
A car is really a necessity to travel in the region and the Information Centre/Wine Shop at Jeruzalem is a good place to start. What an inspirational location.
The hills are very impressive and you can stop and have lunch at the Hotel Dvorec Jeruzalem (with local vino of course)! Beautiful.
The views from the terrace are a good introduction to this wonderful area!.
The centre sells the best local wines and has tourist info/brochures and souvenirs for sale!
This will set you up nicely for the day as they can explain everything about the local labels and varieties they produce.
After you choose your accommodation, you can explore the region on foot, by car, bicycle or bus and whichever way you choose;
it is a unique experience than mixes nature, culture, traditions, gastronomy and of course, wines! Have a great holiday.
HOW TO GET TO JERZUALEM?
Its not hard to get lost in this area. When you get off the main roads, all the narrow country roads look the same but getting lost can be a good thing. You can end up in places you never imagined!
Having said that, its an easy drive from Maribor or Ljubljana.
From Ljubljana, why not take the A1 towards Maribor and turn off for Ptuj (A4). Perhaps spend a night in charming Ptuj before heading onwards
to Ormoz (route 2). Then take route 230 towards Ljutomer. In between is the Jeruzalem Krajinski Park. Look for the signs to Jeruzalem on the right (pass through Svetinje).
You can also enter from the eastern side as well along route 726. From Maribor you can also enter from Ljutomer (take E653) then south on route 230.
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THE BELI PINOT (white)
Numerous small producers bottle wine from their own vineyards, but the two large centers of viticulture are Ljutomer and Ormoz.
As in Haloze to the west, white wines are the traditional product of this area, but some producers also achieve outstanding results with red wines, most notably the Modri Pinot.
All its wines like the Riesling achieve excellent quality, but the Beli Pinot can be regarded as the champion of champions. Jeruzalem-Ormoz is also famous for its Sipon, an acid-rich wine with a noble bouquet;
some ampelographers believe that the grapevine is autochthonous to this area.
WHAT OTHER VARIETIES ARE PRODUCED?
The most exquisite palates will be able to choose from the Furmint, Italian Riesling or Riesling , Chardonnay , Sauvignon and Pinot blanc, a selection further
complemented with Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, the Traminec, Rumeni Muscat, Muscat ottonel, the Müller- Thurgau, Kerner and Ranina.
The best known blends of the area are Jeruzalemcan and Ljutomercan. The former contains Sauvignon, Beli Pinot, Sivi Pinot, Renski Rizling, and Laski Rizling - the wine is fresh and quite rich in acids.
Ljutomercan is a blend of Laski Rizling, Renski Rizling, and Chardonnay, and other white varieties may be added depending on the vintage.
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WINE TASTING IN JERUZALEM
Through our outstanding partners we can help organise an unforgettable private day tour to Jeruzalem.
The tour can take in the amazing area around Ljutomer, Jeruzalem and Ormoz and the rest of this exciting region.
You could also combine Jeruzalem with one of the other nearby regions like Maribor, Haloze or Slovenske Konjice, the choices are many!
Duration: Full Day Private Tours available on request
Where: Jeruzalem from anywhere in Slovenia
(including Ljubljana or Maribor)
Min./max. participants: 1-8. // Payment: TBA
Available year round subject to cellar availability.
Sloveniaforyou.com have hand picked the best of the each accommodation category to make it easy for you to book!
HOLIDAY HOUSE PODHAMER
Only 4 km from town Ljutomer we offer accommodation in an idyllic holiday house. Our house is on the top of the hills,
surrounded by endless vineyards and glorious views to the four points of the compass.
Here you can forget time, work and worries. Enjoy your stay!
At the foot of the Jeruzalemske gorice hills, stands a new country house called STARI HRAST (OLD OAK).
The courtyard is adorned by a 300-year-old oak. The house has three double rooms, three triple rooms, a sauna, a dining room,
a bar, a terrace and a wine cellar – wine shop.
