The charming capital city of Ljubljana is the perfect place to taste unique wines from all over Slovenia. This post will guide you to some of my favorite wine drinking experiences.
Pro tip: And if you’re staying in the car-free center of Ljubljana, you can safely walk back to your hotel or vacation rental without driving.
Slovenian friends who are wine enthusiasts brought me to Vinoteka Storija. It’s located just two short blocks away from Prešeren Square on hiptster Trubarjeva Street. The original shop was fictional — part of a popular Slovenian TV series about a winemaking family called Ena Žlahtna Štorija (A Golden Story).
Storija sommelier David Šinigoj was brought in to advise the producers and actors on the accurate portrayal of typical wineries in Goriška Brda. If you’re only in Ljubljana for a few days don’t have enough time to go wine tasting in this delightful region on the Italian border, sampling the artisan wines at Storija is the next best thing.
By law, wine stores cannot offer food or charge for tastings, so visitors should expect to buy at least one bottle at Storija. At prices ranging from 10 to 200 Euros, there’s something for every budget and wine preference. And the sommelier’s expertise is free.
Slovenia’s Orange Wine
Storija is a great place to discover Slovenia’s orange wine.
No, it’s NOT made from oranges!
Orange wine is produced with white grapes using the technique for making red wine, allowing for enough contact with the skin to create the orange color. Each winemaker seems to put a different spin on it.
For me, David selected a complex orange wine made from the klarnica grape. The 500-year old variety is named for a young widow who first grew it on a vine to conceal her home from prying neighbors. The winemaker Mansus creates the flavor by aging the wine in three different types of wood barrels.
Other varieties are aged in terra-cotta amphorae, an ancient technique that is also used by the makers of orange wine in the country of Georgia. We also tried excellent red, white and sparkling wines during our tasting at Storija.
Pro tip: David showed me how to open a wine bottle like a professional sommelier. You know that “pop” that you usually hear when pulling out a cork? It’s the mark of a true amateur. Here’s a video of how it should be done:
My visit to Storija was the beginning of an epic friend-guided tour of Ljiubljana’s wine bars and tasting rooms, which ended 12 hours of later, including a much-needed pause in wine-tasting to have dinner.
With authentic food of the Prekmurje region near the Hungarian border, these dishes were very filling and large enough to share. The Gujzina restaurant on the Mestni Trg also had some vegetarian-friendly options. The perfect way to fortify yourself for… more wine tasting!
Touring the Wine Bars
Ljubljana’s wine bar trend started with the tasting room of the famous brand Movia, located next to the City Hall on the Mestni Trg in the Old Town. The sparking wine we ordered came with a show: the proper uncorking of the bottle underwater to remove the sediment.
Good to know: Movia is also next door to Pritljiče, a chill bar with an alternative vibe. It takes pride in welcoming the LGBTQ community.
Wine Bar Šuklje
By now, English-speaking reader, you might be stressing over the proper pronunciation of these new tastes with new names. Wine Bar Šuklje is pronounced “Shook-lee-eh.”
Don’t worry: we’ve saved one of the best for last. I visited this warm and welcoming wine bar on a wintry Friday in January. Even though it’s on a part of Ljubljana’s river walk that can be touristy in the summer, you’re likely to find it packed with local wine enthusiasts for a special tasting event.
During my visit, a French winemaker was holding a tasting of Trudon champagne — an artisan sparkling wine from the region most famous for names like Dom Perignon. Frankly, the sparkling wines I’ve tried in Slovenia compare favorably with anything I’ve tasted from France! We followed up with a few favorite reds from Slovenia, paired with small plates of cheese, quiche and pršut. A fun evening for two — only 25 Euros.
It’s the kind of place where the waiter will get to know you and take a personal interest in making sure you have a great time. Šuklje was the location where we met the real estate agent in our family’s episode of House Hunters International.
Many thanks to the team for guiding me on this epic wine-tasting crawl of Slovenian wine — without ever leaving Ljubljana.
Toasting in Slovenia: Raise your glass and say “na zdravje,” meaning, “to your health.” (Pronounced Nah zuh-drav-jeh.)
Blindfolded Wine Tasting in Ljubljana and Bled: And there’s even a secret wine cellar beneath a popular bar where you can visit seven Slovenia wine regions in one evening. Here’s my post about the blindfolded wine tasting experience. There’s a similar wine tasting room in Bled.
Wine tasting in Ljubljana will make you want to plan a longer trip to the Slovenia’s Vipava Valley and Goriška Brda. Just remember that “drink driving” is a serious crime in Slovenia, so please designate a driver.
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