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May 2022

Dreaming of Heavenly Flavours?

Hear the call of fabulous culinary-wine experiences

Flavours leave their mark on any journey. By tasting, we discover the character of the land, remembering it and setting it in our personal world map of cuisine. When foodies come across genuine local specialties it's always a delight, worth straying from the beaten path. In the Vipava Valley and in Nova Gorica, connected to neighbouring Italy without a visible border, we're expecting you with so many wine and culinary specialties you'll truly have to take your time. It's worth it! Especially in late spring when nature provides a generous variety of seasonal flavours. The colourful plates, scents and flavours will take you straight to paradise.

Paradise Valley pampers with its flavours

We present you with five culinary-wine reasons to visit the Vipava Valley, in broad strokes painting the many pamperings you can expect. The paradise valley, as it's been named long ago for its abundance of flavours, naturally offers much more. Its first major quality are fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, complete with distinct herbs, fragrances and wild plants, in the spring especially inspiring the recipes of local dishes. Vipava Valley wines, considered by many the essential reason to visit, are an inexhaustible treasury of uniqueness and varietal specialties. Let's remember, the winegrowing Vipava Valley offers the greatest number of indigenous varieties in Slovenia, while connoisseurs will appreciate the terroir differences between individual vineyard sites. The valley flourishes with the art of pairing wines and dishes, while the creations of the local chefs can easily be called works of art in their own right. Two restaurants boast a Michelin star, and several feature in the culinary guide Gault & Millau. A wealth of pristine foods is also found in the local restaurants and agritourism farms. Wine tastings here are especially impressive, complete with traditional snacks and often the personal engagement of the winemaker, masterfully providing wine excellence from the vineyard to the glass. Locals cherish their culinary-wine paradise, showing it to every guest with great pride and affection.

Mix and match

Heavenly flavours are no coincidence, of course. The splendid sights of the fertile Vipava Valley, to the west opening into the plains of Goriška, invite you to the discovery of a remarkable world, natural and climate distinctions, as well as the cultural tradition and rustic lifestyle of contemporary day. Are you thrilled by outdoor activities as well as local treats? You're in the right place! In the Vipava Valley, you can spend your holidays actively travelling from flavour to flavour. Check out our Bike & Taste tips, which will also come in handy if you're going on foot. Choose one of our top adventures, taste perfection in the company of a local guide and fall in love with the pristine local flavours. Along the way, there's many natural and cultural landmarks to see. You can also upgrade your exploration of the culinary paradise with a visit to the local museum collections or galleries. Choose, mix, match … and enjoy every step of the way. Oh, and don't forget, the Paradise Valley is family friendly!

Foodie season in the valley

The end of spring, when the first cherries ripen in the valley and the first asparagus sprouts in the fields, marks the start of a rich season of culinary events. After a two-year pause in social gatherings, they're ready to return with brand new zest and joy.

Early May brings the traditional Vipava Valley Month of Local Cuisine, wrapping up in early June with the Flavours of the Vipava Valley Festival of Wine and Cuisine. The Month of Local Cuisine offers great opportunity for foodie exploration, since many restaurants are then preparing their best seasonal menus.

In Nova Gorica, the Festival of Roses is taking place all May with a focus on the Bourbon, ancient rose variety fragrantly blossoming in the gardens of the Kostanjevica Monastery. The Franciscan Monastery is famous for its Tomb of the Bourbons, burial place of the last French king and his family. Touring the fascinating collection of roses will take you into a world of magical colours and scents, while dishes with rose petals are waiting to surprise you in select Nova Gorica and nearby inns and restaurants.

A favourite garden crop this time of the year is the asparagus. The picturesque village Orehovlje near Miren is known as the centre of asparagus growing in the Vipava Valley, and organizes an annual asparagus festival each May. This year, a special bow to this wholesome vegetable comes in the form of Days of Wonderful Cuisine – with asparagus to harmonious health.