HOSTEL & APTS
EKO HOSTEL & APTS
At Eco Hostel Križevci, we can take care of organizing many activities.
The beautiful landscape offers plenty of interesting and undemanding paths for recreational cycling, hiking, or simply walking along romantic plains,
between the Mura river or among the Jerusalem wineyard hills.
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This is arguably the best winegrowing area in the Podravje region: while the smallest, it has the highest density of ideal viticultural sites.
The area lies between the Drava River to the southwest and the Mura to the northeast; the cooling effect of the two rivers makes the climate more balanced than in neighbouring areas.
Cooler winds from the hilly country to the northwest moderates the summer heat, and the effects of the Pannonian climate from the southeast guarantee adequate warmth in the autumn.
Summers tend to be as hot on the average as in Prekmurje, but spells of scorching heat are rare and rainfall is more abundant, although droughts are not quite unknown.
The landscape belongs to the moderate climate, with phenomena so typical such as hot summers and cold winters, under special influence of the direct vicinity of the Pannonian Plain and the Alps and the Adriatic Sea.
In autumn, when grapes are ripening, hot days and cold nights put a decisive stamp on the wine's character. The average annual temperature is between 9 and 10° C,
similar to the famous winegrowing regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, etc. The sun shines more than 2000 hours per year. Since all vineyards are at steep slopes,
the power of the sunrays is even stronger. The average annual precipitation is between 900 and 1000 mm, with 550 mm in the growing period (from April to September).
Typical cold winters present a risk, as winter and spring frost may occur.
For this reason vineyards are planted exclusively at the best winegrowing sites at 250m altitude.
This is an area of low rounded hills composed of partly consolidated mid-Tertiary sediments. The soil is sandstone-clay and more fertile compared to neighbouring areas.
Since the hills are lower than in neighbouring Haloze and Srednje Slovenske Gorice, the erosion is much less intense.
The type of soil has an important impact on wine quality. The original base is soft Tertiary carbonate rock from the periods of Pliocene and Miocene.
Grey marls and lime sandstones prevail. Typical for the sites of the Hills of Jeruzalem is the variegation of the ground, from light to medium heaviness.
On hilltops and steep slopes the soil is normally sandy and soft; in slightly lower positions of gentler slopes it is clayey with a larger content of clayey particles.
The ground is lighter, without waterlogging, airy, and not too rich. To prevent erosion and set up a water regime, as well as to assure more nature-friendly production and easier cultivation,
all the vineyards are planted with grass.
The vineyards of this area are quite characteristic: the traditional vineyards are formed horizontally with individual rows following the contour of the land exactly - the hilltops are surrounded
by isometric lines drawn with grapevines.
With the climate, soils, and topography are perfectly suited to viticulture, the Jeruzalem-Ormoz area can afford to produce all the types of white wines that are cultivated throughout Podravje.
Wines of special quality have a particularly long tradition in this area: late harvest, dry grape selection and Ice wines.
The largest production centers are Ljutomer and Ormoz where local cooperatives produce and bottle the majority of the area's wine. The archive in Ormoz stores the largest Slovene collection of wines of special quality,
over 32,000 bottles, the oldest being from 1956.
The gently rounded relief, fertile soils, warm and balanced climate, and sufficient rainfall make many sites here ideal for viticulture, and winegrowing has a truly long tradition in this area.
As to the origins of the name "Jeruzalem", legend has it that an expedition of Crusaders (not very devout ones, it appears) arrived here, noted that the wine was good and the people hospitable,
and simply decreed that they had reached the Biblical Jerusalem and went no further.
Another historic figure that had the pleasure of tasting the local wine and thought it delicious was Napoleon. An anecdote says that as he set his empty glass down he enthusiastically exclaimed "SI BON",
and the locals wondered how on earth he knew it was Sipon that he was drinking.
