Wine & Conversation at Slovenia’s Rojac Winery

March 11, 2017

It’s no secret that I love wine, and touring any winery I can get to.  But what IS strange is that my love of winery tours probably stems back to a late May afternoon in Slovenia.  Yes, Slovenia.

My parents and I spent our annual trip that year in northern Croatia, Slovenia, and northern Italy, and adored every minute.  Our time in Slovenia was spent with friends who work for the State Department, and they’re always great about finding fun and unique things to do together when we visit.

Beautiful Slovenian wine from a family winery

Read all about our adventures in Slovenia:

Why Slovenia Should Be On Your Bucket List…A 3-Day Itinerary

A Perfect Piran Afternoon

Drinking in the Beauty & History of Slovenia’s Julian Alps

Visiting Slovenia’s Wild and Beautiful Vintgar Gorge

A Tranquil Day at Lake Bled (& Bohinj)

A Saturday Morning at Ljubljana’s Farmer’s Market

Dinner in a Medieval Archer’s Tower in Ljubljana

On this particular day, we spent the morning at the seaside in Piran, then drove up into the hills for an afternoon of Slovenian wine.  Paula and Joe brought us to Rojac, a family-owned winery run by Sonja and Uroš in Gazon.

They met us in the yard and Uroš immediately welcomed us in and took us on a tour of the cellars and bottling operation…with a little bit of wine to start off, of course!

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These pictures aren’t very good because of the low lighting and my old camera, but I thought this was super interesting and wanted to share.  He gave us a little taste of orange wine, which I’d never heard of.  Contrary to its name, it has nothing to do with orange fruit.  Instead, it’s wine made using white grapes and keeping them in contact with their seeds and skins during fermentation.  It’s a very natural process, and results in a very unique drink (though not as much to my taste).

Interestingly, I’ve started to see orange wine pop up on tasting menus in the States recently, and also was offered one in France last fall while visiting some wineries, so it seems to be becoming more mainstream.  You can read more about it on Madeleine Puckett’s Wine Folly site if you’re interested.

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After seeing the operations, we all went upstairs to the tasting room to try a number of the wines and learn about how they’re made.  Rojac is one of the longstanding Slovenian wine families, and is known for Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvazija Istriana, and of course the famous Slovenian Refošk.

We spent a couple hours with Sonja and Uroš nibbling on some snacks, learning about their wines, and listening to them talk about life in Slovenia, wine making, and how they’re building their business.  Uroš talked about his trips to the United States to discuss distribution, and we loved hearing about how Slovenian daily life has changed over the past 20 years.

From waterfalls to wine to pastel seaside towns, Slovenia is a perfect 3 or 4 day trip. Recommendations for your itinerary and what to do in Slovenia. Ljubljana, the Julian Alps, Lake Bled, Piran, and more! #slovenia #easterneurope #lakebled

 

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One of the things that’s really cool about Rojac’s approach is that it’s organic and super natural, not adding sulfites or anything to the wines.  This made them easier for me to drink, and they talked about how they stay true to the artisanal family-operated style of wine making rather than turning into a big global operation.

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Before we left, we spent some time out on their beautiful patio, which has a great view over the surrounding hills and countryside.  This has been family land for some time, which is just such a cool concept to me.

 

A day in Slovenia's wineries is a must for any visit to this beautiful country

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Eventually we had to head back to Ljubljana for the night, but it was hard to leave.  I bought four bottles to bring back home—two for gifts, and two for me 🙂  I’m still hoarding my two bottles for a special occasion.

Our afternoon at Rojac was such a special experience, for so many reasons.  Many people don’t automatically think of Slovenia when they think of wine in this area (Croatia gets more buzz, and of course you have Italy right next door), but I highly recommend spending a day in Slovenian wineries if you’re in the area!

Have you tried Slovenian wine?  What’s your favorite?  I loved the Refosk, but the Cabernet Sauvignon still reigns supreme for me.

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Slovenian wine country is a must-visit on any trip to this beautiful country

Comments (7)

  • A Weekend Morning at Ljubljana's Farmers Market | One Girl, Whole World

    May 6, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    […] on our itinerary, which included the beautiful pastel seaside town of Piran, a private tour of the Rojac winery, the powerful Vintgar Gorge, stunning turquoise Lake Bled, and the serene Julian […]

  • An Afternoon At Slovenia's Stunning Lake Bled | One Girl, Whole World

    September 24, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    […] our unique dinner in a medieval archer’s tower and morning at the market in Ljubljana, and an afternoon at a winery.  One of the great things about Slovenia is that it’s very compact, so you can see a ton in […]

  • Séverine

    June 23, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Jessica we Just left Slovenia and we also paid a visit to Rojac winery as we love to taste and Discover different types of wine throughout Europe. We were very casually welcomed at the property and nicely shown round the celllars. As for the wine we tasted his Malvazija ( we wanted to compare with others we had at the restaurant or in.Croatia). Such a disappointment ! It was not very fruity not minéral and not complex as those we had before. His only red wine That was Worth the visit was his Renero. And yet we still think it is overpriced as in France we can get an excellent wine for mess than 30euros!! We bought 3bottles and we had to Pay 6euro for the tasting! What a surprise! This Never happened in Croatia or in other countries like Bulgaria or Serbia etc..it seems a little mean after buying hum 3bottles. We found his concept interesting but when you say There are no sulfits in his wine this Is wrong as it is mentioned on the bottle! And sulfites are necessary for the preservation of the wine. Mr Rojac said his wine were not in supermarkets which is a lie as we found his refofsk on the bottom self at 10euro!! Honestly he seems to have a high self esteem of his wine.. When you deal with wine one should stay humble and open minded. He even refused to provide an invoice!! A frustrating experience and a waste of time for us as we go to wineries rather than supermarkets. We have tasted Much nicer wines in Motovun in Croatia or in Bulgaria in melnik!!!! Séverine from France

    1. Jessica

      June 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Hi Severine–thank you for the comment! I agree that the wine in northern Croatia is lovely, probably a bit more to my taste (love the Teran), though I really loved Rojac’s Cabernet Sauvignon. I haven’t found French and Italian wines to be as much to my taste, which I think is just personal preference, and may be why you didn’t respond to Rojac’s as much. I think I may have misspoken on the sulfites, I think I meant there aren’t the additives that I have an allergic reaction to and things are done organically (which is very hard to find in the United States)…I need to do a bit more research and figure out what it is specifically, if not sulfites, so I can edit that.

      That’s too bad that you didn’t enjoy your tasting. To me, comparing Slovenia price-wise and service-wise to Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc. is a bit challenging because they’re part of the eurozone and have a very different feel than many of the other former Yugoslavian countries (more like Germany/Austria to me), but when we visited it was a private tasting experience and likely fairly costly (it was a present from our friends, who work for the U.S. State Department), so definitely wasn’t just a regular tasting visit. I hope you enjoyed Slovenia overall though!

  • Mendoza Wine Tours: Exploring Argentina's Wine | One Girl, Whole World

    April 9, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    […] An Afternoon of Wine and Conversation at Slovenia’s Rojac Winery […]

  • Ljubljana Castle: Dinner in an Archer's Tower | One Girl, Whole World

    March 15, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    […] Related posts:  An Afternoon of Wine & Conversation at Slovenia’s Rojac Winery […]

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    March 11, 2017 at 8:16 pm

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