Click for Ljubljana, Slovenia Forecast
                                                                                      Ljubljana
Slovenia is your no1 choice for a relaxing wine holiday amongst the vineyards!
Where is it? | Wines | Accommodation | Tours | Day Trips | Other Regions
Where is Maribor?
Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia and the capital of the Štajerska region. Pleasantly lodged between the wonderful nature of the Pohorje on the one side and wine growing hills on the other, Maribor is an ideal base for wine tourism. With its diversity and quality wines on offer, surrender yourself to one of the key tourist destinations in Slovenia!

THE VINO

The rich wine tradition and the oldest vine in the world. The pulse of the city with its flourishing cultural history. Its location amidst wine growing hills and the green Pohorje. The various possibilities for exploring, recreation, relaxation, entertainment and meetings will convince you that Maribor has a heart and soul and that the people of Maribor are excellent hosts who take their viniculture very seriously indeed!

WHERE TO START?

The Old Vine House along the river Drava in central Maribor is the obvious choice. Out front of the house grows the famous Old Vine, the oldest vine recorded in the world which is, with an age of over 400 years, also registered in the Guinness Book of Records. Once it was a component part of the town's defence wall, and today it attracts tourists as a central wine temple. Then visit Vinag also in central Maribor. Maribor’s greatest monument is not visible from the surface – making Vinag even more amazing. It’s not a tomb, but a birthplace – of some best wines in the world. Enjoy the vast underground cellars and an amazing collection of wine.

Finally, hit the road and enjoy the wine roads around Maribor. There are many Tourist farms to try and most include accommodation for those who are looking for an authentic cultural holiday!

MARIBOR WINE ROAD - VINSKA CESTA

The road begins at the Guinness’s Old Vine on Lent and at the famous Vinag wine cellar and leads over Kamnica with St Urban, Kalvarija, Mestni vrh, Piramida, Meljski hrib, Vodole, Malečnik and Celestrina all the way to Nebova.

A part of the Maribor wine-tourist road also reaches the eastern fringes of the Slovenske gorice hills, all the way to the region of panoramic Korena and Vurberk, which look out over the river Drava and the plain of Dravsko polje below.

Characteristic for the vineyards and cellars along this road is high quality and excellent white wines. Laški Riesling prevails, but also typical are Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Rulandec, Green Silvaner and Muscatel.

HOW TO GET TO MARIBOR?

From Ljubljana, you take the main freeway heading north-east (A1). From Austria you would head south from Graz.




Back to Top
What Wine Varieties does Maribor produce and what are they famous for?
THE MIGHTY RIZLING (Riesling - white)

The Maribor area is famous for its noble, extremely aromatic white wines: its Laski Rizling ages particularly well, and its Renski Rizling, although not dominant in the area's vineyards, is the pinnacle of Maribor wines. Some 60% of all prize wines are produced by the vignerons of this area. Connoisseurs particularly treasure the late harvest Renski Rizling from Piramida, a site on the outskirts of the city of Maribor - the view of these beautiful vineyards is the most impressive sight greeting visitors who enter Maribor from the west.

Steely and minerally with lovely herbal and citrus overtones, it's everything you'd want in a summer Riesling. It's the perfect wine with sushi and sashimi or Italian crudos, and is delicious with grilled salmon or other fish. The classic Rieslings of Maribor are distinguished by its peach bouquet and mineralization.

Recognizable as Riesling “M”, the Maribor-Pekel area is harmoniously revealed in a deep, dark mineral touch while showing multi-layered aromas of juicy stone fruit and fine flower honey. Very complex on the palate with the freshness and profundity of its good tension and long-lasting.



WHAT OTHER VARIETIES ARE PRODUCED?

Characteristic for the vineyards and cellars along this road is high quality and excellent white wines. Laški Riesling prevails, but also typical are Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Rulandec, Green Silvaner and Muscatel.

Other successful white wines of the area include Sipon, rich in acids; the fragrant Chardonnay and Beli Pinot; a characteristic Sauvignon with its powerful "elder blossom" bouquet; Sivi Pinot - Rulandec, a full-bodied, balanced, and complex wine; Rumeni Muskat with its overpowering aroma; and of course, the, gentle, sweet, and aromatic Traminec that competes with the Traminec produced in the Radgona- Kapela area.

