News > “So good!” – facts and legends about Šipon

“So good!” – facts and legends about Šipon

What Chardonnay means to Burgundy or Sangiovese to Tuscany is Šipon to the Northeastern Slovenian wine region Podravje (“Drava region”). More than one century ago, this white wine grape was not only widely spread in this area, but also enjoyed an excellent reputation throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire due to its refreshing taste and its subtle fragrance. This variety has also been able to compete well with other sweet wines.

However, its reputation dwindled in the early 20th century, when Šipon was increasingly grown for high yield only. This top-grade Slovenian white wine had to wait another century before it was given the place of honour it deserves. The wine growers’ association Ljutomer-Ormož Jeruzalem grasped the international opportunity for autochthonous varietals, promoting quality for this once so popular grape in the “Club Šipon”.

Also known as Mosler, Moslavac or Furmint, Šipon is among the most long-standing noble varieties of Slovenia. Experts have differing opinions about its origins. Is it an autochthonous grape of today’s Slovenia, or does Šipon look back on a long history of migration, passing through Georgia, Greece, and Hungary on the way?

One thing is sure: Šipon prospers on these soils of carbonate, marl, and calcareous sandstone typical in Ljutomer-Ormož, and still claims around a quarter of the region’s cultivated surface today.

The etymological origins of the white wine with its characteristic freshness is surrounded by legend. Supposedly a French battalion crossed the hills of Jeruzalem during the Napoleonic wars and the inhabitants offered the highest-ranking officer a glass of their wine, who expressed his delight saying: “C’est si bon!” (It is so good!). From this moment, the praised wine was just called Šipon.