The Old Vine Wine
One of the rarest and most special potions in the world is the wine squeezed from the Old Vine’s grapes.
After the ceremonial harvest and removing of peduncles, the must is taken to Meranovo where it matures and turns into wine under the care of well-known oenologists. The wine is a tenuous bright red colour as the skin of “žametovka” clusters do not contain a lot of colorants. The wine is aged in barrels made from stainless steel, which emphasize its interesting and specific varietal characteristics. When the wine is ready, it is bottled into special 2.5 dcl bottles made by the famous artist Oskar Kogoj. The spiral that runs down the bottle’s long neck represents the infinite longevity of the Old Vine.
Thus, the formed and filled bottle represents the highest level of protocol gift, the authenticity of which is ensured by the city of Maribor’s seal and the mayor’s signature, who is also the master of the Old Vine.
Among the many distinguished recipients that have received a bottle are Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Japanese Emperor Akihito, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor of Vienna Michael Häupl, the supreme leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un, chess grandmaster Garry Kimovich Kasparov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, her Excellency Ambassador of Brazil Katia Gilabert Godinho, Matevž Lenarčič, who flew around the globe in an ultralight plane, film star Brad Pitt, French footballer Michel François Platini and many others.
Queen Elizabeth II received wine from one of the Old Vine’s offspring in 2008 during her visit to the Slovenian capital. We were told by the Municipality of Maribor that "the bottle of wine the couple received as a gift was wine extracted from a vine given to the city of Ljubljana in 1990 as a gift and is growing at Ljubljana Castle. So, they were given a gift of wine from one of the descendants of the oldest vine."
"The Old Vine’s wine has a very pleasant full body. The environment of the Old Vine’s growing- location near the water, on the south facade of the house, contributes to the high sugar levels and quality of the wine," said the former city vinedresser and caretaker of the Old Vine, Mag. Anton Zafošnik, who with his persistence and strong will, saved the Old Vine from the accelerated wasting that was occurring to it by the end of the 1960’s.