Viticulture and winemaking in the area peaked during the time of the Austrian monarchy, when our wine went under the trademark of "Luttenberger".
Together with the area of present day Austrian Styria our sunny hills represented the largest winegrowing area in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The wine produced in the Jeruzalemske gorice hills was so reputable and precious that the locals were not allowed to drink it, but had to satisfy themselves with the wine imported from other areas.
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Three generations of Hlebec family have contributed to the experience of wine growing and the production of the delicious wines we can enjoy today.
In Kog, on the outskirts of the beautiful Ljutomer-Ormož hills, the heavy clay soil gives birth to delicious grapes.
The Hlebec family possesses over 35.000 noble vines of the chardonnay, sauvignon, rhein and lasko riesling, muskat otonel and traditional sipon sorts.
The sommelier duo of Milan Hlebec sr. and Milan Hlebec jr. invite you on a tasting journey through a world of delicious quality wines in their magnificent wine cellar.
There, wine is produced using modern technology and ripened in the oak or barrique barrels or archive bottles.
It goes without saying that we invest a great deal into the latest technologies, ensuring that our
winery conditions are perfect. Having said that, it is ultimately the expertise brought by our
people that gives our wine its distinct taste. From our vineyard staff, who still handpick every
single grape, to our winemaker, who meticulously calculates the ideal timing for harvest, it’s this
attention to detail that determines the unique character of our wines. Everyone here at p&f
wineries contributes to the taste, flavour and quality of each bottle. We all work together,
bound by our love of wine, and our passion for timeless winemaking traditions.
Our wine is known for its great taste. It has even reached
Buckingham Palace, where the Queen Mother was said
to be a fan. One of the oldest bottles in our archive, a
1963 Sauvignon Blanc, is still fresh and fruity. It suprises
everyone who tastes it.
p&f wineries devotes a total of 1,100 hectares to growing grapes,
650 of which it owns. The vineyards are at an altitude of 250-350
meters, scattered over a number of hills. Thanks to the favourable
climate, excellent soil and our unceasing passion, we are able to
produce truly distinctive wines, with an unmistakable fruity taste.
Ljutomer-Ormož has the potential to rank amongst the best wine regions in the world, especially
for its white wines. The carefully constructed terraces that wind from hill to hill allow the grapes to
thrive under the greatest possible amount of sunlight, while the cool nights refresh the fruit. The
wine develops a crispy taste thanks to mineral-rich soils that were formed when the sea covered
the land ten million years ago. We still regularly find shells in many of our vineyards!
These days, most wineries use machines in place of the traditional method of picking grapes. But
these machines cannot be used on the sloping hills and terraces that make up our landscape,
and so for us, the art of hand picking grapes lives on. This is a process we cherish; it is a part of
our regional heritage and is instrumental to the quality of our wines.
All in all, these are the perfect conditions for our white wines, making them fresh, fruity and
accessible to all. In particular, the local Furmint, a relatively rare grape, is the pride of our region. It
has an exceptional taste thanks to its apple and pear aroma, and mouth-watering, fresh acidity.
Equipped with the latest technologies, we process the grapes with almost no oxygen and
ferment them at a low temperature. The result is that our wines retain much of their
antioxidants, which play a key role in the quality and the typical taste of our wine.
In addition to our oxygen-free bottling line, where the bottles are filled under the best possible
conditions, we have also recently built a new fermentation hall for our premium grapes, fully
renovated with state-of-the-art wine presses.
Most of the production processes take place in our exceptional seven-story cylindrical cellar in
Ormož. The design of the cellar makes use of gravity to move and story seven million litres of
wine every year. You’d be hard pressed to find a more careful way of transporting it.
Seeing the region for the first time, you will slowly begin to realise why Jeruzalem-Ormož in terms of potential is one of the best wine regions in the world.
Especially early in the morning, with the sun only starting to wake up, is when you will discover the carefully arranged terraces swinging from one hill to the other.