The proportion of red wines, never particularly large, has been steadily declining in the last few decades. Modri Pinot, first introduced by Archduke Janez, remains the pinnacle of the area's red wines. Modra Frankinja can also produce some outstanding vintages around Maribor, while Zametna Crnina has a long tradition in the area.

The most widely appreciated blended wine of the area is Mariborcan, a blend of Renski Rizling, Laski Rizling, Sauvignon, and Traminec. Traditionally, this white wine is always served during the victory celebrations after the annual World Ski Cup event on Pohorje. Ritoznojcan is a dry white blend of Laski Rizling, Renski Rizling, and Sipon. This blend has a very long tradition and improves with age since the young wine is extraordinarily rich in acids.

PINOT GRIS
Pinot Gris with its small cylindrical berries produces vigorous wines rich in extracts, profound flavour and a vast amount of substance. A touch of salmon-pink hue shows its reddish skin grape origin. It has a huge bouquet and rich reminiscence of red apples and yellow apples and pears. Very dry, with lot of freshness, full-body and buttery texture.

BLAUFRANKISCH
A strong, fruity red wine with a profound and complex composition of ingredients elegantly combining the characteristics of the Radgonske Gorice hills and its loamy soil with brash to form a sophisticated flavour. Therefore, this is a well-balanced, rich, sophisticated wine offering pleasure and refreshment.

FURMINT/SIPON
This autochthonous wine sort comes in different varieties and as such requires elaborate cultivation and professional knowledge of viticulture. The fullness of the flavour extends from a delicate grapefruit aroma to completely ripe, compact and profound flavour shades. This is a wine with a long lifespan and an intense variety of flavours and fullness which stimulate the taste buds with new flavours and also proves that wine takes time - time to mature and time for us to enjoy it.

SAUVIGNON
Pale lemon colour with green tinges with some CO2 bubbles dancing on the surface and promising some freshness. On the nose it is pronounced, almost a show-off! Besides the typical notes of green-pepper and elderflower we can uncover a gentle flavour of juicy yellow fruits which nicely add to the complexity. Dry on the palate, medium bodied with a very long Sauvignon Blanc finish. Best when young, but will be fine after 2-3 years.
Food match: Any vegetable, especially green peppers, tomato or asparagus will do magic.

TRAMINEC
The path of the Traminec is paved with flowers due to its aroma of a rich, fragrant and delicious wine variety combined with a tinge of dried rose petals and the exotic, luscious flavour of lychees. The art of growing this wine relies mostly on the ability not to overemphasise its rich flavour bursting with freshness and vivaciousness. The art of growing this wine is also a trademark of cellars around Maribor. When this wine first impresses yellowish- gold color of the wine . Luxurious and varied wines like Traminac smell reminiscent of roses , orange, lemon, dried apricots . Even when this wine is embedded in a rich scent of mineral note. At the same time it has a fullness of flavor, juiciness and diversity. The little residual sugar is nicely integrated into the body of the wine and helps it give a pleasant lasting impression.

RUMENI MUSKAT
The colour is very pale almost watery with plenty of refreshing CO2 bubbles, while the nose is pronounced and reminiscent of muscat grapes, cloves and, cinnamon and other oriental spices. Dry and light with plenty of spicy muscat character on the palate. Finish is long with the spices prevailing. Best when young.
Food match: Our neighbours like it a lot as an aperitif. Perfect with Asian food.

ZWEIGELT
Intense ruby red color with violet hues, which is characteristic of this variety. The nose in the glass will find rich smells of red fruit ( raspberry , blackberry , cherry ), combined with a light wooded-vanilla tone that indicates that the wine is matured in small oak barrels. The tannins are sweet and ripe and beautifully merge with the acid, which gives the wine a nice balance.

Back to Top
Accommodation around Maribor

Sloveniaforyou.com have hand picked the best of the each accommodation category to make it easy for you to book!



HOTEL


HOTEL BAU

Situated just out of the centre of Maribor, the Hotel Bau has a great location between town and the Pohorje Mountains. The modern, clean and welcoming hotel makes an ideal base for those to visit the wine attractions in Maribor plus the hotel itself runs day tours so you can easily arrange a wine tasting tour or a biking\hiking tour if you wish!



