Cviček, the Charming Wine of Dolenjska




Cviček is one of the most unique and charming wines in Slovenia.  The secret is in blending various reds (modra frankinja, žametna črnina – 70 per cent) with white varieties (kraljevina, laški rizling, rumeni plavec, zeleni silvanec – 30 per cent) which gives an attractive, light red color with a slight ruby cast, and fresh fruity aromas, with an emphasis on raspberry, cherry and red currant.

Cviček, called “The Baby Maker, ”  is a dry wine, with low alcohol volume. It’s  an everyday wine, and can appear in a sparkling variety.  Also easy and fun to drink, it goes well with meat and cheese.

Janez Vajkard Valvasor, the great Slovenian historian, mentioned “Marwein,” a jolly wine of the Dolenjska region, in his work ‘The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola’.  He stated that this wine is grown in Bučko, Trška gora and Vinji vrh.

On our Taste of Slovenia tour this year we have several occasions to Cviček- at a picnic at a vineyard cottage in the same Turska gora hills as Valvasor mentioned, and at a Slow Food venue, the Ostarija, in the spa town, Dolenjska Toplica.

Cvicek grapes

Cvicek grapes

Since 2001, this jolly wine is made only in the Dolenjska wine region. It’s protected with the mark of a recognized traditional denomination (PTP).  A consortium of 11 top winemakers produces between one and a half and two million liters a year.

Because of its many antioxidants, phenols and flavanoids, as well as low sugar content, Cviček has been recommended as a health drink.

Cvicek Country

Cvicek Country

There is even a Cviček Queen crowned every year.   Dr. Janez Bogataj, the Slovenian Super Star of  Slovenian Traditional Foods and Wines, recommends tasting Cviček in the region of  Gadova pec whose symbol is an asp (gad).

The Gad of Gadova Pec

The Gad of Gadova Pec

Throughout the hills and winding roads of this area there are little cottages, where on the Fall weekends, the grapes are harvested and Cviček is bubbling with good cheer. Cviček… we salute you!  Nazdravje! To Your Health !

Announcement where cvicek is being poured.

Announcement where cvicek is being poured.

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About Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD, LDN, CNS

Licensed and board-certfied nutritionist, writer and researcher. BS in Home Economics, Foods and Nutrition Education;, MS in Health Administration; PhD in Public Health Education; completed the dietetic program at Penn State, University and the CNS Certified Nutrition Specialist program. Fulbrighter to Slovenia in Public Health. Speaker at Weston A. Price Foundation Conference and International Raw Milk Symposiums. Member of the American College of Nutrition. Creator and tour leader for "Taste of Slovenia, a Real Food Tour."
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