Slovenian Sparkling Wines – Istenic and Zlati Gric Wineries
23rd April 2019
Bizeljsko is an area in Posavje Wine Region in hilly Central Slovenia where the vineyards lie on hills between 170 and 350 metres above sea level. The average sum of effective temperatures during the ripening season is lengthening, while the sunny days and cool nights make for ideal levels of sugar and acidity, which gives great potential for the production of excellent sparkling wines. The exceptional soil, which is rich in silicate deposits rarely found elsewhere, is also a factor in the excellent minerality of Bizeljsko sparkling wines.
Stara Vas is the birthplace of the Istenič brand, an honourable name that has made the names of Bizeljsko and Stara Vas famous around Slovenia and further afield over the past forty years. In 1968 the family bought an abandoned farmhouse and 0.1 hectares of vineyard and produced the first sparkling wine using the traditional method, naming it after our daughter Barbara.
With an annual production of around 200,000 bottles, Istenič is the leading house in Bizeljsko in terms of volume and quality and one of the leading and the most awarded sparkling wine domains in Slovenia. At the heart of the vineyard is a winery that was completely renovated by the Istenič Family in 2007. Istenič sparkling wines are Champenoise type, classically oriented, with outstanding yeast character, brioche notes, with vibrant acid and full maturity.
The palette of Istenič Sparkling Wines consists of 10 brands, where the most prized are Prestige, Gourmet and No.1. Prestige Extra Brut which is made from base wines from only the finest years, from Chardonnay, which gives a delicate and refined character and Pinot Noir, which adds a wonderful firm body. Gourmet Rosé is an extra dry rosé sparkling wine made from free-run Pinot Noir from excellent years. The Pinot Noir gives the wine a full flavour and characteristic primary bouquet, while the long ageing on lees enriches the flavours.
In the heart of the vineyards lies Podravje Wine Region in The North, between the vineyards, is located the most modern wine cellar in the region. The winery is 3500 square meters size and has a capacity of 1,3 Mio. litre. It is fully under the surface and its roof is covered with grass and overgrown. A few front elements in nature, which are originally incorporated in the existing ambient of the wine growing landscape are seen.
Three types of bubblies are produced. Konjiška Penina, Brut from Pinot Blanc is fresh and fruity, a fresh, easy-drinkable sparkling white. Pinot Blanc Vintage is a flagship Brut Nature Method Champenoise a sparkling wine matured for five years sur-lies in a Charterhouse’s Žiče Cellar. A sparkling for special moments. Konjiška Penina Rosé Extra Brut is 100 % Blau Fränkish very light elegant rosé with amazing summer freshness character and was a Trophy Winner in the First Date category at the World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2017.
Written by: Prof.Dr.Marin Berovic, Chairman of The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards.
Glass of Bubbly
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