Slovenian wine production down in 2021, but quality up (article)

STA, November 7, 2021 – Slovenia will produce 10-15% less wine than last year, mainly due to the fact that the Dolenjska wine region is heavily affected by spring frost. However, the country’s winemakers report that the year was above average in terms of quality.

The drop in quantity is also attributed to lower yields of some varieties in the other two wine regions, but not as such as in Dolenjska, where only half of last year’s production was made, a said Marjan Colja of the Wine Association of Slovenia at the STA. .

Colja, the director of wine producer Vina Kras, noted that production was close to normal in the western region of Primorska, while the Kras region had been affected, not by frost, but by wild boars and birds. .

Still, winemakers are more concerned with wine quality than hitting records in terms of quantity as market competition is fierce and demand has plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The weather conditions were favorable before the harvest, with the sunny and not so cold weather being very helpful. Colja noted that the country’s winemakers said it was an above-average year in terms of quality.

Slovenia’s largest winery, P&F Wineries, said that despite the very demanding spring and frost damage, wine quality was the best in 12 years according to preliminary estimates.

Along with the drop in production, grape growers and grape growers have also been hit by coronavirus restrictions, as public closures have led to lower sales to hotels and restaurants.

Another blow comes as the majority of St. Martin’s Day celebrations in Slovenia have been canceled due to rising numbers of infections, including the biggest event in Maribor. “Closures certainly don’t bring anything good,” Colja said.

According to him, some wineries have decided to distill the surplus wine, which is supported by the state. “As blasphemous as it may seem to a winemaker, it is always better to do something useful… than to sell at dumping prices.”

Colja added that major wineries had been generous to grape growers this year and were ready to raise the prices for buying grapes, which he said was the right move.

While it is not easy to sell wine in Slovenia or abroad, he noted that exports remain a problem, especially to the Chinese market, the reason being that there are fewer fairs and opportunities for promotion due to the pandemic.

Colja said the state has the key role in promoting the export business and that winegrowers may be subject to too many restrictions. “Many people prefer not to use public funds because they don’t want to have administrative problems.”

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, between 80 and 90 million liters of wine are produced each year in Slovenia by more than 2,500 registered wineries that bottle their own wine. Eleven producers produce more than half a million liters per year.

The ministry told the STA that experts from the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry had estimated production this year to be around 55 million liters of wine.

The vineyards in Slovenia are located on steep slopes, which means very expensive, but also good quality production, with quality wines accounting for up to 70% of total production.

The total area of ​​land covered by vineyards has not changed much in recent decades. It increased until 1996, after which it started to decrease slightly. Compared to 2010, the area of ​​land covered with vines is now reduced by 5%.

Last year, the average price of wine of Slovenian geographical origin sold in Slovenia and on EU markets decreased for all wine categories compared to 2019, while sales increased by 6%, including including sales of wine for distillation.

Slovenia mainly imports wine from North Macedonia, Italy, Germany and Hungary, while it exports its quality wines to Germany, Croatia, the United States, the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in recent years, to the Czech Republic.

Comments are closed.