Exhibition of Slovenian sparkling wines

Author: mag. Gordana Vulić in Katja Orehek Hati
Published: 14. 02. 2020
Estimated reading time: min

Every champagne is sparkling wine but every sparkling wine is not a champagne.

The beginning of the production of sparkling wine is attributed to a monk Dom Pierre Perignon, who lived from 1639 to 1715. Namely, he was the first who succeeded in a bottle separate the remaining yeast from the wine and get a pure sparkling wine. As a champagne, the wine became famous all over the world. In Slovenia, we have a rich heritage of sparkling wine production, since the first mention of sparkling wine in Slovenia appears in 1853 in Bleiweis's news.


An exhibition of Slovenian sparkling wines was held at the City Museum of Ljubljana from 3rd to 5th December 2019, prepared by students of hospitality and tourism and their mentors from Biotechnical Educational Centre Ljubljana, Vocational College. More than 100 sparkling wines from Slovenian producers were exhibited, all sparkling wines with descriptions of labels, which primarily served to educate museum visitors and the general public in the field of sparkling wine production in Slovenia. Slovenia has a rich cultural heritage of sparkling wine production and with the aim of educating or raising awareness of the general public about this rich heritage, which is beautifully preserved today, the exhibition included interesting information about sparkling wines. A short selection of interesting facts about sparkling wines is presented below. Our intention is to continue with the exhibition in 2020 and 2021.

The first mention of sparkling wines in Slovenia 

The first mention of sparkling wine appeared in Slovenia on December 10, 1853 in Bleiweis’s news: “Champagne or sparkling wine – sparkling wine – is the most beloved and sweet of today’s gentlemen. There is no real celebration or ceremony where sparkling wine does not foam. Sparkling wine, however, is not known to be a natural or ordinary fermented wine, but it is artificially prepared. The French Champagnes invented this art and for many years they were the only possessors of this secret, which brought them a lot of money. Even in our empire, some sparkling wines have already been made, I can freely say that no one has ever been so great at it as our virtuous Alojz Kleinošek from Radgona. Many appreciate it more than the French version, especially for an important reason that it always serves health. Mr. Kleinošek started this great thing in the right way He went to Champagne and gave a lot of money to an excellent winemaker and sparkling wine producer, so he was able to help in his winery, worked and inquired until he got all the necessary information. When he returned to Radgon in 1850, he began making sparkling wine from Slovenian wine. By the end of 1852, the happily discovered Kleinošek sparkling wine was already on sale. Immediately, people liked it so much that 12,000 bottles were sold in a few months. ” (Dr. Janez Bleiweis, Novice kmetijskih, obertnijskih in narodnih reči, 10. 12. 1853)

Interesting facts from the world of sparkling wines

The beginning of the production of sparkling wine is attributed to the father, the caretaker of the Benedictine monastery Hautvillers Dom Pierre Perignon (1639 – 1715), who was the first to separate the remaining yeasts from the wine in a bottle and get pure sparkling wine. As a champagne, the wine became famous all over the world. The French protected the name champagne. The method is called “method champagne” and outside the French province of Champagne it can only be called a “classic method” and the product a “sparkling wine”. The production of a champagne itself happened quite by accident. The wine stopped fermenting in the autumn and woke up again in the spring, when it was already bottled. This has long been considered a mistake. Dom Perignon was supposed to turn this mistake into a regular procedure. Controlled champagne production in Champagne did not begin until the 18th and 19th centuries. Later it spread rapidly throughout Europe. (Klavdija Topolovec Špur, Production of sparkling wines, Gornja Radgona, 2015)

“Among the best sparkling wines in the world we find 64 Slovenian wines. The awards for the best glass of bubbles in the world for 2019 were presented in London. They very quickly, in just three years, became the most prestigious awards for sparkling wines from around the world. Slovenian winemakers competed with superpowers in the world of sparkling wines, such as France and Italy with as many as 78 sparkling wines and achieved exceptional success. Slovenian sparkling wines received a record of 64 awards: 14 gold, 31 silver and 15 bronze. The commission rated seven of them as highly recommended. “Four” golden “sparkling wines were declared the winners of the cups.”(Dnevnik, October 28, 2019)

