These are the sort of sights you can expect to enjoy while either learning about the wonderful world of wine or simply relaxing with a good glass of Slovenian wine.

July 13-17, 2017

Price: £780 per person, no single supplements

Price includes: accommodation, tutored wine tastings, talks by winemakers, winery visits, 3 meals a day, wine with meals (apart from breakfast because that just seems wrong), transport in Slovenia, visits to Ptuj (Slovenia’s oldest town), Maribor (Slovenia’s second city and home of the world’s oldest vine), a visit to a thermal spa at night, and guided tours of several large and small wineries

Not included: Flights, insurance, ice creams and coffees during free time.

Slovenia is a beautiful country. We know — we liked it so much we bought a house there, near the pretty little village of Jeruzalem.

Wine appreciation is a beautiful hobby. We know — we have qualifications from WSET (the Wine and Spirit Education Trust) and Plumpton College in England. However, where we learned the most — and the experiences we enjoyed the most — were sitting with winemakers, tasting their wines with them, and discussing their styles, what decisions they made and why.

We want to share our love of wine and Slovenia, especially the Jeruzalem area and its winemakers, with other people and this is our way of doing it. On this ‘introductory tour’ you’ll get a taste of both the country and wine appreciation. But in a fun way. It is, after all, a break, a way to relax and recharge your batteries — which is why we take care of almost everything as soon as we pick you up in Ljubljana or Maribor.  

All you have to worry about is getting yourself to either Ljubljana (Slovenia’s capital) or Maribor (its second city). easyJet, Wizz and Adria fly to Ljubljana from London; Adria also flies from Southend to Maribor in the summer months. Ljubljana and Maribor are on the train routes from Vienna, Venice and Budapest. If you are concerned about how to get there, send us an email letting us know your starting point (ywine.press(at)outlook(dot)com).

The wine-tastings will teach you about the major international and regional grape varieties, the different methods of making white wine, red wine, sparkling wine and sweet wine. The wine sessions will be at a mixture of large and small wineries, old and modern, and include one visit to a biodynamic winery, where the key workers are sheep and ducks.

Here’s the rough itinerary (we may switch things around to get the most from the weather and availability of winemakers).

Day 1

Arrival. Pick up from Ljubljana (airport or train station) or Maribor (airport or train station). Transport to Jeruzalem, about two hours from Ljubljana and one hour from Maribor, but a pretty journey through Slovenia. A stop at Lidl so you can pick up any shampoo, conditioner, snacks or water that you have forgotten or couldn’t be bothered to squeeze into your luggage, and can’t live without. Depending on the time of the inbound flights, we may visit a winery en route to Jeruzalem for the introduction to wine and first wine tasting session or we will do it over dinner at the inn where you are staying. This is a historic inn with views over the wine hills that surround the pretty little village of Jeruzalem. It’s a rustic, charming, clean place, with friendly staff, great views and a great location. All the rooms have been modernised fairly recently and have their own showers and balconies. They don’t provide teas and coffees, but we do (we can loan you a kettle and give you some teabags).

Day 2

After a leisurely breakfast we will walk through some vineyards (weather permitting) and learn about how “great wine is made in the vineyard”. We then visit a large winery and learn how they make wine. This is followed by a tasting and light lunch. In the afternoon we will explore the Jeruzalem wine road by foot, stopping along the way for a couple of brief (themed) tastings. Dinner will be at a small, traditional family winery where the mum does the cooking and the father and sons work the vineyard and make the wine. They will explain the whole process. We’ll probably have our aperitif in the cellar.

Day 3

After breakfast we head to Slovenia’s oldest sparkling wine producer to learn the difference between Champagne and Prosecco and taste Slovenia’s version, Penina. The cellar here is beautiful, as it has a waterfall in it! Afterwards we head for Slovenia’s second city, Maribor, to take a look at the world’s oldest living vine (more than 450 years old). Here you will learn how the vine was saved and why its wine tastes disgusting. Afterwards we head up to a vineyard on top of a hill for wonderful views of the Alps (weather permitting), a tour of the winery, a tasting, a session on red winemaking, a session on the art of blending, and a barbecue.

Day 4

After breakfast there will be a tour of a 12th century cellar and the obligatory tasting of the wines produced here. Afterwards there will be some free time in Slovenia’s oldest town, Ptuj. You can stroll by the river, get a coffee in the town square or tour the castle. Then it’s off to a family-run wine farm for a late Sunday lunch and a tasting in their cellar. During the evening we can visit one of the country’s many thermal spas for a relaxing soak in its naturally hot mineral waters.

Day 5

A leisurely breakfast if your flight times are in the afternoon. There is an option to add another night to the itinerary, in Slovenia’s no1 tourist attraction, beautiful Lake Bled. The cost for this is an extra €180 per person. But this means we can stop at a modern underground winery on the way, tour the lake, take a swim in it (swans and ducks permitting), and have a tasting, dinner and overnight accommodation there. We can then drop you at the airport the following day.

This gives you a rough idea of what we have planned. The order may change slightly so we can make the most of the weather and availability of winemakers. Our goal is to give you a lovely relaxing break where you will learn to appreciate the diverse world of wine, and see how beautiful Slovenia is.

To make it as stress-free as possible, we will take care of driving you around, organising the trips to wineries, choosing the restaurants, meals and wines. All you have to worry about is booking your flights and insurance. We want you to have a good time so we will try to help in any way we can. Just send us an email if you want to know about the best flights, trains, or if you have any special requests about places to visit in Slovenia and food to eat. The emphasis will be on traditional, homemade, in-season dishes. They like chicken, turkey, pork, cottage cheese and salad. Most dinners start with soup and finish with a local dessert, such as gibanica or pancakes. Most lunches feature cured meat, cheese and bread. We’ll put some fruit in your room, so you shouldn’t go hungry. But if you have any special dietary requests or any questions, please email us: ywine.press(at)outlook(dot)com

TIP: Arrive early and spend a day and night in Ljubljana.

TO BOOK

  1. Send us an email at ywine.press(at)outlook(dot)com to register your interest, as any questions and check availability.
  2. Book your flights.
  3. Send us details of your flights and a 20% deposit (£170) via PayPal, BACs or bank transfer.. The balance will be required 6 weeks before the holiday begins. There is no single supplement. Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Remember also, the earlier you book, the cheaper your flights will be.