The Slovenia Times

Cheers to Young Wine!



The young wine festivities are called "martinovanje" and are a season highlight for every winemaker. The barrels are opened and young wine is ceremonially tasted for the first time. All this is of course accompanied by a proper St Martin's dinner, which usually consists of a roast duck or goose, red cabbage and "mlinci", Slovenian pasta tatters made from thin dried dough. It is all a treat for the tastebuds.
Traditionally such celebrations were confined to rural areas of Slovenia. In recent years, however, the Ljubljana Wine Route event has been organised to ensure city dwellers can share in the festivities. The organisers aim to unite lovers of wine, good food and great fun. This year the event takes place on 5 November, less than a week from the official holiday. More than 70 winemakers and traditional culinary delicacies providers from all over Slovenia will be on hand, as well as some representatives from abroad. Family wineries, larger wine cellars, caterers, tourist information centres, various societies and associations and also some institutions linked with countryside development will all be taking part. The stalls will be on the squares and the streets of the scenic old part of Ljubljana, from Mestni trg, Stritarjeva ulica to Tromostovje, Cankarjevo nabrežje embankment, Šuštarski most bridge and Breg.

A Variety of Choices

"In addition to exquisite wines, the stalls will offer local cheeses, meat products, juices, processed fruits and bread and pastries," says Tatjana Čop from the organising board. And the Ljubljana Wine Route will cater for other needs too - a rich accompanying cultural programme has been organised. Brda Wind Orchestra, folklore groups, accordion players and folk singers and musicians will perform at various locations in the heart of the city and visitors will be greeted by a special guest star, current wine queen Simona Žugelj.
New this year are presentations from the municipalities that surround Ljubljana as well as from Kozjansko nature park and Sevnica castle. In this way, the event boosts tourism and helps forge relations between the capital and the surrounding areas. "The majority of visitors are Slovenians who come from the capital, neighbouring towns and also other parts of the country. Every year we get more and more tourists too and among our regular visitors are foreigners living in Ljubljana," notes Čop.

Diversity Mosaic

She says visitors appreciate the unique chance to get to know the whole of Slovenia in one place - in the heart of its capital city. The organisers firmly believe that the Ljubljana Wine Route is a manifestation of everything Slovenia has to offer regarding wines and food and further proof that the country has exquisite wines and original cuisine. "True, Slovenia is a small country but despite the size of its territory it offers an amazing variety of tastes," Čop says." There are many tourists who come to Slovenia and realise they did not plan to spend enough days here to experience all its culinary diversity so the Ljubljana Wine Route is a splendid opportunity for them. It also allows Slovenians to discover all the variety and wealth of their country's food and wine and soak up the amazing atmosphere of the marvellous old part of Ljubljana."


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