Burja: Slovenian Wines With Character

Slovenian Wine Vineyards

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We’ve spent significant time traveling and tasting through the Ex-Yugoslavian countries. But for some reason, we have put very little focus on Slovenia. After releasing our book Cracking Croatian Wine, we decided to make a week-long tasting trip through Goriška Brda, Kras, and Vipava Valley. Our tasting trip through western Slovenia yielded many gems and exceeded our already high expectations. The quality of winemaking is outstanding and several producers are on par with some of the world’s best.

Burja is located in the beautiful Vipavska Dolina (Vipava Valley). It’s a corridor that connects Western and Central Europe. Because of its proximity to the Adriatic, Vipava experiences a sub-Mediterranean Climate. It’s a prime region for wine grape growing and several producers are taking advantage of this, including Burja.

Burja Winery

Burja Winery is located at the southern end of the Vipava Valley. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to visit them but had heard about their wines before. They are a minimal intervention producer that works with indigenous varieties. We got a chance to taste a few Burja wines at the restaurant Hiša Franko. The wines left such a good impression that we hunted a few more bottles down on our own. Hopefully, we will get a chance to visit Burja in the near future.

Burja white wines are an excellent gateway into the world of orange wines. These wines are lightly macerated and don’t have the big tannins that can scare away many casual drinkers. We didn’t get a chance to taste the reserve wines from Burja but judging from the entry-level and mid-range wines below, they are probably outstanding.

Exotic Wine Travel’s Picks

(You can find out more about our scoring system on the START HERE page.)

  • Burja Stranice 2015

The Burja Stanice is a single-vineyard blend of Malvazija Istarska and Laški Rizling. It was macerated for 12 days. The flavors are dandelion, yellow flower, green apple, and yeast. The wine is fermented in concrete vessels and has high acidity with a bitter flower finish. It tastes more like a conventional white than a macerated wine.   4.0/5

Burja Stranice Malvazija Istarska Laški Rizling

  • Burja Petit Burja Zelen 2014

We purchased this bottle from a shop in Belgrade, Serbia. The Burja Petit Zelan has flavors of petrol, flint, baked apple, and peach. It smells almost like aged Riesling. This Zelen was macerated for two days. For a fresh white wine, this has a medium body. The acidity isn’t high but the wine has a nice tartness and subtle tension. A thinking white wine and a delicious one at that. An entry-level white wine of outstanding quality. 4.0/5

Burja Petit Burja Zelen

  • Burja Noir 2015

This is the only non-indigenous variety that Burja has in their vineyards. Burja’s website says that the Pinot Noir is aged for two years in a combination of large oak casks and barriques. We drank this Burja Pinot Noir in August of 2017 meaning the wine must have been recently bottled.  There are flavors of forest floor, light red berry, raspberry, mushroom, and smoke. Bright flavors and light bodied, it is true Pinot Noir although it doesn’t have the subtle power of a great Burgundy.   4.1/5

Burja Noir 2015


  • Burja Reddo 2015

A crazy-cool blend of Refosco, Schiopettino, and Blaufränkisch aged in oak for 18 months. It’s both angular and elegant on the palate. There are notes of black fruit, peppercorn, meat, and earth. It’s a wine with several layers of flavor and will taste better with a few years in the bottle. It’s delicious to drink now but will reward those who are patient.    4.0/5


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The opinions expressed in this article are unsolicited and have not been paid for in any way. We do not sell editorial content as that would destroy the legitimacy of our reviews and the trust between Exotic Wine Travel and its readers.

Dr Matthew Horkey
Dr Matthew Horkey
Author | Speaker | Wine Enthusiast

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