The Maribor Wine Queen
The story of the Maribor Wine Queen is interwoven with vine stories by vine tendrils. She spreads the word of our unique treasure and exceptional wines as well as raising awareness about the culture of wine drinking. Can she offer you the queen's wine?
An honorary position
The Maribor Wine Queen is an ambassador for the oldest vine in the world, winemakers from Maribor’s winegrowing sub-districts, and the rich traditions and culture of Styrian viticulture. The girl whose life story is intertwined by vine tendrils to vine stories - either those from her family vineyard or those which have been written on study benches. Her main mission is to promote the unique treasure that is growing at the old centre of Maribor, the exceptional local wine makers, and in each moment the promotion of responsible, prudent consumption of wine. The function of the Maribor Wine Queen is an honorary position. Selection takes place every two years. The coronation of the Queen is one of the highlights of the ceremonial grape harvest of the Old Vine. Each Maribor wine queen selects and presents its queen's wine.
A successful wine growing story
Kaja Šerbinek comes from the well-known winegrowing village of Svečina, which lies right next to the Austrian border, where her whole family is engaged in viticulture and fruit growing. Their name - Kušter Winery - is well known all over Slovenia as well as in Austria and Germany, and their family regularly attends wine fairs and competitions at home and abroad. At competitions, they regularly receive awards for their wines. In 2016, at the world's largest wine competition, AWC Vienna, they received a gold award for their 2015 Riesling, and silver awards for their 2015 Muscat Ottonel, 2015 Traminer and 2015 Sauvignon; the latter was awarded gold at the oldest wine competition in the world, Vino Ljubljana, and at the same time Kaja, as her personal favourite, chose it to be her Queen's wine.
The home team vineyards
The kind of work that is carried out in vineyards Kaja began to explore very early; when she was 10 years old she already spent a lot of time among vines and watched her parents work and soon she herself started to undertake basic tasks. She was always in the company of her brother and sister as they carried out mischief and made sure they were never bored. Today, she is a master of all vineyard related tasks (except for pruning vines), she is also good at cellar handling. The division of labour throughout the year is usually the following: Kaja and her mother do most of the work in the vineyard, while the work in the cellar is left to her father and brother. Her brother, while studying Viticulture, Enology and Fruit-growing at the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Maribor, transfers a huge part of his newly acquired knowledge to his father and, consequently, also to the cellar, where together, from year to year, they make sure that the wines are aromatic and of the highest quality.
The "Royal" Mission
By entering the contest to be the next Maribor Wine Queen, Kaja arranged a big surprise for her family, friends, and village. She realizes that with the title comes a great responsibility and thus her two-year mandate will be filled with several commitments, events, and presentations in Slovenia and abroad. She is looking forward to learning about diverse wine regions, make new acquaintances, and weave bonds of friendship. At gatherings, she will be happy to have a glass of excellent wine, but at the same time she will hold on to her message (derived from her father’s teachings) to all lovers of good wine: "Wine is a refreshment, stimulant, revitalizer, and saviour. And because of this, that it is the one and only thing that contains all of these things, it is our faithful companion for life. So, enjoy it with sense and cheers!”