What Is Slovenia Orange Wine and How Does It Taste?

You may have never heard about orange wine, but in Slovenia, it is very popular. Well-known as the “fourth” color of wine, we are not talking about Spritz but about this very special and tasty wine which intrigues the tourists a lot. Indeed, it has a lot of secrets to be discovered!

In fact, the term “orange wine” is relatively new but not the process of making, which comes from an old tradition. To explain what orange wine in a simple way is, it is a white wine which is turned into wine as red wine. It became recently a very trendy drink and you can try it if you want to experience the Slovenian way of life as best possible.

If you are curious about orange wine and want to learn more about the history, the making, and the taste of this mysterious beverage, this article is for you! Read it to the end to have the best tips to get a glass or a bottle of orange wine for your next drinks with friends!

Where Does Orange Wine Come From?

We may think orange wine is very recent because of its new popularity but the process of making orange wine is actually very ancient. Orange wine was already produced approximately 8000 years ago during Antiquity, mainly in Georgia – which is the homeland of wine – but also in Armenia.

The production of orange wine is a really old tradition: in the traditional process, the wine production would go in a clay amphora – called “Kvevri” – which was then buried in the ground, so that the orange wine was kept in contact with grape skins for a long time.

Thirty years ago, there was a revival of the ancient process, and orange wine became popular again. In Italy, it has been popularized especially by Josko Gravner and Stanko Radikon, and in Slovenia, the most famous wine producer is Aleks Klinec.

Nowadays, orange wine is produced in some wine-growing regions of the USA, New Zealand, and Europe, especially in Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. In Slovenia, Primorska is the main wine region where orange wine is produced, but you can also find it in Posavje or Podravje, and according to the estimations, there would be around 60 orange wine producers in Slovenia.

How Is Orange Wine Produced and Why Does It Have This Specific Orange Color?

Usually, we produce white wine by pressing white grapes quickly after the harvest, whereas red wine is produced by letting the juice of black grapes macerate with their skins.

Then, orange wine is a combination of both: it is a white macerated wine! During the wine production, the grape juice is left in contact with grape skins and pips for a long period of time (sometimes also with the stems!), from a few days to several months, according to the grape variety and to the technique of vinification, which gives a great diversity of orange wine on the market!

You may wonder why the orange wine is orange? This is simply because of the maceration with the grape skins for a long time, that gives this beautiful orange color! But it can also be a more yellow or golden color, and even ochre, amber, or a sort of pink. Not to be confused with rosé wine!

How Does Orange Wine Taste and What Food Goes Well With?

Orange wine has a very specific and interesting taste, which can surprise a little in the beginning: it is impossible to be indifferent about it! It has nothing to do with either red or white wine taste, but its taste is considered by some people as a subtle combination of both!

On one hand, it has the tannins typical for red wines, but on the other, it has the freshness of white wines and the acidity of a fruit beer. It can have notes of honey, citrus fruits, but also herbal or roasted notes, it is very multifaceted! Basically, it is a very intense and dry wine, and it can even have a little bit of bitterness. And if you want to taste it in the best conditions to reveal all its flavor, then it should be drunk at a temperature of 13 or 14°C approximately.

You may thus wonder what plate could go well with orange wine? Given that this is a wine with an intense taste, it will go very well with bold foods, such as Indian food, sweet and sour plates, spicy dishes, but also with chocolate desserts and a great diversity of meats, as beef as fish, especially raw fish! Generally, orange wine will match meals commonly associated with red wines because of its prolonged maceration. However, you can also give free rein to your imagination to find new associations!

Where Can I Find Orange Wine in Slovenia?

After all this information, you are probably curious and want to try orange wine by yourself! Well, you have several options, and here it is for a selection of 10 best places in Slovenia where you can buy or taste the famous Slovenian orange wine-

In Ljubljana:

You can go to the famous wine store Storija, with a very good reputation and a lot of choice among Slovenian wines.

Wine Store Storija
Address: Trubarjeva cesta 17, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 40 690 096
Facebook: Vinoteka Storija

To drink just a glass or two (or even more) of orange wine, try the Wine Bar Suklje, located on a great spot by the river.

Wine Bar Suklje
Address: Breg 10, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 68 194 099
Website: www.suklje.com

Another wine bar in Ljubljana where you can taste orange wine is Vinoteka Movia: they offer a great selection of Slovenian wines.

Vinoteka Movia
Address: Mestni trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 51 304 590
Website: www.movia.si

With both a festive and classy atmosphere, you can experience the TaBar and order a glass of orange wine together with their famous Spanish tapas!

Address: Ribji trg 6, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 31 764 063
Website: www.tabar.si

Craving a sunset view while drinking your glass of orange wine? Grajska Vinoteka & Hram Strelec is the place for you. It’s also a fancy restaurant where you can enjoy a full tasty meal at the same time!

Grajska Vinoteka & Hram Strelec
Address: Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 41 433 625
Website: www.kaval-group.si/strelec-grajska-vinoteka

Participating in a wine tasting experience at Dvorni Bar (by booking it in advance on their website), you will have the opportunity to taste seven Slovenian wines, including the orange!

Dvorni Bar
Address: Dvorni Trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana
Phone: +386 41 905 070
Website: www.winetastingljubljana.com

Elsewhere in Slovenia:

In Maribor, LeVino Wine Bar is well-known for the orange wine selection they serve. Try it out and let us know how was your experience!

LeVino Wine Bar
Address: Postna ulica 4, 2000 Maribor
Phone: +386 70 728 222
Website: www.levino-wine-bar.business.site

In the small city of Izola, the famous Manzioli Wine Bar offers a wide diversity of orange wines, and it’s hard to choose only one!

Manzioli Wine Bar
Address: Manziolijev trg 5, 6310 Izola
Phone: +386 41 218 547
Website: www.vinozaro.com

You also try the Wine bar, wine shop, Ales Cebasek s.p. (also named the Vinoteka Sodcek): they even have a website where you can order online your bottles of wine!

Wine bar, wine shop, Ales Cebasek s.p.
Address: Linhartov trg 8, 4240 Radovljica
Phone: +386 4 531 50 71
Website: www.vinoteka-sodcek.si

Around Vipava, you can find Vinoteka Vipava wine shop where to buy a bottle! They also have articles on their website about the best orange wines of Slovenia!

Vinoteka Vipava – Wine Shop
Address: Glavni trg 8, 5271 Vipava
Phone: +386 5 368 70 41
Website: www.izvirna-vipavska.si

The Orange Wine Festival

A more complete experience to taste many different orange wines is offered by the Orange Wine Festival, which is organized every year since 2012 in Izola, a small town on the Adriatic coast of Slovenia. 

It had been postponed due to the health situation, then the next edition will be held on the 30th of April 2021. Be there if you want to discover all the facets of orange wine through tastings, animations, and more!

You can have more information on their website: www.orangewinefestival.si or on their Facebook page: Orange Wine Festival


You are now more familiar with this atypical, surprising, and not very common orange beverage! As you can see, orange wine in Slovenia is a real tradition and not just a trend. 

And with all these addresses, you can now plan your next drink with friends to make them discover orange wine and its very specific taste, and if you think they do not already know orange wine, you can even make them taste it blind! 

If you already knew and tasted orange wine, let us know your favorite variety and best place to drink it!

Thank you for reading our article. We do our best to provide you with first-hand information about Slovenia and its wonders. We know we are not infallible though. In case you encounter any mistakes in our articles or you have any suggestions, please contact us. Let us know how we could improve. It will help us to keep our information updated and deliver to readers the most valuable possible content.  We will gladly take your suggestions!

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