Cviček is a wine. Wine is an alcoholic beverage, resulting from alcoholic fermentation of grape juice or must. The Slovenian word for wine, vino, derives from the Latin vinum that means both wine and vine. The alcoholic fermentation process is caused by micro-organisms (yeasts) which slowly transform sugar into alcohol.
Out of more than one hundred different grape varieties (Vitis sp.), only a few tens are suitable for growing grapes for wine, jointly named Vitis vinifera by botanists. Each grape variety has its official name and usually several folk, local and national versions as well. In connection therewith, wines can be basically divided into:
- varietal wines, produced from a single grape variety (such as Welschriesling)
- and blends (fr. cuvée) which are so to speak mixtures of various varietal wines (such as Cviček).
A wine-growing region stands for a geographically limited territory, where vine is grown and where wine is produced. The delimitation of wine-growing regions (and indirectly also organoleptic properties of wines) is subject to geological, geographical, relief and climatic conditions as well as to the wine-growing (viticultural) tradition with its selection of grown varieties and production methods. Slovenia is divided into 3 wine-growing regions: the Drava Valley, Lower Sava Valley and the Littoral. Cviček PTP can be found exclusively in the Lower Carniola (Dolenjska) district, which forms part of the Lower Sava Valley wine-growing region. Lower Carniola constitutes the largest wine-growing territory in Slovenia, extending along the right bank of the river Sava, the banks of the river Krka and the slopes of the Gorjanci Hills all to the Croatian border to the south-east.
Cviček PTP is a unique blend and the most renowned Slovenian wine that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. First records about this wine can be dated as far as the end of the 17th century (polyhistorian Janez Vajkard Valvasor). Cviček saw its renaissance at the turn of the 20th century when grape phylloxera led to the renovation of many vineyards. According to records, Cviček was taken to the wine fair in Prague in 1907 by Bohuslav Skalicky. As early as before World War I, Cviček was sold by wine merchants for 1 Austrian Gulden (florin) per litre, while other wines on the market would cost between 40 and 48 Kreuzers per litre (1 Gulden = 100 Kreuzers, translator’s note). Following World War II, Cviček was exported to Switzerland, Belgium, England and even as far as Brasil as well. Nowadays it is already known in the major part of Europe (especially in the EU), Northern America and Russia.
Apart from the Tuscan Chianti, Cviček is the only wine in the world with a legally protected composition of red and white grape varieties. The allowed red grape varieties are Žametna črnina between 40 and 60 %; Modra frankinja (Blaufränkisch), Portugalka and Šentlovrenka maximum total 20 %. The allowed white grape varieties are Kraljevina, Welschriesling, Rumeni plavec, Zeleni silvanec and Štajerska belina, maximum total 35 %. This oddball among wines also bears the high mark of protection TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed – PTP in Slovene). Since 2000 its production has been regulated by a stringent national law of the Republic of Slovenia (Rules Concerning the Wine Bearing the Mark of Recognized Traditional Denomination ‘Cviček’, The Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia Number 3/2000 of 14 January 2000).
The above-mentioned law lays down the production of grapes to the very last detail (wine-growing sites over 210 meters above sea level, minimum 4.500 vines per hectare, maximum 9.000 grapes per hectare, …), grape varieties and processing methods, the relative share of the grape varieties in the wine, thresholds of the wine’s components (8.5–10.0 % alcohol per vol.; 6.0–9.5 g/l total acid, unboiled (unfermented) sugar below 2.5 g/l; free sulphur maximum 25 mg/l). In view of the extent of wine-growing sites available, it is estimated that approximately 8 million litres of Cviček are produced on a yearly basis. Cviček is traditionally produced and consumed within the family circle. Only a small amount also arrives on the market. The Zajc wine cellar is the largest private supplier of this unique wine.
Colour: Ruby red with a touch of violet
Taste: Cviček‘s taste is harmonious and smooth. Refined acid and a low alcohol level convey freshness and drinkability.
Aroma: A playful tiny berries (especially raspberries) and wild berries aroma can be perceived.
Gastronomy: Its dry (extremely low level of unboiled sugar) and neutral character open up an exceptionally broad spectrum of food the Cviček goes excellently with. It does, however, always enrapture with traditional Slovenian dishes, when meat or dried meat products are served with sauerkraut and potatoes.
Its lightness, gentleness and drinkability are most beautifully revealed when chilled to 13–15 ºC.
CVIČEK‘S HEALING PROPERTIES
When it comes to wines, an exceptional number of healing effects are ascribed especially to Cviček. Among all other wines in the world, it stands out for its combination of an extremely low level of unboiled sugar (Cviček Zajc, year 2011, has 1 g/l unboiled sugar) and a low alcohol level. The first makes it especially recommendable for diabetics, while the latter places it among dietetic wines. At the same time, it contains flavonoid substances with positive health effects (reduced cardiovascular risks) as well. Cviček has a favourable effect on digestion, promotes metabolism, prevents insomnia and strengthens the blood stream. Regular consumption prevents heart attacks. Several studies have concluded that regular consumption of the reddish wine Cviček (1 to 2 glasses per day) improves the antioxidant activity of the blood and prevents the aggregation of blood platelets, thus reducing the risk for a stroke or heart attack. In that sense, ethyl alcohol in the wine acts similarly to a solvent. Scientists examining cancer occurrence and development have found also many anti-tumour substances exactly in red wine.
According to the cardiologist and head physician dr. Peter Kapš, phenolic substances (of which exceptionally many can be found exactly in Cviček) have long been known for their significance as astringent substances that transform proteins in bacteria, thus rendering them incapable for life. The antioxidant significance of Cviček has been substantially supported by results of research studies, which have been obtained by means of experiments performed in laboratories (“in vitro”) and on living organisms (“in vivo”). By regularly drinking Cviček, antioxidants and powerful antioxidant phenolic compounds, that reduce the oxidation of lipoproteins, are absorbed, thus contributing to a reduced atherosclerosis and mortality rate as a result of coronary heart diseases. Cviček contains more than 1200 different compounds. The most important ones also include Q10 that inhibits ageing, prevents degenerative diseases, strengthens the immune system and reduces blood pressure. And the other one is the most frequently mentioned ‘miraculous’ resveratrol, one of the most important compounds for treating cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Cviček is recommended regularly on a daily basis after meals (1 to 2 decilitres per day), especially if we know that its healing effects also make it the most complex food in the world. It is unquestionably a generator of a cheerful mood as well.
Five properties of Cviček:
1.) It is a unique blend of white and red grape varieties,
2.) it has a very low alcohol level – less than 10 %,
3.) its extremely low residue of unboiled sugar makes it suitable for diabetics,
4.) it is a freshly youthful and light ruby wine,
5.) it is all-round welcome by all kinds of food,
6.) it is unique and its production is limited in quantity.