Grapes in vineyards around Maribor are ready to be harvested. The iconic Old Vine Festival is starting today (on 17 September 2020) and the ceremonious grape harvest of the oldest vine in the world will take place on 20 September 2020. Autumn is the season of wine lovers and everyone, who is fascinated by the journey of wine – from grapes in the vineyards to the moment we toast with a glass of exquisite wine. Come to Maribor and share the joys of this year’s rich harvest with the local winegrowers.
As it’s the season of wine, Maribor Convention Bureau has prepared a series of interesting programmes for meeting and incentive planners connected to the city’s viticultural tradition.
1. Big guy`s wine highlights with the World`s Oldest Vine
This wine journey starts in Svečina, one of the most photogenic villages with the famous heart-shaped wine road on the outskirts of Maribor. Professional insight of a winemaker and sommelier will be accompanied by tasting local delicacies. The next stop is Vinag Wine Cellar, one of the largest and oldest classical wine cellars in Europe. A presentation of amazing wine stories, followed by a stroll around the Maribor city centre will allow guests to get an impression of the city life, culture and tradition. All routes in Maribor, and especially the wine routes, lead to the Old Vine House in Lent. The confirmed age of “žametovka” or “modra kavcina” vine variety is over 400 years and it is presented in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest noble vine in the world still bearing grapes. A local wine expert will guide you through a tasting of selected samples from 190 wines of the Podravje region. To round up the wine experience you will learn how to make a unique souvenir from cork that you will be able to take home.
Big guy`s wine highlights with the World`s Oldest Vine programme has been recognized by Slovenian Tourist Board as a 5* experience under “Slovenia Unique Experiences” brand.
If you want to pamper your guests with a culinary experience, your incentive can be upgraded with a delicious lunch and a wine tasting in the Three Ponds restaurant. If you have more than one day, a wine tour can be extended to two days and will take you to the selected vineyards and cellars on the vine hills around Maribor.
2. Creative workshop: Ambassador of Protner wines and mini sommelier
A true and authentic experience can only be had with the locals. Boštjan Protner is one of the most renowned winemakers in the Štajerska region. His wines have been awarded at numerous international wine festivals. Wine cellar, located only a few kilometres from the city of Maribor has more than 200 years of history, producing mostly white wines, typical for the region: Rizling, Chardonnay, Silvaner, Yellow Muskat, Pinot Gris. Boštjan will reveal many secrets of the wine-growing tradition in Slovenia and the Štajerska region and explain the characteristics of his wines. After a brief interactive class, you will try a blindfolded tasting of white and red wines and earn yourself the title “Wine Ambassador” and “Mini Sommelier”. Not only the wines, at Protner’s they are happy to spoil you with the home-made food as well, starting with delicious bread, baked in a stone oven.
3. Creative workshop: from grapes to the glass of wine
Winemaking seems to be reserved for men. But not at the House of wine Doppler, where Mihaela Krsnik Kopše took over his grandfather’s vineyards in 2002 and opened the door of the wine cellar to visitors and wine lovers. In the magnificent vineyard in Kozjak not far from Maribor, you will first learn about the range of Doppler’s vine varieties and tasks that must be performed in a vineyard to have a rich grape wine harvest. The second part of the workshop takes us to the cellar, where you will gain insight into the works in the cellar and stick customized wine labels on full bottles of wine. At Doppler’s estate you will feel the passion for the wine at every step. As Mihaela says: “Winegrowing is not only my work, it is my life. This is why I took over the responsibility to further develop the estate Dopler. I am immensely enjoying the new winegrowing challenges, especially as I have the selfless help and support of my entire family.”