Gornja Radgona/Koper/Nova Gorica, 28 August (STA) - Wine growers in the western part of the country - at the sunny coast and in the regions of Brda and Istra - have started harvesting the early grape varieties. Despite poor weather throughout the summer and fears that the constant rain would have a disastrous effect on the harvest, experts expect average crop.
Slovenian wine growers expect to pick around 28,000 tonnes of grapes, which is "fairly good" considering the poor weather throughout the summer, according to Dušan Brejc, the director of Slovenian Wine Company, an association of wine makers that includes most of the big names of Slovenian wine making.
Talking at a wine makers' event at the AGRA fair in Gornja Radgona earlier this week, Brejc pointed out that the rainy and cold summer increased the cost for wine growers, as more work had to be done in the vineyards.
Wine experts expect a very good year in terms of aroma of the early grape varieties, according to Brejc. However, it is still too early for quality assessments for the late grape varieties, which make up the bulk of Slovenia's vineyards.
Silvan Peršolja, the director of wine maker Vinska klet Goriška Brda, had told the STA before the vintage kicked off in the company's vineyards last week that while an average harvest was expected in terms of quantity, the level of sugars in the grapes will be lower than usual.
However, the lower sugars will be an advantage, as there is a global trend toward lower alcohol content in wine, said Peršolja.
Brejc, whose association represents wine makers who export 95% of Slovenian wine sold abroad, moreover said that the country's wine export increased to eight million litres last year from between four and five million litres in the previous years.