The second FICB-sponsored discovery tour took place from 18 to 22 July 2023.
Participants from the F.I.C.B., who had come from Austria, France, Hungary and Switzerland and were keen to meet people and discover good wine, met up again in Ljubljana with their guides Marin Berovič, from the Slovenian Consulate of the OEVE (ORDO EQUESTRIS VINI EUROPAE-KONSULAT ZA SLOVENJO), and Janesz Dežman, from the Alliance of Knights of the Slovenian Order of Wine (ZDRUZENJE SLOVENSKEGA REDA VITEZOV VINA)..
They were accompanied on their journey by numerous members of these two brotherhoods.
They were able to discover the vineyards of Brda, the Vipava valley, the Karst region and the Istrian coast, all located in the south-west of Slovenia, but with quite different terroirs and climates.
Set in splendid landscapes, they were welcomed by passionate winegrowers, and were able to taste a wide range of vintages, both at the wineries and during gourmet meals: still and sparkling wines, made from classic varieties such as chardonnay, merlot, cabernet, pinot noir and malvasia, as well as many local varieties, such as rebula in Goriška Brda, the whites pinela, klarinca, zelen, pikolit, pergolin, planinka . . and the red teran, including the sparkling version….
The trip was marked by a number of highlights, including
– a welcome at Ljubljana town hall by the deputy mayor responsible for international relations,
– the boat trip on the Ljublianica, the river that flows through the magnificent city of Ljubljana,
– the gala dinner at the Pikol restaurant in Nova Gorica,
during which President Bryden presented the former President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, with the FICB medal, the one awarded 20 years earlier (on the occasion of the 43rd F.I.C.B. Congress in Slovenia) being kept by the National Archives of that country.
-the boat trip along the Slovenian coast on the Adriatic, from Portorož to Koper, with a view of Izola and Piran
-a welcome from representatives of the Brda and Portorož regional tourist offices, who offered local products to the participants,
the end-of-stay dinner at the Rodica estate,
during which the FICB’s honorary diploma was awarded to the oenologist Alojz Filipič, who did a great job developing and promoting Slovenian vineyards, particularly their sparkling wines.
The FICB medal was then presented to Stefan Pavlinjek, the new Ambassador of ZDRUZENJE SLOVENSKEGA REDA VITEZOV VINA.
Lastly, F.I.C.B. commemorative objects were presented to Janesz Dežman and Tomislav Kovačič, representatives of the brotherhoods that had organised the trip and contributed so much to its success.
With them we raise our glasses and proclaim :
V Čast Vini in Domovini ! (In honour of wine and country)
In Honorem Dei et In Honorem Vini !
Let’s conclude this brief report with pictures, many of them taken by our sister in wine Susane Duacsek, hereunder with her husband Michaël. Thanks to her.
First tastings during dinner in Hotel Perla, Nova Gorica
Wine tasting at Movia estate (Goriška Brda)
Wine tasting at Marijan Simčič Estate (Brda)
Wine tasting at Castel Bagueri Cellar (Brda)
Wine tasting at the University of Nova Gorica (Dobrovo) with choir !
The french speaking people were delighted to sing “boire un petit coup…” with Alojz Filipič, a connoisseur, at Rodica Estate…
Group pictures in Stanjel Castel restaurant and Grand Hôtel Portorož