After a few epic days, hiking, white water rafting, and waterfall chasing in the Triglav National park, we decided we wanted to see a totally different side of Slovenia. We hit the road, and drove down south, to wine country! Wine country? In Slovenia? “But I’ve never had a Slovenian wine,” you’re thinking. I know! Me neither! Turns out, they make wine, and the grapes are grown on beautiful rolling hills, very Tuscan-esque. We arrived in Dobrovo, an incredibly quaint little village, and home to the largest winery in Slovenia, Klet Brda. We quickly found it, and parked the van in front.
Inside, we went to the little shop and asked about the wine tasting. The young lady who worked was so nice. She explained that the tasting costs €12, and it is self led. That meant, she would give us a bit of an overview of the winery and its history, give us the tasting notes for each wine, and then let us try the wines at our own pace. She said people often stay for an hour or hour and a half! Sounds like a pretty good deal! We followed her into the tasting room. In the banquet room next door, through a temporary wall, we could hear the chatter of some kind of party, but our tasting room was completely empty. The lady gave us a brief history of the winery, the names of the various grapes, wines, and some of the techniques used. She handed us the tasting notes for each wine, and told us that all ten wines are for sale in the store. Wait a minute. Ten wines? She smiled and left the room. We found ourselves in the tasting room, on our own, just Michael, me, and ten wines to taste. Ohhhh dear.
We started with the two sparkling wines, served straight out of the bottle. We sat near the big, picture windows, and looked out over the rolling Slovenian hills. Gosh, this countryside is stunning, and so, SO different than the mountainous, rocky, and extreme Triglav National Park from where we just came. As we tasted the sparkling wines, the party in the banquet room next door, sang a Slovenian drinking song and cheers’d! We joined them in raising our glasses and cheers’d each other.
We moved onto the whites, the six whites (!), that were served from a machine. Each bottle was connected to two buttons with an icon next to each button — one was a half full wine glass, and one was a full wine glass. You can guess which button we chose. We pressed the full wine glass button once, twice, three times. We read the tasting notes of each wine, and half pretended to follow along. I have never been that good at tasting the notes and nuances in a wine, and today was no different. Sure, after I read notes that the wine smells like kiwis and tastes like wood, the wine smells and tastes just so, but until I read it, it really just smells and tastes like wine. Every time someone walked through the room, to go to the banquet room, or through to the wine shop, we stuck our noses deep into the glasses and rambled on about tannins, the subtleties, and the tones.
By the time we moved onto the reds, again served in bottles, we were happily pouring very healthy portions. The first red was delicious, and I opted for a second ‘taste’ before moving onto the last wine. We thought those who spent an hour and a half in that tasting room must be crazy people, but, there we were, two and a half hours later, stumbling into the wine shop.
We paid for our tasting, and bought a few big bottles of our favourite wines. We left the winery, and went back to the van. We knew that after that much wine, neither of us could drive, so we went for a hilarious, drunken stumble around the vineyards.
We arrived back to the van after an hour or so. There was a big parking lot across the road from the winery, and it looked flat enough, like a decent place to sleep. So, because neither of us was fit to drive, we pushed the van across the road into our perfect little parking spot. The beauty of having your bed with you at all times is that after having way too much wine, you can just fall right into it. Thanks for the epic wine tasting, Slovenia!