We were invited to a Wine Tasting in Goriška Brda, Slovenia by the Klet Brda Wine Cellar. Read about our experience and learn more about this beautiful destination.
Many of you will probably not know this, but our country Slovenia has some of the best wines, and – though small – boasts with some 24,200 ha of vineyards, and is also home to the world’s oldest vine that is 400 years old.
If you’ve never visited Slovenia, I would suggest you put it on your bucket list. Our small country is packed full with beautiful destinations and great experiences, and I will try to present some of it on this blog as well… starting with wine tasting in Goriška Brda.
Watch a short movie of our special day
Wine Tasting in Goriška Brda
About Goriška Brda, Slovenia
Goriška Brda is the westernmost region of Slovenia that is defined by its rolling hills with vineyards, cherry orchards, and olive groves. Situated between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea it boasts with a mild Mediterranean climate, plenty of sunshine, and excellent growing conditions. The region is dotted with farms and houses and produces top-quality wines. And it is just as romantic and picturesque as it sounds, absolutely charming.
The Brda Wine Cellar
Home to top local wines, the Brda Wine Cellar connects 400 family winemakers and heroic viticulture since 1957 and annually produces 6-8 million liters of wine. Their wines range from fresh, fruity and light for everyday enjoyment, to prestigious top-quality mature wines and sparkling wines, as well as some local specialties that are a real treat, such as the dessert wines Verduc and Pikolit. Their wine cellar also boasts an archive collection of 100,000 bottles of the best vintages, including the oldest bottle of Rebula wine from 1957.
Visitors are welcome on guided tours of the cellar and tutored tasting of the selected wines.
The Wine Tasting in Goriška Brda Experience
We started the day with a ride to the location followed by a typical hearty breakfast of prosciutto and salami, downed with the first of many glasses of wine. Then we visited the wine cellar where we were shown how wine is produced and stored. Our hosts, Ms. Marjana Simčič and enologist Istok Mikulin, then sat us down for our wine tasting course. We started the wine tasting with sparkling wines – Sparkling Rebula and Bagueri Zero, then we proceeded to white wines: Quercus Rebula, which I liked very much, and Rebula Bagueri Superior. Next came the red wines: Quercus Merlot and Bagueri Merlot Superior, which we liked so much we even bought a bottle in the shop for home. We finished with a local specialty Motnik Rebula, that is matured in barrels that have been smoked with home-grown herbs for sterilization.
Before lunch we have already downed 8 different wines. The day was beginning to be joyful and loud.
We then moved for lunch to the Vila Kozana Hotel where we were met by the very charming foreign owner, the president of the Sommelier Slovenia society Ivan Peršolja and chef Bine Volčič. After a few more glasses of wine and champagne, we moved to the kitchen where chef Bine showed us how to make ravioli. I have made pasta before but was always scared of shaping it into ravioli or tortellini. All my fear for nothing. It was really easy!
For lunch and more wine tasting we were served:
- Fluffy butter with nutritional yeast on whole wheat baguette; with Sparkling wine Bagueri Brut and Bagueri Rose´
- Marinated Grayling with buckwheat, horseradish, and baked beets; with Sparkling wine Bagueri Brut and Bagueri Rose´
- Dehydrated carrot with yogurt and shrimps; with Pinot Bianco Quercus 2016, Krasno white 2015
- Lamb, wood garlic ravioli with quark, Jerusalem artichoke puree in dry tomato sauce; with Rebula Bagueri Superior, Sauvignon Blanc Bagueri Superior, Syrah 2010
I admit, by this point, I couldn’t keep up with the wines and delicious food anymore. But the grand finale was still to come
- Chamomile pannacotta with plum jam and almond ice cream; with Pikolit 2011, Markiz 2011, Sparkling Moscato 2016
Did we all count how many glasses of wine we drank? About 17, that’s how many. Or even more, because I honestly stopped counting half way in. My fave was the 2011 Pikolit, no questions asked. I absolutely adored it and it was complementing the pannacotta just perfectly.
Our bellies full to the brim, our cheeks rosy from the sun and wine and our hearts light and merry from a day well-spent, we lounged around the hotel’s terrace basking in the evening sun for a shot of espresso, before we had to wave goodbye to out gracious hosts.
But we did not leave Goriška Brda without first climbing to the top of the Gonjače viewing tower for magnificent landscape vedutas and a romantic spring sunset. What a great end of a perfect day!
What to see in Goriška Brda
Sights and activities available are plentiful, but if you’re only staying a short while, we recommend:
- a visit to the Klet Brda Wine Cellar
- take the steps to the top of the View Tower in Gonjače
- walk through the picturesque village of Šmartno
- visit Vila Vipolže, the most beautiful Renaissance villa in Slovenia
- take a walk through the vineyards
- enjoy seasonal local special dishes
When to visit
Goriška Brda is beautiful any time of the year, but May – October are especially great for a visit: in May and June, you can fill up with dark-red cherries and sweet apricots. In summer there are peaches, figs, and the first grapes, then in early Fall comes the busy time of the grape harvest. Temperatures and weather are best enjoyed in spring to early summer, as the summer temperatures can make it hot, but there is always the vicinity of the emerald Soča river or the Adriatic Sea to cool down. In Fall when the harvest is ongoing there are plenty opportunities for tasting fresh must and the local culinary delicacies, but the Brda Wine Cellar offers wine tasting experiences all year round.
You can learn more about this beautiful region on this website www.brda.si
How to reach Goriška Brda
The best way to visit is with your own car. Goriška Brda is about 140 km west of Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, and also about 140 km from the Venice Airport. There are also pleasant if demanding bike routes from nearby towns.
Special thanks to our hosts
We take this opportunity to thank our hosts for the excellent experience and a great day:
- Njamzgodbe.si for the excellent organization
- Brda Wine Cellar for trying to teach us about wine tasting and pairing with food
- Vila Kozana Hotel for hosting us
- Chef Bine Volčič for the excellent meal; you can try his excellent dishes at the Monstera Bistro in Ljubljana, Slovenia