In front of a house in the old Lent Quarter in Maribor, Slovenia, there is the Old Vine vineyard with the oldest existing vine in the world. This vine of 400 years old, included in the Guinness Book of Records, symbolizes Slovenia's wine making tradition. Maribor area is located on the way of several wine routes, and the type of grapes characteristic to the place is known as Žametovka or Modra Kavčina – the oldest domesticated grape varieties in Slovenia.
This old vinery still produces 35-55 kilograms of grapes every year, which is about 25 liters of red wine. Obviously, this is not a lot of wine, but the symbolic value of it is very important. The wine produced out of these grapes comes in the custom designed 20ml bottles by a famous Slovenian designer Oskar Kogoj, and is used as gifts by the state authorities to the honored guests of the city, as a sort of “keys for Maribor”.
Experts on vine genetics from Paris confirmed that the vine was planted at least 400 years ago, and the collection of paintings at the Styrian State Museum in Graz, Austria, includes paintings of that particular house with that same vine on it.
The wine produced out of this old plant ages in the Maribor's underworld – the Vinag Company Wine Cellar – one of the oldest wine cellars in Europe. The wine cellar boasts an area of 20,000 square meters and long underground tunnels, leading to the world of best vintage wines in the world. Every year, different wine-related events take place on the banks of the river Drava, where you can taste a variety of the wines from the cellar and learn the history of wine making in Slovenia.