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Zametovka grapes

by | May 16, 2017

Zametovka is a red wine grape variety of Slovenia. It is among the oldest cultivated Slovenian grape varieties.


Previously it was famous in the vineyards of Styria and even today, popular in the Dolenjska which is situated in the southeast region of Slovenia.

The grape produces a deep red wine color. A single Zametovka vine cultivated in Maribor- a Slovenian town is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest existing vine which still produces fruit in the world at nearly 400 years of age.

Wine grape varieties

Regions Where Xynomavro Grape is Grown

The Zametovka or the Slovenian wine is often known as Pergorlarebe or trellis. It is a predominant grape variety in the Dolenjska region.

Occasionally, it is also found other regions of Slovenia, particularly in Stajerska, Prekmurje and Spodnja.

Earlier it was also common in the Southern Styria, but these days it plays no role. This grape variety is prevalent in the most popular regions of Slovenia, in the Posavje wine region and in the Texas region.

The oldest vine of Zametovka is cultivated in Maribor Lent. It is cultivated in the Northwestern region of Croatia, and in lesser scales in Austria and Germany. It is also found in Kosovo recently.

Origin and History of Zametovka

The Maribor vine is part of the outlook of Old Vine House situated in the Lent neighborhood near the Drava River. In 1972, the vine was experimented by a laboratory in Paris with a confirmed age of nearly 400 years.

The Maribor vine endured the Ottoman – Habsburg wars which influenced the total area, Napoleon’s attack and reign of the Illyrian Provinces, World War I & II and the phylloxera epidemic which resulted in the devastation of the Vitis vinifera around the continent.

The Maribor vineyards produce sufficient fruit in each vintage to make almost 25 liters of wine. This gets bottled in 250 ml small bottles and given to the dignitaries by the Maribor’s city council as ceremonial gifts.

The vine cuttings are also gifted to King Abdullah II of Jordan and former President of Slovenia- Milan Kucan. The vine harvesting and crushing of the grapes occurs at the September end in Marbor.


Over the time Zametovka is popular by several synonyms such as Kapcina Kavtchina, Kavcina Crna, Koelner blau, Zametasta Crnina, Zametnina Crnina, Kavcina Crna and Zametna Crnina.

Characteristics of Grape

The grape clusters are medium compact, large with an average weight of 250-400 g. The grape stalk is long and has a strong color- reddish green.

The berries are round, blue, large and white-dusted covered with many molds. Because of the higher compression in the grape clusters, they may also be a bit elongated.

The juice produced by the grape is colorless, sweet and has a lovely sour taste. Zametovka grapes have a tendency to ripen to high concentration of sugar and produces rich wines with residual sugars and clear sweetness.

The grape sprouts early & ripens late, thus it is vulnerable to late frosts. The grape shows relative resistance to fungal diseases, but is easily infected by virus.

Some typical viral diseases infecting this grape variety are folding leaves and early reddening. The variety has a dark skin with medium thick flesh.

Characteristics of Grape Wine

The Zametovka is a moderate vigor and late variety grape, which ripens in the mid-October. It needs a good vineyard location.

It is comparatively resistant to winter frost, but less resistant against the spring frost. The time taken from the beginning of budding to complete maturity of the grapes is nearly 170 days.

The wine produced from the Maribor vine has been described as the “virtually undrinkable” by the Daily Telegraph.

This wine is not publicly allowed for sale. The wine is exclusive because of its rarity and not quality. Zametovka grapes produce a light colored red wine, which is appropriate for blending with other wine styles and can produce highly regarded wine varieties.

Zametovka changes the character of these wine styles due to its color and acid and a pleasant aroma of raspberry. Nevertheless, this specific color is exhibited only in the favorable climatic condition such as autumn.

Food Pairings with Wine

Zametovka wines can be paired with spicy dishes and cheese.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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