Harvest Tour of Slovenia and Croatia
This is a one of a kind opportunity to sit down and talk with the generous and hospitable owners, wine makers and local producers in their cellars, houses, restaurants, shops and mills.
Celebrate the start of your gastro experience with a five-course lunch in Goriska Brda, Slovenia’s premier wine region
• Soak in the atmosphere at a converted 13th century chateau with sparkling wine tastings and dinner
• Indulge your sweet tooth with local cream cakes, honey ice cream and hand made chocolate truffles
• Enjoy traditional home-cooked meals, prosciutto tasting and local spirits at rustic farmhouse in the Karst region
• Savor gourmet goat cheeses, olive oils, baked quince and more treats in Croatia’s Istria region
• Discover delicious pumpkin seed oil, micro brews, smoked meats in eastern Slovenia’s bucolic villages
• Learn all about the traditions of wine making with local vintners in diverse regions of Brda, Karst, Vipava, Istria and Prekmurje
Day 1: Welcome to Slovenia Overnight:
Radovljica, Slovenia Transfer from airport to boutique yet traditional-styled pension. Visit to Bled castle overlooking gorgeous Lake Bled down below. A hearty Welcome dinner of at rustic Slovenian eatery in the small medieval town of Radovljica.
Day 2: Photography Class and Dinner with Winemaker’s Family Overnight:
Brda, Slovenia Get off to a good start capturing your food and travel experiences with photography workshop (2-3 hours) specifically to help enhance your food and wine photos. Special home made lunch with Monika, a Bled local who makes her own cheeses, dried meats, traditional cakes, herbal & fruit liqueurs and beer! Scenic locale near Bled will help to practice your new found photography skills. Learn the history and secrets of a local Slovenian beekeeper followed by a tasting of various honeys. Head to Goriska Brda, the country’s premiere wine destination. Home cooked dinner of typical Brda specialties at the home of one of Slovenia’s finest natural wine makers. Wine will be paired with each dish served.
Day 3: Culinary Delights of Slovenia’s Goriska Brda region Overnight:
Brda, Slovenia Breakfast out on the patio overlooking vineyards and hill towns of Brda. Today will be filled with tastings of all that Brda has to offer and visits to some of its scenic and historic villages and towns. First a trip to cellars located in Visnajvic, the birthplace of Rebula wine, the quintessential wine of this region. Of the 2000 hectares of vineyards here in Brda, 25% produce Rebula. And here is the northern most point in Europe where olive trees grow. In the walled medieval hill town of Smartno, enjoy a tasting and discussion of various olive oils followed by lunch of white polenta, prosciutto and peas. Then take a stroll through the oldest olive tree plantation and then up to a viewpoint tower to take in picturesque panoramas of Brda. Five-course ‘slow-food’ dinner paired with wines at winery which continually ranks on the list of 100 best wineries in the world by Wine and Spirits Magazine.
Day 4: Two Countries, Three Regions to Savor Overnight:
Karst region, Slovenia Start the day with Slovenia’s best sparkling wines and a tour of oldest cellar in Brda (dating from 13th century). A tour and then mouthwatering cheese tasting of herbal, aged and fresh cheeses at Bio dairy in Italy’s Collio region. In Slovenia’s karst area we’ll enjoy the two most iconic culinary items of the region: prosciutto and Teran wine. Tour of small-scale prosciutto-making factory followed by a three-course dinner at restaurant tucked away in a small village. Enjoy some of the region’s best Teran wines, both still and sparkling.
Day 5: Wines of Vipava Valley Overnight:
Karst region, Slovenia Walk off all the great food and wine with a visit to UNESCO protected Skocjan caves and see amazing underground world featuring Europe’s deepest underground canyon. We travel from the karst to Vipava Valley where strong burja winds up to 175 km/hr make wine making a challenge. Lunch at wine maker’s house featuring Vipava’s fresh white wines of Zelen, Pinela and Malvazija plus a 10 year old aged Cabernet. Then learn the history of wine making in this valley and the nitty-gritty of the wine business as we hang out with expert winemaker and try his line of Pinto Noir and Pinot Gris. Mouth-watering home-cooked dinner and to-die-for honey ice cream back at our agroturismo.
