3 Countries in One Day: Croatia, Slovenia and Italy

Today was an exhilarating day for us wine lovers: we visited two wineries in Slovenia but had to pass through Italy and then returned to Croatia.There was border control when we entered Slovenia and all of us had to exit the bus and have our passports stamped.

‘orange’ wine

Our first stop was the Rojac Winery run by young Uros Rojac. Hard to find but worth the effort, especially for the ‘orange’ wine. We tasted 5 wines: Malvazija ’12, a pinot gris &

Uros Rojac

chardonnay blend, Malvazija ’09 maceracija, syrah ’09 (a steal at 7 euros), cabernet ’09 and his Re Nero, refrosco ’07. I bought a bottle of the ’09 Malvazija which was macerated on the skins for months before fermentation, hence the ‘orange’ color of the wine. We had just read an article by Eric Asimov of the NY Times about Slovenia’s orange wines so it was very timely that we experienced it first hand.

Then we drove to the KabajMorel Winery also in Slovenia (very close to Friuli in Italy) and had a very nicely presented lunch accompanied by 3 white wines: Zeleni Sauvignon

Katia & Jean Michel Kabaj

’10, which is the renamed tocai grape.( Italy and Slovenia can no longer use the name tocai because of EU rules.), Sivi pinot ’10 (pinot gris) and Rebula ’10 which in Italy is the ribolla gialla. After lunch Jean Michel, a Parisian, led us to the cellar where we saw his now well-known amphora wine. Inspired by visits to Georgia where wine is routinely fermented in clay

wine amphora

amphora buried in the ground, Jean Michel lets the skins stay in the fermenting amphora for 30 months! The result is a deep orange color with a distinctive fruity aroma and a taste that either you like or dislike. It’s an acquired taste; nevertheless I bought a bottle.

On the two preceding days, we visited Pag Island, noted for its sheep milk cheese where we had lunch and a wine tasting at the Boskinac Winery. They produce 50000 bottles but their signature wine is a white made from the Gegic grape, only found on the island. I bought a bottle that is a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon and gegic. But they also pride themselves on their cabernet/merlot blends which have won awards.

 

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