Savor Slovenia Culinary Tour. With boundaries stretching from the Adriatic coast to the alpine mountains nestled against Austria & Italy, from the vineyards of the rocky Karst to the endless wheat fields along the Hungarian border, Slovenia boasts a diversity of climates, landscapes, terroirs and influences from its neighbors. This translates into very rich food cultures with numerous distinct micro regions, each with their own long-standing traditions, specialty dishes and wine varietals. Our tour highlights the food, wine and artisans from Slovenia’s western area of Primorska with focus on the Karst, Brda, Vipava and Istria wine-growing regions.
This tour is more than just savouring all the fresh, organic and local culinary delights that Slovenia has to offer. Each day presents a special opportunity for guests to sit down, talk with and learn from a myriad of friendly local producers, wine makers and chefs in their cellars, houses, kitchens and gardens.
• Savor five courses of regional specialties over lunch in Goriska Brda, Slovenia’s premier wine region
• Enjoy an evening of sparkling wine tastings and dinner at a converted 13th century chateau
• Spend a day with a local vintner as he guides you around the wine cellars and wine makers of the Vipava Valley
• Soak in the traditions of family recipes, prosciutto tasting and local spirits at rustic farmhouse in the Karst region
• Indulge in more than a dozen gourmet goat cheeses, plus olive oils and wines in Croatia’s Istria region
3 June – 9 June, 2014 – coincides with the annual cherry festival in Brda
17 October – 23 October, 2014 – coincides with Terra Madre 2014 in Torino, Italy. Included at the end of the tour is a transfer to Trieste to take the train onward to Turin for Slow Food’s major bi-annual convention (which begins the evening of October 23).
5 November – 11 November, 2014 – coincides with St. Martin’s weekend, a wine festival celebrated all over Slovenia, including the Brda and Karst regions featured on this tour.
We are offering 3 set dates in 2014 for this tour, but it can also be run at other times of the year as per guests’ wishes. For a different preferred start date or request for a private tour (2-4 people), please contact us for scheduling and price quote.
5 dinners (wine included), 5 lunches, 6 nights lodging at B&B and farmhouses (en-suite), 2 cheese tasings, 2 olive oil tastings, 7 wine tastings, transport, private guide, transfers to/from Ljubljana or Trieste.
Our company is part of the Slow Food UK Supporters Scheme to help promote Slovenia as an authentic travel & culinary destination. Slow Food UK members please enquire about a discount.
Organic wines of Cotar in Slovenia’s Karst
After a transfer from either Trieste or Ljubljana airport we’ll stop at Cotar to try the local Teran, a bold red created from Refosk grapes and the iron-rich soil found in this rocky, limestone region known as the Karst. A glimpse into the history and culture of this region as we take a walking tour around Stanjel, the captivating hill town with many lovely old stone houses and a gallery of local artists. Traditional dinner of hand made regional specialties and wine at a rustic, yet comfortable farmhouse (ensuite rooms). House specialty is a beefsteak with prosciutto (Kraški pršut) in local teran wine sauce. Just make sure to save room for the family’s tempting homemade honey ice-cream!
The native varietals of this small region include Zelen and Pinela along with other whites and a few reds including Barbera and Merlot. Guests can enjoy a one of a kind opportunity to sit down and talk shop, technique and business with our local winemaker at his cellar. We’ll also learn the history of Vipava at the small village of Goce and then taste some superb bio-dynamic wines at nearby Guerila winery. Before dinner we will pay a visit to local bee keepers for insight into bee-keeping (which has a long, important history in Slovenia) and enjoy a honey tasting. After dinner at the farmhouse our hosts will tell the story of their 400 year old property and let us sample grappa and liquors in their prosciutto-drying cellar.
This region is famous for its hill towns, Malvasia white wine and truffles. First up a sampling of wines & olive oils and a chance to explore the charming small town of Bale. Later guests will be treated to a goat farm that makes fantastic gourmet cheeses (semihard cheeses and fresh cheeses). No one will go away hungry as there is goat stew, home cooked soup with sausages and local wines to go with a smorgasbord of cheeses – nearly 20 different kinds! A late afternoon stop at artists’ hill town of Groznjan before returning to Slovenia for dinner at our farmhouse.
On the way we stop at Predjama castle before arriving at our B&B in the Brda countryside where a gourmet 5-course ‘slow-food’ lunch awaits us. Each dish is served one of our hosts’ wines. The variety of culinary traditions (Slovene, Friulian, Habsburg) have intertwined on this strip of land, giving Brda cuisine its special touch. After the meal we will tour the family’s wine cellar and learn about wine making traditions and methods including the use of amphoras (known as qveri in their native Georgia). A unique amber wine is produced after the juice spends 11 months next to the skins inside the amphore.
Start the morning with a walk through the beautiful wine country after breakfast or just relax with an espresso and enjoy the terrace with views of the surrounding vineyards. A trip to the stunning Soca River Valley awaits for a blend of nature, history and food. Guests will have a gentle, scenic walk to a nearby waterfall before visiting an important WWI museum in the town of Kobarid where Ernest Hemingway was inspired to pen A Farewell to Arms. Then it’s time for a gastronomic experience at one of Slovenia’ top restaurants, Hisa Franko. A cheese tasting of two local cow cheeses (Nanoški and Tominc) with local honeys, chutneys and marmalades will be followed by an imaginative three course dinner.
We’ll visit the wine cellars located in Visnajvic, the birthplace of Rebula wine, the quintessential Brda wine. Of the 2000 hectares of vineyards here in Brda, 25% are Rebula. A lite lunch of traditional white polenta will follow in the tiny medieval hill town of Smartno at the local house of culture and artisans. After lunch, guests will visit the oldest olive tree plantation and a viewpoint tower to take in picturesque panoramas of Brda. Our final dinner together will be at a chateau built by the counts of Gorizia in the 13th century. It’s now the home to Bjana Winery, one of the finest sparkling wine producers in Slovenia. We’ll tour the wine maker’s cellar, learn about the traditional method of sparkling wine (where secondary fermentation takes place in bottles) and enjoy his wife’s delicious home cooked meal. Tour Ends. Transfer to airport the following morning.