What is the symbol of Maribor? You might think this city has no special attraction that could be a symbol, but that’s a mistake. Few people know about it just because it is underground, so you practically walk over it during sightseeing. On Svobode Trg, the Freedom Square, a huge barrel and a sign indicating that you are passing through the old wooden gate to one of Central Europe's largest classic wineries.
- In its 20,000 m2 area, its passages meander for 2 kilometres.
- The cellar is 18 m below the ground.
- And there are 6 million litres of wine on the shelves!
It is the heaven of wine experts, for whom it is the main attraction of Maribor. But since Slovenia has a long tradition in wine production and not seeing such a huge cellar step by step, it will be a real treat, even for those unfamiliar with winemaking.
The walls of the cellar corridors are covered with 200-year-old mould, which provides the best microclimate for the maturing wines. The cellar's history began in 1836 and was extended during the construction of the Vienna-Trieste railway line.
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- The corridors take you from one of the largest barrels made in 1862 to the wine collection, the oldest piece of which dates from 1946.
- Previously, there were several collections in the cellar, but during World War II, the owner preferred to wall them up so that the Nazis would not lay their hands on them.
- These bottles were later found, but it was impossible to find out when they were made and what kind of wines they were, as the labels were worn out. More bottles are likely to be hidden in the walls, but further excavation is not possible due to the integrity of the tunnel.
- After World War II, it became part of the local cooperative, and since 1960 the Vinag winery has owned the underground system. They are named after 20 different wines, mostly white.
Vinag’s own branded wine is Mariborcan, of which this cellar is also the “birthplace”. In its full flavour, this wine brings to life the passion that the development of winemaking traditions has brought to life. Among the wines of Vinag, it is also worth mentioning the Penina Royal and Lisickino vino (Fox wine) varieties. The latter was made in honour of the Golden Fox World Cup competition held at the Maribor-Pohorje ski area.
Vinag is a historic yet innovative winery with a strong emphasis on quality. Their wines are made exclusively from grapes they own and are under strict control, and they offer customers delicious nectar in all price categories.
They have already won numerous awards and recognitions but have not been able to gain international fame so far. But this is not the primary goal either, but to achieve the highest possible standard.
The winery has a list of world-famous people who have already bought from them. Their regular customers include Brad Pitt, Monica Belucci and Donald Trump. You also find the name of Tito, who had his own barrel in the winery, filled for him every year.
Visitors can visit the tasting rooms above the underground winery and choose from the endless offer. The archive wine collection of 250,000 bottles is the most valuable part of the winery, with many patinated rarities.
The hours fly between the old wooden barrels and during the wine tasting, complemented by cheese, ham, prosciutto and olives. In the underground world of Maribor, it is worth exploring!
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