Kupljen “Spirit of Svetinje” White Wine Blend, Slovenia.




34% Chardonnay, 33% Renski Riesling, 33% Pinot Gris



  • Ahhh yes! There’s nothing better than getting home from a hard day’s graft ( after staring at a computer for most of the day) than to kick off my shoes, and reaching for a bottle of Kupljen “Spirit of Svetinje” from the Jeruzalemsko-Svetinjske hills of north-eastern Slovenia…
  • Ok, so that’s a lie. Firstly, I mainly work out of my house, so my shoes are pretty-much off all day. Secondly, this happens to be the first bottle of Slovenian wine which has ever entered the Chislett household; and indeed, the first which has ever graced my lips.
  • The first thing that caught my eye, was that this bottle’s an ‘03. For a white wine, that’s usually not a good sign. Usually the stuff you find in the bargain bin at the local liquor store.
    So I jump onto the Kupljen website, half-expecting to be told the current vintage is in-fact 2012 (or something similar). Nope! The current vintage is in-fact 2003….I sure-as-hell hope that the nice people at the Kupljen winery know what they’re doing here…
  • Luckily for me (and you), the nice people at the Kupljen winery have actually been making wine – in one form or another – since 1836….so they’ve had plenty of practice. Little-did-I-know, the wines from this particular region of Slovenia are famed for their aging potential.
  • The Kupljen winery is a family winegrowing estate, with winemaker Jože Kupljen (no, I can’t pronounce it either) launching the Vino Kupljen wine brand in 1976.
  • Renski Riesling: It’s kind-of like Riesling, but not….
  • Oh, you want more information than that!?!?! Well, Renski Riesling tends to be more aromatic than the more common “straight-Riesling” grape, showing lots of acidity, as well as peach, apricot and mineral notes.

Kupljen “Spirit of Svetinje” White Wine Blend, Slovenia.

Slovenia Wine MapPlace (click map for larger view)

Slovenia map courtesy of Blue Danube Wine Company

  • The 30 hectare Kupljen  winery estate includes 18 hectares of vineyards, located in north-eastern Slovenia, in the Jeruzalemsko-Svetinjske hills. Try saying that after 2 glasses of wine! 
  • The wines from this region are known to be traditionally fruit-forward and fresh, but also with considerable potential for aging. Some whites have the potential to be aged over 20 years!
  • Roman emperor Probus, loved the wine from this region so much he declared the province “Vinea nobilis districtis”, Noble Wine District.
  • The Roman’s were the first to plant grapes in the area….but that’s a common story throughout most of Europe. 
  • In 2010, Decanter Magazine awarded five medals to the wines from the Kupljen winery estate.

Kupljen “Spirit of Svetinje” White Wine Blend, Slovenia.


How…the bloody-hell….is this wine so light in color for an ‘03? I have seriously never seen anything like this before. I can’t tell a lie, my expectations were low on this wine right from the start.

How I tend to review wines is that first I photograph the bottle, then chill, taste and photograph the actual “in glass” shot. The problem with my method is that a great number of times the initial photos are wasted if I’m not a fan of the wine, and therefore I don’t do a review.

Luckily that’s not the case here.

Nowhere near as sweet as I was expecting; in-fact, hardly any residual sugar at all. Super-complex, yet delicate on the nose. Pear, wet stone, light apricot, solid lemon and lime at the core. Crisp and refreshing all the way with an extensive finish. Kind-of reminds me of an Austrian Gruner Veltliner. A little caramel/nutty quality on the finish, because of the age.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the most surprised I have EVER been when tasting a wine in quite some time! Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle.


Kupljen “Spirit of Svetinje” White Wine Blend, Slovenia.


Pair it with all your favorite Slovenian foods! You don’t have any favorite Slovenia foods? Wow, do I really have to do all the work for you!?!?
Ok, how’s about: grilled white fish, pork, liver, pate, citrus salads, veal; or perfect for simply sipping by the pool, as your stare out onto the hills of Jeruzalemsko-Svetinjske…



Sold as part of a three-pack ($59.95) from mypreferredwines.com Look-out for reviews on the other wines here shortly!

My friends at My Preferred Wines have actually been quite gracious and given me my very own 10% off coupon code for your purchase of this already discounted deal! Use coupon code: FLWine10 at the checkout for your discount.

Kupljen “Spirit of Svetinje” White Wine Blend, Slovenia.

1 Comment

  • May 16, 2013

    Katy Bendel

    Thank you Kris! So many just don’t know how wonderful the wines are from this part of the world when in fact pre WWI it was these countries who were the main exporters of wine. Thanks for helping get the word out! Katy

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