Both, wine and fruit growing in the Slovenian territory have a long tradition, and are of great importance in the diet as well as in the culture. Slovenian vineyards are located on steep slopes, maintaining the cultural landscape, enabling economic development and numerous jobs. Due to the undulating terrain, Slovenian vineyards are biologically diverse and varied, representing the natural conditions for the production of wines of exceptional quality.
The Register of Grape and Wine Growers (RPGV) in Slovenia comprises 28 thousand grape and wine growers, who cultivate a total of 22 thousand vineyards or just over 3% of agricultural land. Grapes and wine together represent about 12% of the value of agricultural production. White varieties (66%) predominate in the vineyards. Regarding the data in the Register, as much as 78% of wine growers cultivate up to 0.5ha of vineyards, only 5% cultivate more than 2ha of vineyards. However, a large part goes to still unregistered wine growers.
Wine growing has made a remarkable progress in the last few years in the area of vineyard cultivation, but mostly in the cellarman's trade. On the excursion we will meet different producers of quality wines, modern and traditional wine cellars, marketing methods and setting of brands, and also make certain that Slovenia is ranked among the best wine producers in the world, as is evidenced by the numerous awards and prizes at international competitions. The excursion will be even better and more interesting, if organized during any wine festival (“Vinska vigred” in Bela Krajina, the Cviček Week, the Ljubljana Wine Path, the Festival of Teran and Prosciutto, the Refosco Festival etc.).
Arrival to Slovenia and accommodation in a hotel (based on your wishes and on the number of participants, we may organize accommodation in wine cellars in vineyards www.zidanice.si). After a late lunch, we head to “Matjaževa domačija” (Matjaž’s homestead). We enjoy the reception in traditional folk costumes, look at the 150-year-old house and watch a multivision presentation “Story of Cviček” (wine). The multivision presentation will be followed by tasting the Cviček wine, the presentation of the Cviček Consortium and also about the programme in the following days. Overnight stay.
After breakfast, we drive to Novo mesto. We take a short stroll through the city centre and then take a ride on Rudolf’s Raft down the river Krka. On the raft, we will be accompanied by a team of entertainers and an accordion player, who will ensure a good mood, and we will toast with a glass of Cviček. From Novo mesto, the journey leads us to Šentjernej to the village of Drča, where we will firstly look at the open-air museum Skansen Pleterje, and also the Pleterje Monastery in the immediate vicinity of the museum. After sightseeing, we will enjoy tasting the excellent wines of Pleterje carried out by the Cviček Ambassador. Then we will continue our journey to the vineyard “Gadova peč”. Here we will have a snack, and then visit a wine cellar and enjoy the wine tasting prepared by the “King of Cviček”. However, the Jarkovič family does not engage only in wine growing but also in growing of vines. Therefore they will tell us something about this, as well. We will conclude our day at the Embassy of Cviček in the village of Raka, where the hard-working members of the wine growing association with the help of EU funds, have made a wine house. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we drive to Bela Krajina. At first, we will stop in Semič and visit a grower of sparkling wines. The Simonič family can boast of a number of acknowledgements for their sparkling wines. Besides other sparkling wines, they are engaged in the production of Semič Golden Sparkling Wine which contains 23-carat gold leaf, and Semič Emerald Sparkling Wine, Barique Sparkling Wine ... we then continue our journey to Metlika and visit Metlika Castle. There, we visit the Bela Krajina Museum, watch a film about Bela krajina, and a special collection about wine growing. From Metlika we head to the village of Drašiči, where we have lunch, and also get to learn about the operation of the only wine bank in Slovenia – the Community Wine Cellar (Sosedska zidanica). Of course we will also taste their wine. After lunch, we will visit the Prus Wine Cellar. The Prus family have already been proclaimed the best wine growers in Slovenia for three times, and we are sure that the visit to their wine cellar and the tasting of their wines will be exquisite. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we will drive to the Vipava Valley. Here, we first come across the interesting village of Goče, which boasts the greatest number of preserved wine cellars in the world. The locals say that the famous Zdravljica (Toast) by France Prešeren was written in one of them. We will also make our own toast by tasting home-made delights and wine. We will continue our journey to Štanjel, a picturesque little Karst village on the top of a hill, also known for the well tended Ferrari garden. Then we go to Goriška Brda, to the Dobrovo wine cellar. The “Goriška Brda” wine cellar cultivates 1,150ha of vineyards. The largest share of the vineyards goes to the indigenous vine variety from Brda “Rebula”, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon. On average, winegrowers cultivate a little less than 2 hectares of vineyards, there they devote a great deal of time to vine care, which is also reflected in the excellent quality of the grapes and the wine. We conclude our day by visiting one of the renowned private wine growers: Kristančič, Simčič, Ščurek etc. where we also visit their wine cellar and taste some of their wines. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we will drive to Bizeljsko. Here, we will be able to see little wonders – “repnice”. These are caves, dug into quartz sand that was brought to the Bizeljsko area millions of years ago by the Pannonian Sea. They are named after turnips, as people conserved them in these caves together with other crops. Today, the locals don’t keep turnips any more in these “repnice”, but excellent wines. We will stop in one of these caves and have a wine tasting. From here, we will head to Bizeljsko Castle. There, we will visit the Klakočar wine cellar, famous for their high quality predicated wines and wine specialities. After brunch, we will enjoy some wine tasting. We will continue our trip to the Kozjansko region and stop at Imeno. Here, we will visit the Emino wine house. Their motto is: “There is never so much wine that we would not be able to drink it (even) by ourselves, and never so little that we would not be able to treat you with it.” We will visit their modern wine cellar and enjoy tasting their exquisite wines. We will conclude our day in Slovenske Konjice and visit a wine cellar in the heart of the idyllic estate of Škalce. This cellar is technologically and architecturally one of the most-state-of-the-art facilities of this kind in this part of Europe. The complex encompasses wine cellars with wine making vessels, the production area with a marketing and management facility, and garages. Of course we will also taste their wine. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we will drive to Gornja Radgona. The Radgonske gorice company has produced and kept sparkling wines in its unique wine cellars since 1852. Their “gem” is “Zlata radgonska penina”, the oldest, the best sparkling wine which has been given the highest number of awards in Slovenia. Bottles of Zlata radgonska penina sparkling wine are matured on special racks in a one-of-a-kind cellar under the rock, and is definitely worth visiting. Each visitor to the cellar is fascinated by the cellar beneath the waterfall, where the waterfall gently glides from the castle rock and creates a magical atmosphere and makes wine and sparkling wine tasting a special experience. We continue our journey from Gornja Radgona to Murska Sobota. Our first stop is at Lovenjak court, where our hosts will greet us with hot brunch, and then invite us to their cellar for some wine tasting. In the end, we will also visit the Lendava Hills – Cuk Wine Cellar. Here, we will be able to see the meaning of an excellent family company, how important co-operation and trust among the generations is, and also witness the story of success. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast, we will return home.
The price includes: HB in at least 3* hotels, execution of the entire programme with all entrance fees, tastings, snacks, catering services, guidance, organization, VAT.
The programme may be tailored to your own wishes – you may select certain days that you wish to include in your excursion.