Chris and Karen Boiling have a small winehouse and vineyard in Slovenia. It’s too small to be commercial but they love the lifestyle and want to share their love of boutique wines and their adopted country with others. So they have organised three wine breaks for 2020. One is a wine and yoga break based in the pretty little village of Jeruzalem. Another is purely a wine break, where you get to learn a bit more about wine. The other is a wine tour of the country for those who really want to learn about wine. After all, Slovenia offers world-class examples from all the major grape varieties and of all the major styles of wine (sparkling, white, red, 'natural' and dessert). Plus, it has exciting examples of regional grape varieties such as Furmint and Rebula, and local varieties such as Pinela and Zelen.
Wine and yoga
The ultimate pairing
May 6-10, 2020
Price: £895 (there is no single supplement)
Price includes: accommodation, 3 meals a day, wine with meals (apart from breakfast because that just seems wrong), 9 yoga sessions in stunning locations (weather permitting), 7 wine tastings at different wineries, transfers, visits to Ptuj (Slovenia’s oldest town), Maribor (Slovenia’s second city and home of the world’s oldest vine), 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.
What better way to relax and unwind than by combining wine and yoga? Well, in the same day, not at the same time...
This five-day wine and yoga break is based in the stunningly pretty wine hills of Jeruzalem in northeast Slovenia. Most days there will be two yoga sessions and two wine-tasting sessions, often after a tour of a winery.
The yoga will be a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa flow. Every session is available to mixed ability groups from beginners through to advanced yogis.
The wine-tastings will teach guests about the major 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.
All the yoga sessions, wine tastings, transport and most of the food and wine are included in the price, so there really is nothing to worry about except getting yourself to either Ljubljana (Slovenia’s capital) or Maribor (its second city). easyJet, Wizz Air and Adria Airways 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 and Venice. If you are concerned about how to get there, send us an email (ywine.press(at)outlook(dot)com).
Here’s the rough itinerary (we may switch things around to make the most of the weather and availability of winemakers - some may have started their harvests).
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 from Maribor, but it's 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. An introductory yoga session to stretch your body and mind after the journey and checking in. 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 guest house 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).
We start with a session of yoga at 8am and have a leisurely breakfast at 9.30am. After breakfast we'll walk through some vineyards 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. There will be some free time in the afternoon, so you can rest, explore, go for a coffee, rent a bike, whatever you fancy. There will be another yoga session 5-6pm, followed by an hour to get ready for dinner. 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.
A similar sort of start to Day 2, with yoga at 8am and a leisurely breakfast at 9.30am. After breakfast we head to Slovenia’s oldest sparkling wine producer to learn the difference between Champagne and Prosecco. The cellar here is beautiful, as it has a waterfall in it! Afterwards we head for Slovenia’s second city, Maribor, and 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 a yoga session with views of the Alps, a tour of the winery, a tasting, a session on red winemaking, a session on the art of blending, and a barbecue.
Yoga at 8am, breakfast at 9.30am, followed by a tour of a 12th century cellar and a tasting. 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 yoga in a vineyard, wine and a late Sunday lunch. During the evening we will visit one of the country’s many thermal spas for a relaxing soak in its naturally hot waters. If you're not totally relaxed you can take part in a restorative yoga session designed for cleansing and relaxation. And if you're still not completely zonked, we'll have a farewell drink at the bar.
Yoga at 8am, breakfast at 9.30am, if the flight times are in the afternoon. There is an option to add another night, in Lake Bled, to the itinerary for £180. This means we can stop at a modern underground winery on the way, do some yoga by the lake, take a swim in the lake (swans and ducks permitting), have a tasting and dinner in Slovenia’s no1 tourist attraction, beautiful Lake Bled. 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 because of the weather, unforeseen circumstances, and the availability of winemakers at this busy time of the year. Our goal is to give you a lovely relaxing break where you will learn and practise yoga, 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 pancake. 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.
1. Send us an email at ywine.press(at)outlook(dot)com to register your interest and we can answer any questions and let you know how you can pay via PayPal, BACs or bank transfer.
2. Book your flights.
3. Send us details of your flights and a £170 deposit per person. 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. The earlier you book, the cheaper your flights will be.