The Association of the Slovene Order of the Knights of Wine
In January 2004, twenty-nine worshipers of wine and motherland from all over Slovenia established The Association of the Slovene Order of the Knights of Wine. The founders are renowned winegrowers and winemakers, professional wine experts, artists, scientists, and businessmen; in short, people who are committed to the reputation of Slovenia and Slovenian wines, wine culture and tradition at home and abroad.
In 2007, the first independent Slovenian knight order became a full member of the International Federation of wine orders and fraternities F.I.C.B. based in Paris. The operation of the order, the essence of the knightly order, a non-profit operation and charitable organisation, is focused on the promotion and preservation of traditional Slovenian values, awareness of Slovenian wines at home and abroad, culture of wine consumption, and preservation of Slovenian vine growing and winemaking tradition. The Slovene Order of the Knights of Wine achieves progress towards their overall goals by investing heavily in the publishing activities of academic and popular literature.
The European Order of Wine Knights
The European Order of Wine Knights comes from the tradition of the Knights of St. George, which was founded in 1468 by Emperor Frederick III, a year later Pope Pavel II confirmed the order with a papal bull. The seat of the order is in the Austrian town of Eisenstadt, where in 1984, this tradition was renewed with the creation of Burgenland Pannonic Order of Wine Knights, later renamed as the European Order of Wine Knights.
The Slovenian Consulate was established on September 26th, 1991, and under it operates six wine knights' round tables: Pomurje, Maribor, Celje, Posavje, Ljubljana and Primorska. The first two proconsuls were Fedor Pirkmajer and Dr. Jože Colnarič, today the latter is the Honorary Consul of Slovenia. Management of the Slovenian Consulate’s board is currently entrusted to Karl Recer and proconsul Tomislav Kovačič. The Slovenian Consul is included in the International Federation of wine orders and fraternities F.I.C.B. based in Paris.
The Knights of the European Order of Wine Knights nurture and preserve the diversity of European wine culture while with voluntary, public-interest, non-profit work, and numerous charitable activities they also aim to achieve general progress in cultural and scientific fields. Ceremonies of the order are associated with the blessing of wine and respect for Christian values, special attention is devoted to the cultivation of high spiritual values of excellence and noble knightly friendship.
The Honourable Wine Covenant of Saint Urban
The first Honourable Wine Covenant of Saint Urban was founded in 1989 in Maribor, where the round table of men associated with the recognition of the importance of vine cultivation reached a decision that they will strive to contribute to improving the quality and reputation of the Slovenian wine harvest. This recognition has been followed faithfully for over fifteen years, their rules, which determine how socialising with wine allows them to become a "clean conscience of Slovenian wine,” pursues and promotes quality produced wine from all three Slovenian winegrowing regions.
The wine covenant is named after St. Urban, the patron saint of grapevines, whose name day is celebrated on May 25th and in a good year marks the beginning of the flowering of vines. St. Urban has been the protector of winegrowers for more than seven centuries. The idea of the wine covenant has linked the entire Slovenian territory. Already in 1993, a covenant was founded in Ljubljana, and six years later in Portorož. All three covenants are associated with the tradition of love, culture, and a respectful attitude towards wine as a special gift from the Slovenian land. Their members are connected by the pleasant sociability that turns each and every one of conventuals into a curious and critical seeker of precious shades of wine and the comprehensive web of wine culture which closely links many areas of life. That is why socialising in the covenant is also an important part of their deep and respectful experience of the "fruit of the earth and work of human hands."
An organisational body consisting of a praetor, chancellor, treasurer, servant, and chronicler leads each wine covenant. The Praetor of the Maribor wine covenant is the Old Vine vine dresser Stane Kocutar, in Ljubljana Edi Berk and in Portorož Vojko Čok.