WINERY STAY


JOANNES FARM

The Joannes tourist farm is only a few kilometers from Maribor. The Protners are experts on vines and wines, and their guide to tasting is a source of knowledge. Warm meals and Vegetarian dishes are available. The farm is lively at grape harvesting time and on St. Martin's Day. There are pleasant walks in the area, and the hosts offer excursions in their van. .



APARTMENTS


APTS & ROOMS TOPLAK

Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, Apartments and Rooms Toplak enjoys a quiet setting surrounded by meadows and forest. It offers rooms and apartments decorated in rustic-style and fitted with free Wifi. Maribor is 25 km away. If you feel like visiting the surroundings, the property owners helps to organise hiking tours and visiting wine tasting routes.



Back to Top
History - Climate - Soil
The Maribor area is on the western edge of the Podravje region, and this is the furthest that the climatic effect of the Pannonian plains reaches. In this coolest of Podravje areas, only the foothills are suitable for viticulture; its vineyards are mostly on eastern slopes. The area's soils are predominantly composed of quartz-rich marl and clay derived from eroded metamorphic (phyllites) and volcanic (tonalites) rock that constitutes the Pohorje and Kozjak mountains.

The shapes of vineyards vary depending on particular relief and microclimatic conditions. Older vineyards tend to be planted in horizontal rows, circularly around the tops of hills; larger weeds are removed, but grass is allowed to grow between the rows to prevent erosion, particularly in terraced vineyards and on steeper slopes. On less steep slopes (and in newer vineyards) the rows are vertical and weeded completely.

The recent viticultural history of this area, and indeed, of all the Podravje region, is indelibly tied to the name of Archduke Johann of Hapsburg, better known in Slovenia by his Slovenized name, Janez. Archduke Janez was the thirteenth child of Emperor Leopold II and Marie-Louise, and therefore the son of one Austrian emperor, the brother of another (Franz I), and uncle and Heir Presumptive to a third (Ferdinand I). The date March 10, 1822, is written with golden letters in the history of Podravje: on that day, Archduke Janez bought an estate near Pekre. Since his death, the estate has been known as Meranovo, named after the city of Meran in South Tyrol where the Archduke's worldly remains are entombed in the Schenna Castle.

The official history says that Archduke Janez fell in love with the country - the not-so-official history adds that there was also a local girl involved. Archduke Janez devoted a large part of his life to the development of viticulture in the area and introduced many new vines from the Rhine and Mosel valleys to the region, including Renski Rizling, Traminec, Rulandec, and Modri Burgundec. Today, these are among the most prestigious wines of the Maribor area and all of Podravje. He also introduced new planting schemes and training techniques and experimented with vines brought from Hungary, Italy, and even the Crimea. He founded a school of viticulture in 1832 and established a fund that granted pensions to old impoverished vinicarji (hired vineyard workers, best described as viticultural proletariat) who had worked for at least ten years for one vineyard owner.

On the Meranovo estate, the wines that Archduke Janez introduced still dominate the vineyards and regularly win prizes at wine fairs in Slovenia and abroad. The pinnacle of the Meranovo offering is an outstanding Sauvignon with its overpowering "elder blossom" bouquet.

Most of the excellent wines of the area are produced and stored in the huge, almost 200-year-old Vinag cellar, also known as the Maribor Wine Tabernacle, which has an area of 20,000 square meters (about 4.9 acres) in three kilometers (1.86 miles) of underground tunnels beneath the center of Maribor. The cellar's capacity is seven million liters (1.85 million gallons) of wine. With 70% of the cellar devoted to classical storage in barrels made from Slavonian oak, the Maribor Wine Tabernacle is one of the largest classic cellars in Europe.

The archive of the Maribor Wine Tabernacle stores almost all of the post-1945 Slovene vintages - over 450,000 bottles in all - and some vintages can be found nowhere else. An interesting detail: perhaps learning from the Ptuj example, the keepers of the Maribor Wine Tabernacle have constructed a small "mini tabernacle" somewhere inside the large one. It stores only fifty of the most precious bottles, and only the Master Cellarer knows its location.

Back to Top
Leading Estates and Smaller Producers
The Old Vine House and Old Vine on Lent in Maribor -

The Old Vine House is a House, where out front grows the Old Vine, the oldest vine in the world which is, with an age of over 400 years, registered also in the Guinness Book of Records. The Old Vine (Stara trta in Slovenian) is the oldest living example of a noble vine on our planet.

