Beverages form an important part of the Posavje culinary heritage

Author: dr. Lea Kužnik (BIC Ljubljana)
Published: 14. 02. 2020
Estimated reading time: min

Beverages form an important part of the Posavje culinary heritage

Slovenia is divided into 24 gastronomic regions with almost 400 typical or representative local and regional dishes and beverages. In the Posavje region, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages also play an important part of their culinary heritage.


The Posavje region is part of Slovenia encompassing the following municipalities: Brežice, Krško, Sevnica, Kostanjevica na Krki, Bistrica ob Sotli and Radeče. As a wine growing region, it is divided into three districts: Dolenjska, Bizeljsko–Sremič, and Bela krajina.

What kind of non-alcoholic drinks used to be drunk in the Posavje region?

Regardless of the old Slovenian saying, the main beverage in the Dolenjska and Posavje regions, and also elsewhere in Slovenia, used to be water. Apples were in abundance, so homemade cider was to be found almost everywhere. In some areas, they prepared elderberry juice. They also drank cow’s milk. Coffee was made from ground roasted barley, rarely from wheat grains or grape seeds. Various herbal teas, blossom and root infusions, as well as infusions of bushes and garden or wild flowers were almost everyday drink, especially in colder weather.

»After a glass or two you will dream big, more glasses will put you into a deep sleep«

Wine was drunk at holidays, on special occasions and on days of hard work, and when possible, it was also sold. Farms growing pears, plums and apples used to make brandy, the most popular being plum brandy (slivovka) and pear brandy (hruškovec). Centaury, which is believed to have healing properties, was sometimes soaked in brandy.

Dry red and white Bizeljčan, which both carry the PTP recognised traditional denomination, were produced in the Posavje region, or more precisely in the Bizeljsko-Sremič wine district. Red Bizeljčan is usually served with meat dishes, sausages and salami, while white Bizeljčan pairs well with chicken risotto, sweet cabbage, sauerkraut and boiled sausage.

Although Cviček is regarded as a unique sort of wine from the Dolenjska region, its home is actually Gadova Peč from the Posavje region. Cviček is a dry wine made from red and white grape varieties, light red in colour, with a pleasant acidic taste and with no significant bitterness. Because of its low alcohol volume (from 8,5 to 10 %) it is a light, fresh and drinkable wine. It was consumed every day, occasionally diluted with water. Due to its acidity, it goes well with fatty meat dishes, and even the Emperor in Vienna is said to have paired it with such dishes. Cviček also carries the PTP recognised traditional denomination and as such can only be produced in the Dolenjska wine-growing district. The »King of Cviček« 2019 was produced by Jarkovič wine cellar from Gadova Peč, while the new Princess and Ambassador of Cviček became Simona Petretič from the Association of Winemakers of Pobočje.

A number of top scoring winemakers in the Posavje region are on the list of contemporary wine offers, many of them also offering sparkling wine: Miha Istenič (Penine Istenič), Janez and Mihela Šekoranja (Vino Graben), Marijan Kelhar (Keltis), Lojze Kerin (Hiša frankinje Kerin), Zdravko Mastnak (Vinska klet Mastnak), Vinska klet Krško and others.

Source: L. Kužnik in M. Rangus (2017): Okusi Posavja – Izzivi prehranske kulturne dediščine za sodobnost. Ljubljana: Kmečki glas.

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