Dveri Pax Estate
Address: Polički vrh 1, 2221 Jarenina, SloveniaLocated 16 km. north of Maribor/ 13 km. SE of SvečinaGPS: N 46°38´45.3˝, E 15°41´39.32˝Phone: +386 2 644 00 82, M: +386 31 789 100Website: https://www.dveri-pax.com/en/Contact: Danilo FLAKUS 041/894-927, firstname.lastname@example.org or Samo Simonic, +386 31 391 221, Mail: email@example.comOwner/s: Benediktinerstift Admont, Admont, AustriaWinemaker: Danilo FlakusProduction per year: 350,000 litres Hectares/ Grapes grown: 73 hectaresOther: Restaurant and tasting room
Dveri Pax (meaning gates to peace) is a modern marriage of ancient traditions and contemporary winemaking. Originally founded by the Benedictine order in 1139, monks continually worked the vineyards until 1939. Although interrupted during the war and the following Yugoslavian period, production was eventually re-established with the founding of the new winery in 1996. Currently relocated in Admont, Austria, the Benedictine’s retain ownership, but no longer play any active role in growing, winemaking or management. Interestingly, Dveri Pax continue to supply an allotment of wine for each of the 32 monks currently in the order, based on medieval measurements ordained by church law.
Today the 15th century monastery -- rebuilt after the Ottomans destroyed the first -- has been carefully restored as an impressive tasting center and acclaimed restaurant focused on new interpretations of traditional local dishes.
Rarely do wineries have nearly a thousand years to draw experience from. The monastery’s library contains over 70,000 books, iconography and paintings, many of which are important sources on winemaking over the centuries. For example, harvest dating records reach deeply into the past. Currently there is great concern over harvest dates advancing a full month ahead of the mid-September norm a couple of decades ago, and yet, archival research uncovered a two decade period in the 17th century when vintages were this early as well. Similarly, there are pre phylloxera records of extinct or nearly extinct native grapes and indications of when and where French grapes like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc entered the region in the 1820-1840 period.
Another important legacy is the wide dispersal of hundreds of vineyards (inherited over the centuries) which stretch as far as 75 km from the winery. The largest 14 hectare block is close to the winery and others as near as Maribor, but some are as far as the eastern border or further south in Jeruzalem. While this grape source brings the advantage of a wide range of blending material, the disadvantage is the entire circuit encompasses 200 km, taking the winemaker many hours to check ripeness at harvest in all the vineyards.
Current production is around 350,000 litres, mostly white wine. Nine grape varieties are grown with the most important grapes for local consumption primarily Furmint, Laski Riesling and Blaufrankisch.
Winemaker Danilo Flakus describes the surrounding climate as a meeting point between warm mediterranean and cool continental influences. Good for broad diurnal temperature shifts and ideal acid to ripeness balance. The main difficulty is morning fog in valley floors, which is countered by leaf removal and planting defensively on hills. His take on recent local vintages is that all from 2015 have been hot and dry, with 2011 and 2012 still dry but more temperate, while 2014 and 2010 proved to be difficult wet, cool years.
Dveri Pax is an old place that feels like it is still guided by long term ideals. Well worth a visit just to soak up the positive atmosphere that underpins the place.
Wine-maker Danilo Flakus (left)
Sophisticated tasting platter