Methods of production of sparkling wines

We know the following methods (Klavdija Topolovec Špur, Pridelava penečih vin, Gornja Radgona, 2015):

  • Classic or traditional method of sparkling wine production: The essence of the classic or traditional method of producing sparkling wine is secondary fermentation that takes place in bottles. The optimum temperature is 9 – 12 ° C.
  • Tank or charmat method of sparkling wine production: Subsequent or secondary fermentation takes place in high-pressure tanks – autoclaves at a temperature of 14 – 16 ° C.

Classification of sparkling wines

The sparkling wines are classified according to the rest of the reducing sugars into:

  • Completely dry (brut nature) – contains less than 3 g / l of reducing sugars;
  • Extra brut – contains less than 6 g / l of reducing sugars;
  • Very dry (brut) – contains less than 15 g / l of reducing sugars;
  • Extra dry – contains from 12 g / l to 20 g / l reducing sugars;
  • Semi-dry (sec) – contains from 17 g / l to 35 g / l of reducing sugars;
  • Semi-sweet (demi sec) – contains from 33 g / l to 50 g / l reducing sugars;
  • Sweet (doux) – contains more than 50 g / l of reducing sugars.

Deviations between the analytically determined and declared values ​​of the concentration of reducing sugars in sparkling wines may be up to a maximum of 5 g / l. (Pravilnik o pogojih, ki jih mora izpolnjevati grozdje za predelavo v vino, o dovoljenih tehnoloških postopkih in enoloških sredstvih za pridelavo vina in o pogojih glede kakovosti vina, mošta in drugih proizvodov v prometu, Ur. l. RS, št. 43/04, 127/04, 112/05, 105/06-Zvin – hereinafter: Pravilnik).

Division of sparkling wines by color

According to the mentioned Pravilnik (Ur. L. RS, no. 43/04, 127/04, 112/05, 105/06-ZVin), sparkling wines are divided into:

  • White, produced mainly from white grape varieties;
  • Roses, produced mainly from red grape varieties by the method of production of white sparkling wines;
  • Red, produced mainly from red grape varieties.

Classification of sparkling wines into classes

According to the mentioned Pravilnik (Ur. l. RS, št. 43/04, 127/04, 112/05, 105/06-ZVin) sparkling wines are classified into the following classes:

1st class of table sparkling wines,

2nd class of quality sparkling wines, which we classify into:

– Quality sparkling wine produced in a certain production area (hereinafter: quality sparkling wine), quality sparkling wine produced in the Republic of Slovenia may be quality sparkling wine with protected geographical origin (hereinafter: quality sparkling wine) or premium wine of protected geographical origin (hereinafter: premium sparkling wine)

– Quality sparkling wine.

(2) The label sparkling wine may be used instead of the labels quality sparkling wine and premium sparkling wine.

More about quotes…

Some more interesting quotes and sayings about sparkling wine and champagne:

“I can’t live without sparkling wine. When I win, I deserve it, when I lose, I need it. ”(Napoleon Bonaparte)

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” (Bette Davis)

“Sparkling wine is the only drink that makes a woman even more beautiful after drinking it!” (Madame Pompadour)

“Because I’m a real woman who always finds strength, she puts lipstick on her lips with red, puts on a little of her favourite perfume, toasts herself with a glass of sparkling wine and moves on in life. Life however is beautiful and the sun is outside. ” (Marylin Monroe)

“Drinking sparkling wine makes you feel like it’s Sunday every day.” (Marlene Dietrich)

“I only drink sparkling wine on two occasions when I’m in love or when I’m not.” (Coco Chanel)

“Sparkling wine must be chilled, dry and free.” (Winston Churchill)

“Sparkling wine, music and a neighbour’s wife.” (Lord Bayron)

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