Photo credit: GR Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre

The jubilee 60th International Wine Competition – Vino Ljubljana was last weekend traditionally held in GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. Vino Ljubljana is from the very beginning under the auspices of the most important world organizations responsible for the sensory analysis of wines. These are the International Organization for Vine and Wine from Paris (OIV), the International Association of Oenologists from Paris (UIE) and the World Federation of Vineyards (Vinofed). This year’s edition of the festival saw an increased number of wine samples, with wines from France, Bulgaria, Russia, Israel and the Republic of South Africa.

The 45 degustators from 15 countries visiting Ljubljana, named also “The City of Vine and Wine”, evaluated the 425 samples from 23 countries. Among the 425 samples, the countries with the most samples were: Slovenia with 140, Czech Republic with 71, Slovakia with 44, Romania with 31, Austria with 23, Republic of Macedonia with 18, and Germany and Montenegro with 15. Other countries, beautifully spanning over most of the world’s continents (except for Antarctica and Australia) brought to Ljubljana in average more than 4.5 samples.

On the ground that 70 to 75 percent of samples come from abroad every year, the Vino Ljubljana remains interesting not just for the domestic but also for foreign winemakers. According to the tasters, the Cabernet Blanc from the wine-making of Josef Valihrach from the Czech Republic won in the category of the best dry still wine. Among the World Champions, the Slovenian Yellow Muscat from Prus Wine Cellar was included in the category of still natural sweet wines, and in the category of sparkling wines, the Golden Radgonska Sparkling Rose from Radgonske gorice. This year, from Macedonia comes the best wine in the category of red dry wines, the Grand Cuvee wine, which is produced in the Domaine Lepovo Winery.

At this year’s 60th assessment of wines, they also announced the winner of Slovenian wine specialties. This became the Selected Teran Elite from Vinakras. The Tsukamoto trophy was awarded to the red wine from the family cellar Colja PTP QV CV Wine, which was also ranked among the champions of Slovene wine-growing districts. In the category of Slovenian regions champions, the Prus Wine Cellar was awarded for Sauvignon, Mr. Andrej Berkovič for Chardonnay, and the Vinakoper for Refošk.

GR’s Vino Ljubljana this year celebrated its 60th edition, however, this is not the only marking stone for the Slovenian capital and its internationally acclaimed congress and fair organiser. Wine competitions in Ljubljana have their roots in 1811, when the first “Tasting of Illyrian Wines” took place. The Fairground in Ljubljana organised the first exhibition and tasting of Slovenian wines back in 1926. The year 1955 is considered to be the year of the first modern international wine competition. That year the Ljubljana competition received the patronage of the International Office for Vine and Wine (OIV) still lasting today. In 1980 it gained the additional patronage of the International Union of Oenologists (UIO). When, in 1984, the elite World Federation of Major International Wine and Spirits (VinoFed) was established, the Ljubljana competition was given the first presidency of this organisation for three years and permanent membership in it.

Through time the International Wine Competition in Ljubljana has become a reference competition in all three international organisations responsible for sensory wine analysis – OIV, UIO and VinoFed, and it has always been a model to all other developing competitions in the world.

  • The oldest foreign wine ever evaluated in Ljubljana was a Spanish wine from 1885. It was sent to the Ljubljana competition in 1969.
  • In the “Year of Wine”, more precisely on 30. October 1987 in Rome, the OIV granted Ljubljana the title “The City of Vine and Wine”.
  • The International Wine Competition in Ljubljana was recognised in the Official Journal of the EEC No. C 289 of 17. November 1990, which enabled Ljubljana to start advertising and marketing the medals in the EEC and the EU.