Bordering Italy on the west, The Vipava valley take its name from the 49-kilometer long river that snakes east to west through the valley and empties into the Isonzo/Soča in Italy.
Slicing its way between the ridges of the Trnovo Forest Plateau to the north and the Rolling hills of the Karst Plateau to the south, it is characterized by a unique combination of Mediterranean and alpine climate: warm springs, relatively hot summers and mild winters. But that pleasant environment is rattled in the late autumn and winter when the Burja winds – Bora to Italians – awakens with gusts of up to 200kph.
Buildings with stones and rocks on their roofs to prevent the tiles from being blown off are not an uncommon sight in this area.
However, this occasional burst of violence clears the clouds, making the Vipava Valley the sunniest area in Slovenia.
Vipava is widely considered the oldest wine growing region in Slovenia dating back to Celts and Roman times.
Historical records from the Middle Ages already speak of the quality and popularity of Vipava Valley’s wine, praised in Vienna and all across the Habsburg Empire.
In 1844, local priest Matija Vertovec wrote Vinoreja za Slovence (Winemaking for Slovenians) the first expert text on wine and wine-growing written in the Slovenian language with a heavy focus on the Vipava valley, cataloging and describing the varieties grown in the area at that time.
Particularly interesting in this book is a recommendation for skin macerations “from 24 hours to 30 days”. This is one of the oldest documented traditions of extended skin maceration proving the Vipava Valley as a centre of Orange Wines.
The first Slovenian viticulture and agriculture school was also founded in 1873 in the village of Slap near the town Vipava. Today, Vipava houses the internationally recognized School of Viticulture and Oenology.
Viticulture is, in fact, the main agricultural sector in this fertile valley (60%) and vines cover over 3000 acres of its total area (350 km²).
Winemaking is regarded as a way of life here.