Day 6: A Taste of Two Istrias Overnight
Istria region, Croatia Morning visit to a twelfth century church with magnificent and colorful medieval frescoes. Focus of the day on foods, herbs and wines of Slovenia’s Istria region. Discover new culinary ideas from Slovenia’s Slow Food guru at her Mediterranean herbal garden of with tastings and lunch incorporating flavors from her garden and around Istria. Cross over into Croatia and tuck into grilled Istrian sausages, ox ragu over melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi plus other regional delights at a rustic taverna.
Day 7: Truffles and Istria Hill Towns Overnight
Istria region, Croatia Head to the forests with a local woman and her dogs to sniff out and dig up truffles. Hopefully we will find some truffles but regardless there will be a special truffle-themed lunch in the countryside. Then browse the charming hill town of Motovun with glorious views all around. Enjoy a dinner of succulent lamb and veal cooked under a metal lid covered in embers known as ispod peka by locals.
Day 8: Goat Cheese Crazy Overnight
Istria region, Croatia Morning visit to historic Venetian town of Rovinj, Croatia’s most beautiful seaside town. Visit to olive oil maker to see the family’s old olive oil equipment (from 1930’s) along with tastings and a demonstration of modern oil making techniques. Epic goat cheese feast at a goat farm far off the tourist grid with home cooked stews, sausages and tasty surprises, not to mention about a dozen types of soft and semi-hard goat cheeses. Consistently one of our guests’ favorite experiences on any of tours!
Day 9: Chill Out With A View! Overnight
Kvarner region, Croatia Slovenia Afternoon to meet a young Frenchmen whose Croatian heritage brought him to start Piquentum Winery. Tasting of his Istrian Teran and classic white Malvasia. Chill out with fantastic views down to sea at our secluded hotel perched up on Mt. Ucka. Relax with your favorite wine and watch the sun go down over the Adriatic or take an easy walk to waterfalls through a quiet chestnut grove. Five course seafood dinner in elegant restaurant.
Day 10: Southern Slovenia’s Wine Roads Less Traveled Overnight
Eastern Slovenia Sparkling wine tour and tasting in Slovenia bucolic southern region, often missed by visitors. Picnic lunch amongst picturesque vineyards and wine cottages. A visit to underground cellars called repnica which are carved out of sand that were use to store vegetables but now hide wines. Home made cognac, indigenous white wine of Šipon and dinner at rustic farmhouse set amongst the vineyards
Day 11: Idyllic Charms and Flavors of Eastern Slovenia Overnight
Eastern Slovenia Guided walking tour around Ptuj, Slovenia’s oldest town situated on the Drava river. Learn how farmers make the delicious nutty and smokey taste of pumpkin seed oil, the ubiquitous speciality of the region. Chocolate tastings featuring local products in innovative and unusual combinations at a family run shop. Visit to the top restaurant in the region for dinner of quintessential Prekmurje dishes of bograc (spicy stew with 3 types of meat) and gibanica (a complex multi-layered cake).
Day 12: Capital Foodie Walk with Craft Beers Overnight
Ljubljana, Slovenia Morning wine tasting with 360 degree views of hilltop churches and rolling hills of Austria at the Doppler Winery, where the women have made wines for the past two generations. Arrival into Slovenia’a pint-sized capital of Ljubljana. Leisure time to take in the sights and atmosphere of this compact and charming capital with plenty of baroque and art nouveau buildings to discover. Farewell dinner will be a special foodie walking tour across the old town as we sample many different tastes and dishes while also discover the city’s burgeoning craft beer scene.
Day 13: Transfer to airport / End of Tour
- 11 dinners (wine included)
- 11 lunches
- 11 nights lodging at B&B and farmhouses (en-suite)
- 10 wine tastings
- Tastings of olive oil, honey, pumpkin oil and truffles
- Private guide
- Transfers to/from airport