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This month in the Vinest Network

The Vinest Network Association visits the 11th Wine Queen of Slovenia

The Benčina Family hosted the visit on the 4th of March, after the conclusion of the meeting of the Vinest Network Association in Ajdovščina, Vipava Valley.

From the 2nd to the 4th of March, 2007 the Vinest Network Association had a transnational working meeting in the Vipava valley. The objective of the meeting was the analysis of the past and the future of the VINEST Network, the presentation of the VINEST network Business Plan and the discussion/agreement over future activities, organisation and financing of the association.

The Wine Queen of Slovenia

After the conclusion of this successful meeting the transnational working group was invited to visit the Benčina Farm in small condensed village Lože. Maja Benčina, the Wine Queen of Slovenia, warmly welcomed the group.
Maja Benčina is already the third Wine Queen of Slovenia from the Vipava valley. It is not only beauty that the jury from the wine trade looks for when choosing the Queen, but also a certain level of education and knowledge, particularly about wine and about the culture that she represents.

The vine has been a part of Maja ’s life since her childhood. The Benčina Family has a long winemaking tradition. At the moment they cultivate 40.000 vines and in the future they wish to expand their vineyard. Their very well known wine is the Benčina red couve, which is also the official wine of the Queen. 
The home of the Wine Queen is immortalized with the graft of the oldest vintage Vine in the Europe, which has grown and given birth to grapes in Maribor for more than 400 years. The Old Vine is a protected item of natural heritage and a symbol of Maribor, as well as all the wine-growing regions in Slovenia.
Its great age - 400 years - has been a subject to disbelief, suspicion and investigation. Finally enough evidence was gathered to leave no doubt. "Stara trta" na Lof Maribor will appear in the next issue of the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in Europe. The enthusiasts would like it to be the oldest in the world, but that evidence would be next to impossible to collect.

The world's oldest Vine was pruned as part of a traditional tourist event in Maribor on Friday, 16th March 2007, as the city vinedresser Mr. Tone Zafošnik dealt the expert cut,  which will ensure that this 400-year-old Guinness World Record-holding lady, gives a plentiful crop. Maja Benčina, the Wine Queen of Slovenia also attended this 28th pruning session of the “Stara trta”.

Maja follows the main purposes of the ‘institution of Wine Queen of Slovenia’ to symbolise and promote Slovenian winemaking, the culture of wine drinking and tourism. By visiting her, the Vinest network group agreed, that she is doing her job in a really professional way.  

Photo: Wine princess Kerstin Fliege form Saale Unstrut, Mr. Dušan Benčina (Maja’s father) and Wine Queen of Slovenia, Maja Benčina

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