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Wine connaiseurs would miss out by leaving out Štajerska from the wine tasting map.

By Maja Cestnik

Štajerska, in Slovenia’s northeast, is becoming a widely recognised white wine region. For a very long time, the area was mainly known for producing quality affordable white table wines that the locals mostly mixed with mineral water to make a “spritzer” drink.

However, in the last 10 years, the white wines from Štajerska have been making its way to the fine dining restaurants around the world and the region is now listed in the world’s top 4% of the wine production areas.

One of the engines behind Štajerska’s rapid wine development is Puklavec family which owns vineyards in Ormož and Jeruzalem counties that Martin Puklavec bought in 2009.

Rapid expansion

After buying the vast vineyards of previously state-owned Ormož and Jeruzalem cellars and uniting them under Puklavec Family Wines, the company invested more than EUR 11m in technological improvements, increasing wine production to 10 million bottles per year. This made the company the biggest wine producer in Slovenia while the Ormož cellar is said to be one of the most technologically advanced wine cellars in the world.

“The region has a so-called ‘cool climate’ that is perfect for production of white wines. Temperatures drop down to 15C during summer nights and don’t rise much above 32C too often during the day. It is important that night temperatures stay cool during summer since this gives wine a specifically elegant, soft and aromatic taste. With such perfect conditions, why on Earth wouldn’t we be the best in the world?”

“The area of Podravje in Štajerska is ideal for white grape plantation,” explains Mitja Herga, company’s oenologist and director.
Muscat, Pinot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Riesling and the autochthonous Šipon are typical wine grapes of the region.

It's all in the detail

Puklavec family’s most widely sold brand remains the well-established Jeruzalem Ormož, while the prestigious Seven Numbers and Estate Selection satisfies the refined tastes of demanding costumers and wine connoisseurs.

Grapes for all Puklavec brands are picked by hand, while for finer brands grapes are also carefully cultivated at the best vineyard locations with special dedication to all necessary details. This means taking into consideration the specifics of the terrain, microclimate and soil composition, says Herga. “90% of wine is made in the vineyard and not in the cellar.

A proof that Puklavec family is making all the right decisions are numerous domestic and international awards.  Last year, it won Winery of the Year award and since 2015 it keeps getting awarded by Decanter.

The company exports 70% of its produce to 25 countries around the world, but mostly to Central and Eastern Europe. Puklavec brands can also be tasted in China, USA and Canada.

Adriatic Journal

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