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Succulent peaches from the Vipava Valley

Aristocratic fruit in the Vipava Valley orchards

When the deities of antiquity came up with nectar – the drink granting eternal youth and immortality – they must have concocted it from peaches. This exceptional fruit stands out due to its delicate, fuzzy skin, enticing scent, incredible juiciness and unparalleled flavour. The unique combination of basic tastes found in peaches – salty, sour, bitter and sweet – appeals to people’s taste buds as especially enjoyable.

Peaches were brought to this area by the ancient Romans. Until the previous century, the farmers in the valley only grew the fruit on trees trimming their vineyards. But the second half of the previous century saw the peach gain traction as the most important fruit in the valley, which led to the expansion of the orchards. The large peach plantations produced juicy fruits that were used for the famous Fructal peach juice that made the peaches from the Vipava Valley famous throughout Europe. Headquartered in Ajdovščina, Fructal, which is the premier fruit juice manufacturer in the Western Balkans, continues the tradition with the production of juice made 100% from the Vipava Valley peaches to help preserve local peach production. Peach aficionados can enjoy in the exquisite peach aroma year round.

The association with divine nectar is not without merit. Many claim that peaches have an anti-aging effect. The reason is the fruit’s extraordinary composition. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as other important nutrients, peaches are great for skin health, providing the body energy after strenuous activities, and stimulating the metabolism. The list of purported beneficial and health-promoting effects of peaches is long. But what matters the most is that peaches are delightfully juicy and incredibly tasty. There's something truly divine about this fruit.

Peaches, especially those left to ripe on the tree until fully mature, are best eaten raw. Locals love putting slices of deliciously ripe peaches in their chilled wine to make a refreshingly cool dessert for summer. Luscious peaches are also frequently found in seasonal desserts, and are a staple ingredient for juices.

One part of the rich tradition of peach production in the Vipava Valley is the way the fruit is sold immediately after it was picked. Next to their orchards, farmers stack up crates with neatly arranged peaches, signalling to visitors: ”Welcome to our orchard.” Make a stop here. They will gladly fill your bag with peaches picked right from the tree. In some cases, you can go to the orchards and even pick your own fruit. Traditionally held in Prvačina, the annual Peach Festival is the best display of the amazing variety of peaches. This event, with an ethnologic flair, showcases the best and finest peaches. Fresh fruit and peach products are also available for purchase.