This allows the grapes to benefit optimally from the sun until it once again disappears behind the hills, the fresh air of the night pushing away the heat.
These are the perfect conditions for white wine: cool climate at its best.
P&F Wineries Website
Our winery is located in the north-east of Slovenia, in Jeruzalemsko-Svetinjske gorice hills, which is an area that has been known for its quality wines and winegrowing land for centuries.
We run a traditional family winegrowing estate, the beginnings of which go back as far as 1836. As one of the first professional private Slovene winemakers, Jože Kupljen launched the
brand Vino Kupljen to bottle and label his wine as early as in 1976.
Our wines are very telling of the terroir they come from, namely the winegrowing hills of Jeruzalem. This is an area renowned for wines that boast a fruity and fresh character from
an early age and that are famous for their extraordinary maturing potential (whites 5–20 years, reds 5–25 years), whereby each vintage unveils their diverse multilayered flavours.
It all comes as a result of the eco-friendly cultivation of the winegrowing land, the vine and the grapes, as well as the winemaking processes in the cellar and our methods of tending the wine.
Perfectly in tune with the Vino Kupljen slogan: With Sun and Love!
Our vineyards are cultivated in an environmentally friendly manner, the harvesting is professional, we treat grapes with great care and employ a unique vinification procedure without adding SO2:
these are all the special and priceless advantages of the Vino Kupljen winery, based on nature's gifts, tradition, experience and professional approach.
The result of all of these factors is a delicious wine rich in extracts, fresh and fruity, mostly dry or semi-dry with residual sugar (natural fructose),
enriched by the irreplaceable character of the wine cellar Kupljen. All our wines are typical of their individual vine varieties and thus especially tasteful and pleasant to enjoy with food (even for diabetics).
The wine's maturing potential depends on the variety and spans between 5 and 10 years.
Vino Kupljen Website
The Hills of Jeruzalem
Our winegrowing site was named after two main town centres, Ljutomer and Ormož. It spreads over 2000 ha of vineyards. The natural centre of these hills is Jeruzalem, hence the name the Hills of Jeruzalem.
Individual groups of hills have according to the Wine Legislation the official status of winegrowing sites.
The ridges of the hills planted with vines run mainly in the N-S direction. The SW, S, SE and W sites are planted with vines. At other sites forest dominates.
For fear of winter or spring frost, the vineyards are spread mainly at over 250 m above sea level. Under this limit the landscape is characterized by orchards, meadows and fields. Jeruzalem, the highest peak,
is at an altitude of 341 m. All our vineyards are at absolute winegrowing sites with an inclination of 30–50 %. The sunrays at such sites fall at a right angle,
making them stronger and stimulating the grape ripening process.
Many of the steepest vineyards are on terraces that have given the landscape its typical character after the second major renewal in the 1960s.
These terraces make the cultivation of vineyards easier and also offer better exposure to the sun in the eastern or western sites.
At 341 m above sea level Jeruzalem is the highest peak in the district with truly exquisite views. On clear days the view opens as far as to Lake Balaton in Hungary.
The landscape is especially characterized by poplars on the ridge of the hills, planted together with the terraced vineyards. The ground is light and sandy.
The winegrowing site of Jeruzalem provides excellent Šipon, Rhine Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Traminer and Italian Riesling.
It spreads over winegrowing surfaces west of Jeruzalem. The ground is lighter, sandy. The site is excellent for Šipon and Rhine Riesling.
It is a place with a typical scattered village and a church, located on a hill near Jeruzalem. It was first mentioned in 1486. Perhaps the best site in these hills is the S slope,
just below the church, offering the best Chardonnay for years on end. The site gave the famous wine White Burgundy, late vintage 1971, a variety now called Chardonnay.
Even today the wine is in excellent shape and is safely kept in the archive cellar of Ormož.
The area was named after the former noble vineyard cottage Malek, until 1898 owned by the nobility of Codroipo from Udine, and later on by the family Fischerau from Leoben.
