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October 2023

A toast to the new wine vintage

Vipava Valley’s winemakers are opening their cellars for rustic get-togethers

Right now, Vipava Valley is Slovenia’s hottest wine region, and the talk of the town among wine aficionados, with the local winemakers consistently proving their worth. The sheer diversity and quality of wines produced here are simply amazing. Now is the perfect time to venture out to explore this uniquely dynamic wine country and experience the traditional vibe of the region’s wine cellars from Martinmas until Christmas. Hanging out while snacking on local dishes, uncovering architectural gems, and learning about old customs is an experience in itself. The Valley is abuzz, and its vibe is next-level!

A quirky wine country

As you embark on a wine-tasting journey across the Vipava Valley, be prepared for a few delectable twists along the way. Of all the wine regions in Slovenia, the Vipava Valley has managed to preserve the largest number of old local grape varieties, with the native Zelèn and Pinela being its poster children. The millennia-old viticulture tradition and the rich heritage keep inspiring Vipava Valley's winemakers who are committed to finding the perfect sites for each grape variety and nurturing their wines with unparalleled passion. Every vintage produces new highlights. As a result, the Vipava Valley wines are noted worldwide for their distinctive character and top-notch quality. The winemakers' passion, passed down through generations, gives a special charm to the wine tastings in the cellars across the Valley. Expect a warm welcome from the winemakers themselves, and perhaps even a glass poured straight from the barrel. The stories shared during the tasting can get quite intimate, ensuring an unforgettable tasting experience. So you see, the Paradise Valley is a real treat.

More than 30 wine events between Martinmas and Christmas

In addition to the enduring passion for viticulture, there’s another custom that’s still being passed down from generation to generation in this area: it’s the practice of winemakers visiting each other after St Martin's Day, sharing their young wines, and swapping winemaking experiences. Per tradition, the Feast of St Martin – when must turns into wine – is a time to pay homage to nature and come together to relish its abundant bounty. For centuries, the region’s vintners have consistently made a point of inviting all those who have lent a hand in the vineyards throughout the year and assisted with the harvest to come over for flavorsome homemade snacks and wine. This long-held tradition, coupled with the more recent tradition of celebrating the wine vintage has given rise to a unique series of events in the Vipava Valley, now taking place for over two decades under the collective name Vipava Valley Wine Cellars between St. Martin’s Day and Christmas.

Unlike other wine countries, in Vipava Valley, the celebrations revolving around the arrival of new wine don't end with St. Martin's Day. It is a tradition that the joyful get-togethers in wine cellars continue well into December, with entire villages hosting their own wine-themed festivities, and local inns inviting visitors in to savour regional delights. From November 4 to December 17, the region of heavenly flavours will host over thirty wine and food events brimming with authentic local flair. Apart from the traditional St. Martin's Day celebrations, don't miss out on the various open-door events aka osmicas offering a variety of homemade dishes and quite often live bands. In addition, local restaurants and inns come up with special menus during this time. On a side note, we recommend that you seek out accommodations close to these venues ahead of time and make arrangements for a safe ride back. This way, you’ll be able to fully relish the autumnal get-togethers in the wine cellars of the Vipava Valley and soak up the local culture, marked by the close bond between nature and people.

Bucolic countryside and cultural gems

Exploring wine culture inextricably ties in with discovering the many cultural highlights of a place. As a rule, the visitors to the Vipava Valley are spellbound by the beauty around them. The eye is drawn to the vineyards lacing the rolling hills, creating a distinct man-made backdrop. Peppered in between are many architectural highlights waiting to be explored. The quaint villages with characteristic architecture feature stone-made subterranean wine cellars that are sure to bring a smile to every wine aficionado’s face whilst enjoying their wine in such an authentic setting. Our Paradise Valley is also teeming with medieval castles and grand manor houses. Though not all are open to the public this time of year, the mere sight of the magnificent remnants and restored buildings makes every tour around the region a real treat for history buffs. Feel free to browse through our web portal and choose an experience that’s to your liking. Welcome to the Paradise Valley!