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Castle Wine Story

The castle hill is rich in experiences. You will remember your visit to Ljubljana’s largest sight for its good wine, as well. The castle wine experience includes viewing the castle grapevines and vineyard, as well as a visit to the wine bar and shop. There we have selected the best Slovenian wines, which will delight even the most demanding tastes of connoisseurs and lovers of a good drop. Cheers!

Castle Vineyard

In the past, all important towns, castles or mansions were supplied with produce from the immediate environment. Transport links were poor and logistics were difficult, so in many respects people had to rely on their own resources, even if the conditions were not always favourable. This was true in the case of vineyards, as well, and Ljubljana had its own vineyard on the slopes of the Castle Hill.

In order to revive the tradition and consolidate Ljubljana’s title as a “City of Grapevines and Wines”, we planted a new castle vineyard at the Ljubljana Castle in 2016 and had our first harvest two years later. The Castle Vineyard is planted with 1050 vines: 500 vines of the white variety Belpin, which is based on a cross of Belina and Pinot and is the Slovenian synonym for Chardonnay, and 550 vines of the red variety Rdečegrajc, whose name is a translation of the original denomination of the variety Rotburger, which in 1975 was renamed Zweigelt.

Everything from spring pruning to harvesting and bottling, as well as year-round care and cultivation of the vineyard, is the work of the professional operator of the vineyard – the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia. The Ljubljana Castle with the Castle Vineyard completes the wine story with events related to a descendant of the world’s oldest grape vine from Maribor’s Lent district, which grows in the Castle Courtyard.

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Become a Sponsor of the Grapevines

The Castle grapevines have a special significance for Ljubljana, so we take very good care of them. You, too, can be part of our wine story by becoming a sponsor of the grapevines of the castle vineyard. You are invited to co-create the poetry of the noble drop with us.

APPLICATION FORM (PDF)

 

Castle Wine

ZWEIGELT – RDEČEGRAJC

About the Variety
The Zweigelt variety was acquired in the 1920s by Professor Fritz Zweigelt, and is a cross between St Laurent and Blaufränkisch . Its original name is Rotburger, which has been translated into the Slovenian name Rdečegrajc. The variety has a medium large to large, rather compact and cylindrical grape cluster. The grape berries are typically round and have an intense blue-black colour. It is a middle-early variety and in our conditions ripens in the second to third ten-day period of September.
Characteristics and Description of the Wine
Zweigelt is a light purple-red wine with soft tannins. Typically, the wine has a rather intense fruity sensation, a medium intense colour and is pleasantly acidic. Mature, full-bodied and long-lived wines can have both a fruity bouquet (morello cherry, raspberry, wild strawberries), as well as herbal notes (tomato leaves, green pepper).

Food Combinations
The wine goes well with grilled chicken, rabbit or pasta salad and risotto.

Aging Potential
Zweigelt has a medium maturing ability and can be 2–4 years old.

Alcohol Content: 11.5–13.5% ABV
Total Acidity: 5–6 g/L
Bottle Size: 0.75 l
Serving Temperature: 15–18°C, decanting up to 30 minutes before serving is recommended.

CHARDONNAY – BELPIN

About the Variety
The Chardonnay variety is a natural cross between the varieties White Pinot and Belina, which is an old Styrian variety. Chardonnay is originally from Burgundy, France, and is currently the most widespread wine variety in the world. The cluster is small to medium-sized, compact, conical in shape, and often has side clusters. The grape berries are round with a green-yellow colour that transforms to golden-yellow at full maturity. In our conditions, it ripens in the third ten-day period of September or the first ten-day period of October.
Characteristics and Description of the Wine
Depending on the degree of maturity, the wines can range from less mature and thin, with more acidic sensations, to more mature and bold. Fresh chardonnays from colder climates have fruity sensations of citrus and green apple, while those from warmer climates have more tropical fruits – pineapple and mango. When fermented or matured in oak barrels, the wine develops buttery and creamy sensations, as well as vanilla.

Food Combinations
The wine goes well with seafood, pâtés, chicken breasts, vegetable risotto, mushrooms or even pork loin with apples. For vegetarians, the wine lends itself well to rich, starchy vegetables such as corn, zucchini and Hokkaido and nutmeg pumpkin.

Aging Potential
Chardonnay has a good maturing ability and can be 2–4 years old.

Alcohol Content: 13–15% ABV
Total Acidity: 4–5 g/L
Bottle Size: 0.75 l
Serving Temperature: 7–12°C, decanting is not necessary.

The wine can be purchased at the Castle Souvenir Shop, tasted and purchased at the Strelec Wine Bar and Shop, or enjoyed with culinary delights at the restaurant Gostilna na Gradu.

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Castle Grapevine

In addition to the Castle Vineyard, we are also proud of our castle grapevine, which has been growing at the castle since 30 September 1990. You can find it on the right hand side directly beside the entrance to the Castle Courtyard, along the wall of the viewing terrace next to the Archers’ Tower.

The castle grapevine has been grown from a graft of a grapevine in Lent, Maribor, which is the oldest noble vine in the world and bears grapes of the Blue Franconian variety.

Wine from the grapes of the castle grapevine is produced with the participation of the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia and is used as a special city protocol gift. Among others, a bottle of this wine was presented to the English royal couple, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, on 22 October 2008.

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Strelec Castle Wine Bar and Shop

The castle wine story is best rounded off with a visit to the Castle Wine Bar and Shop. The Castle Wine Bar and Shop invites wine lovers from all over the world to its vaulted cellar and to its terrace with an attractive view of the city. In it you will sense the Slovenian character through the noble drop. The Wine Bar and Shop offers exclusively Slovenian wines, which are perfectly complemented by excellent Slovenian cuisine. We guarantee that you will be delighted by the wide selection of wines from the top winemakers of our small country below the Alps with a big reputation for wine. Crown your visit to the Ljubljana Castle with a stop at the Castle Wine Bar and Shop, and, in our genuinely welcoming atmosphere, experience for yourself that Slovenian wines are among the very best in the world.

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The Wine Convent of St Urban in Ljubljana

The Ljubljana Castle also serves as the ceremonial seat of the Wine Convent of St Urban, whose mission is to maintain, develop and cultivate respect for grapevines and wine. Particular attention is paid to the role and importance of wine in food culture and in culture in general. The members of the Convent, who are from different professional backgrounds, endeavour to discover noble connections between wines, dishes and gastronomy in various periods of historical development, as well as in the present.

SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL

SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL

Turn a perfectly ordinary day into an adventure and save the dragon from a tragic fate. I really recommend this experience – all of the visitors come away thrilled!

Meet Friderik, the castle rat!