Today the vineyard cottage is a tourist site. The vineyards are south of the cottage. The explicitly sandy ground gives very good Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc.
The wine road will take you from Ormož to three rounded winegrowing hills in the area of Litmerk which the natives refer to as Prleški Triglav.
These excellent sites give Traminer, Muscatel, Italian Riesling, Sauvignon and Šipon. The area of the winegrowing site Litmerk also includes a place called Strezetina,
giving excellent Rhine Riesling and Chardonnay.
The area consists of the villages Mali Brebrovnik and Veliki Brebrovnik. The winegrowing district of Brebrovnik is on sandy clayey ground and has several excellent sites for Sauvignon,
Rhine Riesling, Šipon and Italian Riesling.
The name itself, meaning Wine Ridge, reveals the main activity of this area. Vineyards spread along the wine road from Ormož towards Jeruzalem. Every year Vinski vrh gives excellent Rhine Riesling and Sauvignon.
Kog is a winegrowing district spreading along two ridges. At the western part there is the village Mali Kog with the highest peak being Klumpa, where there is a water reservoir,
serving also as panoramic tower. The western part is called Veliki Kog. The area of Kog is spreading at the outer-most hillsides of the district, before the beginning of the Pannonian Plain.
With numerous winegrowing sites and slightly heavier clay soil, Kog is the home of Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Rhine Riesling. Most of the years the area also gives excellent late vintages.
The area of Gomila was named after the largest winegrowing hill in the direct vicinity of the road towards Kog. Gomila means hilly place (also called Holm, Hum, Homula).
Medium heavy, partly sandy, partly clay soil gives excellent-quality Sauvignon. An interesting reminder of the past is the 18th century plague column in the middle of the hills in a place called Bajzek.
The site was named after Herman of Ptuj, until the 13th century the owner of three vineyards. Today it consists of a village with this name and the village Vuzmetinci.
Most vineyards grow in Hermanci. The site is best for Italian Riesling, Šipon and Chardonnay.
The whole area was named after the largest baroque building, mansion Temnar, owned by the Order of the Cross from Velika Nedelja, who was offered this border fortification in mid-13th century as a present from Herman of Ptuj.
Today’s building is from the 18th century. Vineyards wind along the ridge road. Temnar boasts with excellent sites for Chardonnay, Italian Riesling and Traminer.
The place has the right name, meaning steep place, as it has extreme steep slopes reaching even 70 percent inclination. In the extremely light, sandy, shallow ground the Italian Riesling is planted. At this site the famed Italian Riesling of 1958 was also grown. The wine was remade and additionally nursed in the cellar of the Vineyard Cottage Malek, and bottled in the Cellar Vinag in Maribor, still counting several bottles.
North of Ivanjkovci there is a place called Cerovec, home of the writer Stanko Vraz. Light, sandy, marly ground gives excellent Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Šipon and Rhine Riesling.
The area, including the villages Kajžar and Zasavci, rises above the local centre Miklavž pri Ormožu. The site of Kajžar gives Sauvignon, Rhine Riesling, Šipon, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
- you could easily spend a day just getting lost on the many country roads between Ljutomer, Jeruzalem and Ormoz. What a beautiful area to explore.
Stop for a tasting and some lunch along the way. Ljutomer has a nice square while Ormoz has a good selection of supermarkets for supplies.
and follow rolling countryside through Lenart and the city of Murska Sobota to the National Park Goricko.
The park is a true nature getaway and features different themed trails through forests, open land and rivers. A good spot for birdwatching and other animals as well..
and you can visit Croatia and even the capital Zagreb which isnt far away. Check you have the relevant documents if you do decide to cross the border.
and explore historical Ptuj. See the castle and walk the old town. Maribor is also close by if you wish to spend a day here.
Further on you could visit Slovenske Konjice, Celje and Rogaska Slatina.
You could do a day in charming Ljubljana
if you start early!
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