Goriška Brda Wine District in the Primorje Region:
The Slovene word "brda" means hills and that is the simplest description of the Brda area: a very picturesque region of low rounded hills in the western part of Slovenia bordering Italy. If it weren't for the high mountains in the far distance you would mistake this area for the rolling hills of Tuscany.
The soils of the area are a loose crumbly shale and sandstone with limestone sub-soil, adjacent to a rising mountain belt that is common in the Alpine region of Europe. The hills are very prone to erosion, so most of the vineyards must be terraced. The climate is Mediterranean although the area has no direct contact with the coast. There is the plateau of river Soča between the Brda region and the Adriatic Sea, which is only 20 km away. Higher hills in the north protect the region against north winds and the cold.
Wine production in this area has existed in this region since the time of the Celts and Illyrians tribes, long before the Romans would introduce winemaking to the lands of France, Spain and Germany. Today's winemakers mix current technology with ancient techniques passed on over thousands of years. The red wines are robust, higher in tannins and age well. Popular red varietals are Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. White wines of the region are rich complex dry wines with an aromatic nose. The white varietals are Rebula (Ribolla Giallo, and not a wine for aging), Sivi Pinot (Pinot Gris), Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The higher acidity in the white wines from this region also increases their aging potential.
Like all of the Balkan countries they have been occupied and struggled with the changing politics over generations. Through all these changes the winemaking from these countries is starting to emerge and make an enlightening impact of the global wine market.
Take a quick peek at our 2013 wine tour at Erzetič Winery. They are located near the Italian border of the Friuli-venezia giulia region, Collio Italy. They product amazing wines mixing ancient techniques with modern winemaking technology.