The oldest visual records of a house on Vojasniska Street 8 with the old vine are from 1657 and 1681. For many years the house was in very poor condition and most Mariborians were worried that plant would simply die. However, a massive reconstruction of this part of Maribor in the 1980's and a recent opening of the Old Vine House restored the glory of this ancient beauty.

The most important events associated with the vine are pruning in the early spring, a ceremonial grape harvest at the beginning of October and St. Martin's Day in November. Well, there are many other events throughout the year but a biannual Wine Queen coronation is among the most important events in Maribor in general.

The vine yields a noble wine called Modra Kavcina (Blue Kavcina). During the last decade the vine has yielded around 35-55kg of grapes annually, so up to one hundred artistically designed bottles are filled with the wine every year. Among the most famous people to have received a bottle of its wine are Pope John Paul II., the Japanese Emperor Akihito and American President Clinton.

Scions of the vine are growing all around the world: Vatican vineyards, Danish royal castle of Fredensborg, the Japanese town of Kanigawa, the hillsides of the Andes in Argentina, near Barcelona in Spain and many other places around the world.

The old Vine House is a temple of wine tradition and culture for Maribor, Štajerska and Slovenia. It is a house that represents the history and significance of the long tradition of viticulture and the wine trade in the region.

The Old Vine House has an exhibition room with guided tours through exhibitions of the rich wine heritage, museum exhibits, presentation of the sorts of vines by brothers Kreuzer, Archduke Johann, who are esteemed for the development of viticulture in Štajerska etc.

Here you can buy some excellent wines from the Štajerska wine region at friendly prices plus Maribor-Pohorje and The Old Vine House souvenirs, and delicious Slovene chocolate and handmade pralines. Of course there is wine tasting of the excellent wines from the Štajerska wine region plus The Old Vine House is a tourist information centre with brochures and staff on hand to help.

Outside of public access, The Old Vine House is the honorary seat of Slovene and international associations, sworn to honouring wine and the wine culture: eg St Urban's honourable wine convention, European Order of Knights of Wine, Association of Slovene Order of Knights of Wine, Association of representatives of Slovene and Maribor's wine queens.

Vinag, Maribor -

As mentioned above, Vinag is an amazing place to visit due to its size, content and history. Easy to find right in the centre of the city (below the square Trg svobode), it is one of the largest and oldest classic wine cellars in Europe. As mentioned above it contains an amazing space of around 20,000 square metres and 2.5 kilometres in underground tunnels.

The cellar contains hundreds of Wooden barrels, concrete cisterns and of course bottles with wine. The most intriguing part of the cellar is certainly the wine archives. They say that more than 450.000 bottles of the best vintages are kept and many famous people have been through the cellars over time.

If you arrive at the time of a tour, the guide will offer you a glass of sparkling wine while giving you an introduction to the history of Vinag. You then descend into the underground!

The archives hold all years from 1946 on. Interestingly, the previous archive was walled up as the proud cellar keeper decided to hide it from the occupying Nazis during WWII. Bottles were found; however, it’s difficult to make sense of them, because most labels have fallen off and additional digging could damage the tunnel structure.

Back at street level, you can of course try and buy some excellent wines. Vinag bottles approximately twenty labels of mostly white wines. Its wide range moves from tasty, dry companions for culinary pleasures to light and fresh wines, ideal for summer. The cellar is also birthplace of Mariborčan, a fine blend from the cellar; it is their own trademark, demonstrating the virtue of winemaking and blending. Special mention should definitely go to the sparkling Penina Royal, made with a classical method and Lisičkino vino (The Fox Wine). It’s a couvée composed of sauvignon, white pinot and chardonnay grown at the best locations – dedicated to the Golden Fox trophy, a world cup skiing competition held at Maribor Pohorje.

There’s also a list of historical famous customers, such as the President Tito, who had his own barrel to consume and refill every year. They say a bottle of 1946 Reisling would cost you EUR 3,500!

When open, Tours to the cellar are made every hour from 9am to 5pm, while groups can enquire about private tours.

Nearby Sights - Day trips from Maribor
Like Konjice, Maribor is heaven if you like the outdoors and nature. The surrounding areas abound in stunning scenery and opportunities for all outdoor activities but especially hiking and biking plus skiing in winter.

Head North The area north of Maribor has beautiful wine country and farms dotted with charming little towns like Zgornja Kungota. If you want to make a day of it you could cross the border and visit Graz in Austria which is only 100km away.



