Slavcek - Slovenia
Slavcek is a family winery with a history of over two centuries in the Vipava Valley. It’s currently helmed by Franc Vodopivec. The historic winery runs as a traditional agrotourismo and inn. The Slavcek winery and inn only serve what has been grown on the land, everything prepared with century old traditions, including the wine. The oldest records of the farm, from 1769, indicate that it was called “Slavčevih” (Nightingale).
In Vipava, the reputation of Slavcek is centuries deep for high quality wine, but only under Franc’s stewardship has the winery become world renown for traditional Slovenian wine.
“Today’s task is to raise the quality of grow, to better express terroir, tradition and the essence of our family cultural values through the winemaking techniques of our forefathers.”
Slavcek’s 10 hectares of vines lie on the edge of the Vipava Valley between the picturesque edge of Trnovski Gozd and the slopes of the Karst region of Kras. This gives the estate a rare combination of influences from both the Alps and the Mediterranean. The vineyards rest on hilltops of marl, but with some stripes of karst “terra rosa” mixed in.
“The vineyards are terraced on the banks. They are planted with cherry, peach and olive trees surrounded by herbal plants that prevent erosion and creates biodiversity in the vineyard.”
In addition to the fruit trees (from which they bottle some delicious juices and nectars), the vineyards are also surrounded by forests full of birds, and the nightingale’s which grace the label’s of their wines. The hilltops are just close enough to the sea to benefit from the cool Mediterranean breezes, which pamper the vines.
The vineyards are planted with environmentally friendly methods and with consideration and respect of the biodynamic force. All grapes are hand-picked and carefully selected. No pesticides or herbicides of any sort are used. Even the barrels are local, made from acacia and oak that grow in the nearby forests. The lands are dutifully maintained. Just as much as much as the wines are the family legacy, so are the lands that surrounds them.
Slavcek’s wines are produced according to ancient Slovenian traditions with exteneded maceration for many bottlings which develops a richer taste and deeper color. Natural stabilization occurs at ambient temperatures, with racking only just before bottling. The techniques balance the deeper maceration with a silky texture that still fully showcases the varietal character of the grape. The only addition to the wine is a minimal amount of sulphur at bottling, no other preservatives are used. The wines can be described as “natural,” and Slavcek is regularly showcased at Natural Wine festivals and fairs because of their minimalist vinification practices.