A small country wedged between Austria, Italy and Croatia, Slovenia nonetheless has a number of different wine-growing areas and I opted for the one nearest the Austrian border.
Having the same terroir as Austria's Styria, with high elevation resulting in a distinctive ripe-yet-crisp style for whites, this region is known locally as Štajerska Slovenija.
I started with a Šipon (aka Hungary's Furmint) from their entry-level Benedict range . Grown on sandy clay soils, it was crisp, yet ripe with elderflower aromas. It has a Decanter Silver.
A Riesling was well made with lots of lime fruit and fresh apples-and-pears acidity. This one has a Decanter bronze and an IWC Silver.
|The winery's cellars|
It spends 6 months on the lees and a further 9 months in tank. The vineyard is near Maribor (hence the "M" name, somewhat confusingly the same as a Grüner Veltliner from Austria's FX Pichler) where the subsoil is marl, resulting in less fruit but more minerality.
Surprisingly, this last one does not seem to have any awards.
These are all well-made and interesting; based on the cellar-door prices quoted, they also represent good value, too - especially when compared to next-door Styria in Austria.
For an introduction to Slovenian wines, I recommend the Riesling from the Benedict range - €8.50.
The wines are imported into the UK by Savage Selection.
Dveri Pax - http://www.dveri-pax.com/
Savage Selection - http://www.savageselection.co.uk/
All images from Dveri Pax website