Repnice wine cellars
Repnice Wine Cellars are definitely Slovenia’s most awe-inspiring wine attractions which can be found in Bizeljsko region, south eastern part of Slovenia.
Under radar Bizeljsko region, area of hills, vineyards and one of the kindest climates in the country, was once lying on the coast of the ancient Pannonian Sea. When the waters withdrew 2 million years ago, large deposits of sandstone remained. Flint sand, a left-over reminder of the Panonic see, formed thick layers of ﬂint stone which is a crucial material that made the construction of the tunnels possible.
Unique cellars hewn from sand
200 years ago local farmers started hand digging into the crystalline sandstone with basic tools (hack, shovel, wheelbarrow, scraper) and construct the tunnels underground. Excavated material was used for building houses. Underground caves were used for storing farm products (fruits, veggies, meat, liquers, etc.), including turnips over the long winters. Turnip or repa in Slovene language was the main forage for livestock over the winter. Products that were stored in repnice kept the freshness untill the new harvesting. Back then refrigirators were not invented yet. These underground cellars are known as repnice (turnip caves). Repnice caves, the monuments of past, are nowadays used as wine cellars with amazing decorations on the sand ceilings and walls. You can spot a rabbit, kangaroo, bat, male face and female act. It is important that the ceiling is in the form of vault because of the load capacity.
Many winemakers from Bizeljsko region discovered that the temperature and the humidity of repnice, unique form of local below-ground construction, are ideal for wine storage. They converted them into a place for macerating, storing and tasting excellent local wines. Around 200 turnip caves were “constructed” under the hillsides of Bizeljsko while today less than 100 remain while only 5 repnice wine cellars are open to the public.
Visit repnice wine cellars
There are 5 repnice wine cellars at at area of 8m² in the villages of Brezovica, Bizeljsko, Pišece and Globoko that are opened to the visitors. Through the “sun-door“ you enter into a deep cave (some of them are more than 12 metres deep!), the heart of the winery. The cave was dug in the ﬂint stone which provides constant moisture (95-98%) and temperature (4 – 10 °C=39-50 °F). Well, the moisture is not good for wooden barrels nor for the wine labels. Winemakers store exclusive bottles without labels and they label their wine just before they sell it 🙂
Experience repnice cellars, ethnology gem in Bizejsko region with at least 2 centuries long tradition which was revived in the last couple of decades.
Repnica Graben, Kumrovška 6, 8259 Bizeljsko
T: 00386 30 611 013
Interesting fact: the first touristy wine underground cellar opened to the visitors, the deepest and the mightiest repnica with 3 levels.
Repnica pri Balonu, Brezovica na Bizeljskem 33, 8259 Bizeljsko
T: 00386 40 974 892
Interesting fact: the Balon “repnica” cave served as a hideout during WW2 due to exceptional underground system of trenches.
Repnica Najger, Brezovica na Bizeljskem 32, 8259 Bizeljsko
T: 00386 41 204 876
Interesting fact: the nicest repnica in Bizeljsko region due to its natural graffiti.
Repnice pri Kovačiču, Brezovica na Bizeljskem 29, 8259 Bizeljsko
T: 00386 7 495 10 91
Interesting fact: they still use repnica to store farm products.
Turistična kmetija Pudvoi, Stara vas 89, 8259 Bizeljsko
T: 00386 31 484 003
Interesting fact: /.