Head North-East 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.

Head East and South to the rolling hills of Ptuj and the surrounding countryside. Slovenia's oldest city is a delight to visit with great views from the castle. Do a circle further east through amazing wine country of Ormoz-Jeruzalem and Ljutomer and then return to Maribor. A great day out.


Going south you can visit the charming city of Celje which has a famous history you can see at the castle and museums. Further south and you can visit Lasko where the brewery makes Slovenia's famous brand. It also has a great spa nearby at Rimske Terme. Do a circle through Rogaska Slatina spa town and back to Maribor.

For a very full day you could also go west and do the circle from Maribor to Slovenske Konjice to Velenje-Crna Na Koroskem-Mezica-Ravne na Korsokem-Dravograd-Maribor. A really beautiful drive with plenty of photo opportunities.

Slovenia's charming capital Ljubljana is a delight to visit so definitely make the trip as it is only an hour away.

This is a great location for a peaceful, relaxing holiday.

Back to Top
Festivals & Events in Maribor!

JANUARY/FEBRUARY -
Golden Fox (January or February) - The annual Golden Fox competition offers an unforgettable sports experience on Pohorje. The Women’s World Cup race attracts over 20,000 visitors who support both Slovenian and foreign slalom and giant slalom competitors. The event organization, which follows the strict FIS criteria, is exceptional, as confirmed by the best female skiers in the world.

JUNE/JULY -
Lent Festival - The largest Slovenian outdoor festival and also reputedly one of the largest in Europe. Usually takes place in the last days of June and into the beginning of July when Maribor comes alive!

SEPTEMBER -
Maribor Festival (beginning of September) - One of the leading musical festivals in Slovenia, The history of the Festival Maribor spans almost half a century mainly focusing on Baroque styles in its beginnings and gradually extending its repertoire to post-modern transformations. It evolved from Music September, an international chamber music festival, inheriting its refined programming, stellar performance standards and unorthodox organizational style.

The festival offers a unique line-up that can't be found anywhere else, as the in-house production features concert programs and musical ensembles hand-selected by festival organizers. Acclaimed musicians from all over the world and members of exceptional Slovenian and foreign orchestras are individually chosen to form various chamber and orchestral ensembles as well as the core of the Festival Maribor Orchestra in accord with the program prepared by the artistic director.

The concerts are held at various concert halls around Maribor and smaller venues in the area filled with history and charm, such as Maribor Castle, Ptuj Castle, Dornava Mansion, the Fin de Siècle Union Hall acclaimed for its superb acoustics, Kazina Hall and the Old and Grand Hall of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. In addition, Festival Maribor concerts in the picturesque squares of Maribor's historic centre lend variety to the city’s atmosphere.

Get the latest dates from the Maribor Tourism Site

SEPTEMBER -
Old Vine Festival (beginning of September) - The Old Vine Festival concludes the series of events from the old vine pruning to St Martin’s Day. The event is organised in honour of the old vine, the oldest vine in the world, which symbolises the rich wine culture of Maribor and the surrounding wine regions. The excellent 10-day festival also involves many culinary offers.

OCTOBER -
Maribor Theatre Festival (October) – The Maribor Theatre Festival is the central, oldest and most prestigious theatre festival in Slovenia. At the end of the festival, the jury hands out the awards for the best performance, actors, directing and other artistic achievements.

NOVEMBER -
St Martin’s Day (November) – St Martin’s Day is celebrated in Maribor as a tribute to autumn and the new, young wine. It takes place together with the ceremonial baptism of cider. More than a thousand visitors gather in the Leon Štukelj Square and enjoy the rich cultural and entertainment programme as well as a wide range of wines and dishes. A number of tourist farms and vineyards present themselves every year.

DECEMBER -
Festive December (December) – December is always festive in Maribor. The city is decorated with lights. The food stands smell of delights and offer products for your soul. The Leon Štukelj Square is enlivened by St Nicholas, Christmas and the New Year’s Fair and numerous concerts.

Where is it? | Wines | Accommodation | Tours | Day Trips | Other Regions
General Info What To do? Info By Location Getting Around Other Stuff Admin Miscellaneous
CLICK HERE TO EMAIL US (info@sloveniaforyou.com)
Copyright © 2015-16 Sloveniaforyou - All rights reserved